Best selling local author of Midland and Odessa, Texas, Ann Swann, has done it again. It began with the first book of the series, Stutter Creek. That one made my teeth chatter, but here comes the second book in the Stutter Creek series, Lilac Lane. Actually, Ann calls the two books a Romantic Suspense series. It is that, but I would call it a Romantic Thriller series.
The title, Lilac Lane, sounds as if the reader might drift calmly into a beautiful romantic setting. Indeed, the romance is there, and Ann can play with your heart, but she gets right to the suspense, or should I say “fright!” Just like the protagonist, Ella, and her ten – year old son, Nick, my bones start rattling when there is rumbling in the attic. In this their new rental in Stutter Creek, it could be raccoons, or as Nick says, “a ghost,” but it could be something more sinister. Ever heard of “gas lighting?”
As chet, the wildlife biologist, comes to check the attic for raccoons and and set traps, a warm feeling wells up inside Ella. Could this be the start of a love affair? Actually, Swann has the ability to describe the intricate and subliminal feelings of attraction as they have an eb and flow to self – guessing, then into full blown romance that sweeps the reader right into and right along with the story.
This author has delightful descriptive abilities and enhancing use of similes, “stretching like an oversized cat”…, And gradually builds heart thumping anticipation, “just an old house settling (pg, 21)…,” “Her feet froze when the sound came again (pg.23).” The reader feels the euphoria of love, but it is off – balanced by a danger, the source of which is initially unknown and later suspected but not known.
Ann Swann displays her writing talents of building love in the midst of danger, almost touching on the paranormal, or at least that is what Ella is beginning to feel. Beyond this personal stress of the lead character lies a community environment of warmth and comfort. Swann knows how to bring forth the characteristics of living in a small town like Stutter Creek, the unique friendliness and support, for example. After all, she grew up in Lamesa, Texas.
Lilac Lane is the second book in the Stutter Creek series. Last year we reviewed the first book, aptly named Stutter Creek. In my opinion, Lilac Lane, even tops Stutter Creek, which is quite good. Either or both of these books could easily be adapted to a movie thriller.