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My Soul to Keep by Melanie Wells
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My Soul to Keep

by Melanie Wells

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Dylan Foster has elected of her own volition to follow the wending labyrinth of mysteries and intrigues surrounding the kidnapping of a young neighbourhood child. As the police turn up no substantive clues in finding the child, Dylan relies on a constellation of unlikely sources to aid her in the quest for truth. Chilling coincidences and the unsettling dreams of a six-year-old girl, Christine Zocci, lead Dylan on an epic and shadowy journey filled with bizarre twists and feints as she unravels an even deeper mystery. As opposed to other “whodunit” books of this genre, the tale is imbued with a more intensive psychological focus, involving haunting symbols and the paranormal connection between dreams and reality.
Melanie Wells employs sinuous, rolling description in this suspenseful drama. With a natural flair for dialogue, My Soul to Keep is a spellbinding example of a writer at the top of her prose, and an exemplary highlight that just may outshine her other offerings such as The Soul Hunter and When the Day of Evil Comes. As in her other two previous novels, Wells truly excels in writing characters of profound depth and in providing her readers with a mystifying and sinister atmosphere that truly compels. Moments of levity occur throughout to give the story a strong sense of pace and realism, allowing readers to catch their breath when the macabre richness of the tale becomes vertiginous. This interplay of shadow and light effectively make this book a kind of literary chiaroscuro, and will provide delight to those readers who wish to be swept up by the intriguing and sometimes shadowy details of the human mind
  KXF | Dec 2, 2011 |
My thoughts: If you know anything about me and my book reviews you know that I have a really long TBR list. If you did not know that, look at my archives and see it. Anyway, it's long, I just have so many things that are calling my name. Well, I received this book My Soul to Keep and it is book three of a series. I'm one of those people who does not like to read things out of order, so I planned to put this one further down in the pile and maybe read the others first, but then I read a couple reviews on various websites and the blurbs in the front cover and decided to at least read the first chapter and intro. Well, next thing I know I'm starting chapter 6, then chapter 14, then it's the next day I'm halfway through and just have to finish it. So now, being finished with this novel I'm extremely glad that I read it. This book was un-like anything that I have read, it was better than almost any mystery film that I have seen. The main character, Dylan a female psychologist is the most fun-loving hilarious character that has ever existed. She is so real, and just what you need in a character to make you fully enjoy the book. The main point in the book is a kidnapping, but so many other things happen one after the other and you think it's all just ridiculous, but in a not so crazy sense, it is really is not. It makes complete sense. This book brings in a little paranormal with Angels and non-Angels, and it makes me curious about her other books. If you want some mystery, and some realistic faith, and lovable characters in a story, then please read this book! You will chuckle more than giggle, and you might even cry a little, I did. ( )
  cherryblossommj | Dec 14, 2009 |
My thoughts: If you know anything about me and my book reviews you know that I have a really long TBR list. If you did not know that, look at my archives and see it. Anyway, it's long, I just have so many things that are calling my name. Well, I received this book My Soul to Keep and it is book three of a series. I'm one of those people who does not like to read things out of order, so I planned to put this one further down in the pile and maybe read the others first, but then I read a couple reviews on various websites and the blurbs in the front cover and decided to at least read the first chapter and intro. Well, next thing I know I'm starting chapter 6, then chapter 14, then it's the next day I'm halfway through and just have to finish it. So now, being finished with this novel I'm extremely glad that I read it. This book was un-like anything that I have read, it was better than almost any mystery film that I have seen. The main character, Dylan a female psychologist is the most fun-loving hilarious character that has ever existed. She is so real, and just what you need in a character to make you fully enjoy the book. The main point in the book is a kidnapping, but so many other things happen one after the other and you think it's all just ridiculous, but in a not so crazy sense, it is really is not. It makes complete sense. This book brings in a little paranormal with Angels and non-Angels, and it makes me curious about her other books. If you want some mystery, and some realistic faith, and lovable characters in a story, then please read this book! You will chuckle more than giggle, and you might even cry a little, I did. ( )
  cherryblossommj | Dec 14, 2009 |
NCLA Review - Dylan Foster is a psychology professor who goes to a park with friends to celebrate the end of the school year and the sixth birthday a friend's daughter, Christine. While there, the young son of one of her other friends is kidnapped. The clues lead nowhere and the police are perplexed. Christine seems to have an eerie connection to the boy and her insight helps Dylan search for the child. At this point, the story becomes unbelievable, going over the top with far out experiences such as exploding light bulbs and buzzing non-existent rattlesnakes. The reader is led to assume that an elusive stranger named Peter may be doing all these things from another dimension. These incidents took away from what could have been a great story and made it unbelievable. Rating: 2—PD ( )
  ncla | Nov 16, 2008 |
Melanie Wells is a Texan and a psychotherapist in marriage and family therapy and comes from a musical family which contributes to her rhythm of writing. She is also clearly a traditional Christian as this shapes the book imagery, plot and narrative. As a consequence don’t expect natural street talk as the bad guys don’t curse although this is not handled in a clumsy way.

The novel seen as psychological thriller/mystery is the 3rd in a series: the first was When Day of Evil Comes when the 30 + redhead female hero, Dylan Foster a psychology professor in a Christian University, is framed for a murder and the second is The Soul Hunter which deals with a Psychotic stalker. The events and characters of first two are echoed and hinted at throughout this novel but it does stand alone. A constant theme in the three books is the fight between good and evil which is reflected in the every day fact that she is plagued by a demon called Peter Terry and helped by a guardian angel. She also prays and talks to God, has psychic insights from dreams etc. And to be fair it’s hinted at and suggested rather then clichéd white robes and wings or red eyes and horns.

To be honest not my type of Christianity but think TV shows where angels drift in to people’s lives and help them resolve emotional and ethical concerns rather then Buffy the vampire slayer. You don’t have to see this traditional Christian view as real and true as I am sure many bible-belt Americans would but as part of a narrative world to which you the reader enters. No difference really in entering the peculiar 1950’s Agatha Christie’s English social world of country houses, weekend parties, dressing for dinner, afternoon teas etc.

The story starts with a picnic in a park (the smart park rather then the local run down one) with Dylan out with two friends and their young children. Nicholas’s mother had been raped by the stalker from The Soul Hunter but had kept the child (anti abortion and forgiveness message). Christine the little girl is deeply sensitive to the supernatural and her parents are rich but caring- father and brothers out delivering aid and the bible to the staving masses (a rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven). Then Nicholas is snatched from the park and the hunt begins to save his life. USA statistics show that more then 76% of abducted children are killed within three hours of the abduction so tension amounts as time seeps away

Christine the little girl was also snatched but then rejected as the wrong one as we find that she is psychically linked to the fate of Nicholas. Dylan struggles to make sense of the events as they unfold whilst dealing with her stalled career and hapless love life. And the past comes back facing her to deal with issues left hanging in the previous stories.

Don’t expect big plot twists as this is a narrative and character driven story. Both of which are done well in a made for TV movie sort of way. It’s not cutting edge existential metafiction…and thank god for that I hear many of you say. Would I recommend it? Well it’s not a book I would have chosen to read as it was an Advanced Readers Copy sent to me for a review. I am not a fan of Mystery/Crime writing or supernatural going ons so was I the wrong person to be contacted!! But actually I enjoyed it and may even read the first two as I warmed to the Dylan Foster character and can see the potential for a good TV series along the lines of Ghost Whisper. ( )
  ablueidol | Feb 22, 2008 |
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