Book Review: Death Be Not Proud

13 Aug

640349_w185Following the vicious attack by a psychotic colleague, and reeling from the suspicion that Matthew Lynes is not all that he seems, Professor Emma D’Eresby flees her college teaching position in Maine to her hometown in England— taking the mysterious seventeenth-century journal she stole from the college’s archives with her.

Broken physically and emotionally, Emma drifts until, fearing for their daughter’s sanity, her parents invite a family friend to assess her. In the course of their conversation, Emma discovers that he spoke to Matthew over thirty years before.

This finally spurs her into action and soon, when she finds what certainly must be a reference to Matthew in the journal, she begins to understand Matthew’s profound secret.

But when Matthew arrives to confess his love for her, she must decide if she can trust him—and he must decide if he can share his extraordinary secret with her. Drawn by a deep connection that both feel but don’t quite understand they find they must set aside their doubts and trust each other.

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cfdunnC. F. Dunn runs a school in North Kent for children with developmental disabilities, dyslexia, and other difficulties.

My Impressions:

C. F. Dunn has created a world in which the past meets the present, where the unexplained intersects with the ordinary.  Death Be Not Proud is the second book in the Secret of The Journal series and begins where book 1, Mortal Fire, ends.  As such you really should read book 1 first. That will save you a lot of time and confusion!

Emma D’Eresby has returned to England with her parents following the vicious attack by a colleague. But that’s not really causing Emma’s slide into depression. The severing of her relationship with the very mysterious Dr. Matthew Lynes has left her confused, guilty and desperate. Her parents, while well-meaning, do not have a clue as to how to help her. It is her determination to find the truth surrounding the Lynes family that leads Emma to healing and a point of no return.

Mortal Fire ended with lots of questions, and while Death Be Not Proud went a long way in answering them, it became a typical second book in a series. A bridge of sorts, it filled in background, but not a lot of action or furthering of the story took place. I found myself skimming to get on with the story. It wasn’t until the reappearance of Matthew that my interest was piqued. A lot of time was spent developing Emma’s family relationships and did help explain her character, but I really wanted to get on with the story.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, let me tell you why I like this series. It is a supernatural story that is not filled with vampires, demons or zombies! Matthew’s otherworldly abilities have a beginning much more mysterious. I am hoping that book 3 will examine the source of this mystery. The book combines history with a present day mystery — something I love. And Emma, although a Christian, struggles with matters of faith and trust. The faith message is subtle, not preachy. The novel is also not predictable. The characters often act and react in ways I did not expect.

So if you like a supernatural, historical, romantic mystery that combines all of these elements well and you don’t mind starting at the beginning, and being patient with a story, then pick up Mortal Fire and Death Be Not Proud. Hopefully, book 3 will be on its way in short order!

Recommended, but read book 1 first.

(Thanks to Kregel for a copy of this book. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase a copy of the books in this series, click on the images below.

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