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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The second book in the Alladale Series by Linda Heavner Gerald, Castles in the Fog follows the story of Malcolm Dargie and his bride-to-be, Molly. After surviving the evil machinations of two men, Malcolm and Molly hope to finish what their late best friend, Thomas Reid, has started. Now that Thomas’s widow Caroline has sold the beloved lodge and moved back to Charleston, it’s up to Malcolm and Molly to make things happen. But what appears to be a blissful new start is afflicted with a new nightmare, as the couple discovers more about the scheming of the madmen that almost killed them. On top of that, Molly suffers from a severe psychiatric disorder. Malcolm loves Molly so much. He would give his life to save her and protect her from any more pain—pain from the two madmen and from the harassment of the villagers.
Castles in the Fog sustains the growing intensity of the Alladale Series. Linda Heavner Gerald has a powerful narrative that illustrates a world that has gone wrong. She has successfully made a brilliant attempt to place her characters into a plot with a serene setting yet seething with intolerable tension. As mental illness gnaws at Molly, every moment she spends with Malcolm is saturated with a sense of deteriorating hope, yet ever-loving Malcolm continues to act as if everything he and Molly are doing still has relevance. This is character resilience at its best. Heavner Gerald has created a powerful domestic drama depicting a couple with a defiant streak. If I were to recommend a story about melancholy and hope, Castles in the Fog would be my first choice.