Bantam, Mar 2001, 23.95, 320 pp.
Before the modern developers bulldoze the area, a team assembles to insure no ancient relics are buried under the earth near the English village of Wytchlow. Heading up the archeological dig is Patrick Kane a brilliant individual haunted by personal ghosts buried in a Welsh graveyard. The rest of his team is very diversified, but each one carries their peculiar baggage. Of particular interest to Patrick is local villager Bobby Redhead, who looks like a thirty-something version of his beloved Rachel, that is if the latter had lived another decade rather than died at nineteen.
The dig centers on Roman ruins, but Patrick finds the Saxon legend of the “German Queen” more interesting. Meanwhile Bobby is attracted to the dig's leader. She focuses her attentions on Patrick who retreats within his shell every time she boldly steps towards him. As they get closer to finding the lost Saxon treasure, Patrick knows he found his own valuable treasure if he can move past his own tragic past and reach out for her.
SILENCE AND SHADOWS is an interesting romantic tale that blends legends and archeology into a fantastic love story. The tale never misses a beat as readers come to know the key players including several secondary cast members like Bobby's brother, several other villagers, and a land developer, etc. The lead couple adds to the legends as both differently struggle with their pasts seeking each other for the future. James Long has written a rich tale that will bring him many accolades from fans and critics.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner