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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Black Harvest is the first book in Kate Porter's Black Harvest Trilogy. Rose Bradigan's husband, Ben, agreed to a plea bargain that gave him a prison term of life without a chance of parole. At his request, Rose initiated divorce proceedings against him; a move that turned her teenage daughter, Lily, against her. Two years later, Lily's still convinced that her father is innocent of the charges leveled against him, and she believes her mother abandoned him when he needed her. Rose hasn't wanted to tell Lily that Ben felt that the divorce was the best way to protect his wife and daughter from his enemies. When Lily is brought back by policemen after being found at a late-night party, Rose and her ex-husband decide that she and Lily should go on a trip and try to bridge their differences. As they head down to Disney World, the unthinkable happens. Rose is found stumbling along a road in South Carolina by a county sheriff, and she has no idea what happened to her.
Kate Porter's novel, Black Harvest, is an exciting and well-plotted story that is both a police procedural and a romance. I enjoyed following Sheriff Lucas Manning's investigation into the disappearance of Lily and watching how he attempts, rather unsuccessfully, to keep a professional detachment about the case. There's also a psychological thriller element to Black Harvest as Rose has to reconcile her feelings for both Ben, the ex-husband, and Lucas, the man who's promised to find her daughter, while trying to regain her memory. Porter's characters are fully developed and quickly seem like real people. Her story-line is marvelous and reads like a first-rate mystery while including enough romance to satisfy fans of romantic suspense novels. Black Harvest is fast-paced and entertaining, and it's highly recommended.