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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
The Fourth Descendant is a historical mystery by Allison Maruska. A Richmond historian contacts Sharon, Jonah, Damien and Michelle with incredible news that changes their lives forever. An old letter found in a historic courthouse links these strangers. The letter states that keys entrusted to the families by their ancestors over a century ago will unlock a hidden safe in the courthouse. The perplexed descendants travel to Richmond and open the safe. They find a map and a mason jar filled with a white powdery substance. The unexpected contents and baffling revelations surrounding their ancestry raise more shocking questions than giving answers about their relatives who went missing from their families. Another historian steals the jar and kidnaps Sharon, who makes a deadly decision to keep the jar and its powerful contents hidden from her captor and the other descendants.
Allison Maruska has taken me on an amazing historical adventure in The Fourth Descendant. The blurb drew my interest but still did not prepare me for some parts with very ingenious twists. The story is even more fascinating because the author has expertly written a novel in a way that put me at ease with a well-defined plot and interesting characters. The main characters have personal problems they struggle with and this new development allows them to consider making serious decisions that could bring adverse changes into their lives and those of the people they love. The Fourth Descendant by Allison Maruska is an intriguing historical fiction that is also touching when characters reminisce about the past.