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Valley of the Shadow
By Charlotte Hughes

Avon (Suspense)
January, 1998 (paperback)

Reviewed by Susan Johnson

Another night's sleep lost due to an extra good book! Southern thrillers are my very favorite and this book was no exception to the rule.

Meg Gentry, a former crime reporter for a big newspaper in Atlanta, comes home to a small town in Tennessee to get a fresh start. Bad marriage and bad experiences in job have sent her home in search of a quieter way of life.

Not long after returning home she finds herself working for the hometown newspaper, called out to cover the story of the unearthing of a 20 year old skeleton, clearly the victim of murder -- and finds herself hip deep in a snake handlers church...and the unusual congregation that gathers there.

Charlotte Hughes handles the southern people as well as Sharyn McCrumb and keeps her readers steadily turning the pages. Not once during this book did I feel that the story got slow or long winded. It very easily held my attention.

This is one author I look forward to hearing more from.

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