Review by Diane C. Donovan,
Sometimes forging a new future involves putting the past to rest. In the case of The Marker, which blends Civil War history with a ghost story and an evolving romance, a multifaceted blend of experiences revolve around the discovery of a vanished grave marker and how its appearance over sixty years later becomes the impetus for uncovering the truth behind an Unknown Soldier's story, paving the way for a modern-day romance.
Under another's hand, The Marker could too easily have become a light paranormal romance; but those expecting a simple read should be forewarned that Diana Savastano's attention to historical detail probes deeply into this evolving story, which begins in Mississippi in 1863 and moves into modern times.
Dr. Bradley Taylor dies wearing a Union belt buckle; and so begins a deeply disturbing error when in the summer of 1867 a mission to properly bury the fallen uncovers his remains, hands clutching the despised Union relic he's tried to wrest from his body with his last breath.
Fast forward to present-day New York City, where gorgeous news reporter Jennifer is about to receive an assignment that will change and challenge her life. No stranger to odd assignments, Jennifer chafes at the thought that she's being sent to Florida to report on life after retirement instead of being granted the vacation time she needs.
Her resistance to her Florida assignment is changed by what she discovers there, the research she and her father conduct into the relic, and a series of events that transpire since she discovers the grave marker which slowly affects her decisions, life, and future.
On one level, it could be said that The Marker's underlying mystery, ghost story twist, and history winds into a more complex achievement than most; but on another level, sometimes Jennifer's pursuits are puzzling themselves. It's as if her life hangs in the balance between professional advancement and too much drama and between pursuit of truth and freedom and impulses to discover love in her future.
The subplots and many characters support some of her quests while creating new questions and conundrums that pose some of the greatest challenges in Jennifer's personal and professional life, changing its direction and introducing many new possibilities.
Drama-laden ex-relationships, an evolving relationship with a doctor, the possibilities in facing joy, sorrow and loss head-on, and surprising connections between ancestral mysteries and love lend a satisfyingly complex combination of mystery, romance, and history with just the right supernatural touch to provide an intriguing overlay cementing relationships and processes.
One doesn't expect such a beginning to lead to detective work and deaths, but the pleasure of The Marker lies not only in its inclusion of many different threads and subplots, but in its non-linear approach to love.
Romance fans should expect a delightfully absorbing story that provides more than a thin layer of events, but takes the time to probe beneath surface appearances and life trajectories to chart a course through untested waters.
by Diana Savastano
DRS Publishing, LLC
Author Website: https://www.dianasavastano.com