The Other Side of Darkness is a cross between women's fiction and suspense from Harbourlight Books. Linda Rondeau builds well-motivated characters from her heroine, Samantha Knowles, to her villain, Harlan Styles, convicted murderer, to the coworkers, love interests, and new friends of Haven, Massachusetts. Linda deepens each character at the right moment to keep the reader interested in all of their fates.

NY Assistant District Attorney Sam Knowles has given her life to putting criminals behind bars. She lives with a coworker, accepts her boss as her father figure, and has long ago given up her teenaged faith in Jesus as worthy to be worshiped. She worships the justice system.

Brow-beaten into taking a vacation she doesn't believe she needs, Sam leaves NY for a ski resort — but takes a side road into the face of a moose. Surviving the car accident, she is released from the hospital to take up residence in the town of Haven. Cute EMT Zack Bordeaux might have had a part in her decision to stick around.

Despite her own secrets, Sam is soon caught up in the hermit life of landscape artist, Jonathan Gladstone, and his ancestral home, Dawn's Hope. But life won't give her time for a vacation, and the justice system once again spills into her momentary peace.

What I liked about this story: the hyacinths and the spiritual play they had in the story. I liked Sam's confusion with the two new men in her life. And as I mentioned early I liked the depth to all the characters. I liked that there was sufficient motivation for Sam's bosses to make the choices they did — though like Sam, I wasn't impressed with their choices.

What I didn't like in this story is completely personal and not something I think would bother another reader: Leon, one of the boarders at her temporary home, was too quirky for me, and I couldn't grasp her ease and acceptance of him. And I didn't care for how Sam dubbed her friend, Justine, as preachy when I found the girl concerned for Sam's spiritual well-being. Must be the exhorter in me. smiley

For years to come, in my mind, I will visit with these characters and give them the lives that I want them to have from the end of novel onward.