Morrow, Jul 2001, 25.00, 320 pp.
Suzanne Milner lived in Sheffield, England all her life and is very familiar with the local judicial system, especially involving juveniles. When her mother died, her father informed her that she would become a surrogate parent to her brother Adam. Suzanne did her best, but alas Adam fell in with a bad crowd and was eventually caught in an illegal act. When the police asked Suzanne where her brother was hiding, she told them. Adan was caught and incarcerated to a short stay at a juvenile facility. He could not handle the place and killed himself. Her father blamed Suzanne for Adam's death.
Years later, Suzanne realized she is incapable of taking care of her own child and gives up custody to her husband. She starts life anew, but is quickly torn asunder when she finds the murdered corpse of the baby-sitter of her neighbor's child. She is drawn into a homicide investigation that eerily reminds her of her self as the sins of the father is inflicted on the child.
Fans of Elizabeth Peters will want to read Danuta Reah's excellent police procedural. LISTEN TO THE SHADOWS comes down squarely on the nurturing side of the psychological debate between environment and hereditary. The characters are three-dimensional and the story line is very entertaining. The adjustments of the cast to what life throws at them is also very realtic and shows that Ms. Reah knows much about human nature. This author has the talent to take her to the top.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner