Family connections are often the only way we have of staving off fear and loneliness. When those closest to us pass away, we often look further into our background to re-assert further connection. The information or result is not always what we expect or even believe.
In Primary Fault by Sharon Kae Reamer, we are taken into the strange and surrealistic world of Caitlin Schwarzbach. Leaving Texas after the death of her mother, she arrives in Cologne, Germany, to be near her brother. Gus is a seismologist and Caitlin is put quickly on the defense as he disappears. When he is accused of sexual assault, she knows she must find the answers. Throughout her life her brother has been her hero and there when she needed him. She loves him and is indebted to him for saving her during an accident in which she became seriously injured and struggled to survive. Now it is her turn to return that debt.
As she meets those closest to him in his field, she finds herself drawn to his friend Hagen. Using Hagen’s resources as well as those of Gus’s other connected friends, she actually finds more mystery than answers. As visions begin to distract her, and her own life becomes forfeit, a dangerous new game has begun. The dark and pagan background of the area seems to create a thinly veiled parallel world, one where darkness claims rule. Making deals with the deities of this realm seem common place in the visions and dreams that Caitlin is now experiencing.
When Gus is accused of murder and captured by the police, Caitlin realizes that she is now in control of his fate as he was once in control of hers. Can she find the answers to free him, before death finds her?
Making friends with Gus’s erstwhile neighbor as well as a columnist who has fallen for her brother, she begins to find strange and haunting answers to the disarray in which they find themselves. When Hagen disengages almost totally with her on a rudimentary level, he still professes to want to help her clear Gus, who by all accounts is a good friend. Can she set aside her heartbreak from this known rake, in order to clear her brother’s name?
Reamer has created an intricately webbed reality where science and magic dance in a semblance of chaotic order. Belief is suspended and darkness descends, unknown and unseen by those not involved in the geologic community. The tale is fun and exciting, and the unusual passion that runs beneath the scenes is captivating and spellbinding.
Add to this a cast of characters that are extremely likable in some cases, and truly evil and deadly in others, you have the makings of a seriously ingenious work of adventure. The tale is often just a bit overwhelming, and the scenes, especially those of seismic proportions, make you look for a chair to sit down before you fall down.
If you enjoy the occult, paranormal adventure, romance, police procedural, suspense, murder, and many mixtures of each, this is the work you are looking for. Well-spaced and easy to read, Primary Fault would be a great addition to your library.
This would also be a great novel for a reading and or discussion group, full of interesting and unique events to discuss and argue about.