Melissa Bowersock has featured frequently in my reading list…and managed to very deservedly find her way into my favourite-authors list.
Her stories flirt with fantasy/paranormal in a way that makes you think twice about things of which you might say, ‘Nah! No way!’ And in this particular story, one of the main characters says exactly that: it’s a tale in which both reader (well, this one!) and protagonist find themselves in agreement.
Widower Hal Thompson’s two children strike a bargain with him: fervent believers of hypnotic regression, they promise to stop trying to convince him that there really is something in it if he will just agree to one session. If it doesn’t ‘happen’ for him, then Brian and Wendy promise they’ll never raise the subject again. Backed into a corner, Hal agrees. The experience proves to be unsettling for Hal when he ‘remembers’ not only the whereabouts of some ancient Aztec gold, but also…disarmingly…a long-lost love. Reluctant to admit to his children his scepticism might have been misplaced, he is soon shocked into shedding his misgivings when things get gravely personal. His 'memories', it appears, are of crucial importance to some ruthless people.
This story changes gear dramatically after the first few pages: it starts off at a very pleasant, leisurely pace, and suddenly, it’s ‘sit up and take notice’.
I must confess, however, of all the books I've read by this author, I'm not so sure I'd put this one at the top of the list. I fell in love with the wholesomeness that was the Thompsons, but parts of the plot were just a teensy bit unsubstantial, hurried even. That said, the ending is climactic and gripping.