maandag 9 april 2012

Ann Maxwell – The secret sisters

A stand alone novel, published in May 1993. Perhaps you know this author better under the name of Elizabeth Lowell, one of my favourite authors.

The secret sisters

The Search For Her Sister Could Cost A Woman Her Life.
Christy McKenna, the smartest fashion writer in New York, thought she'd escaped her childhood in the impoverished rural West. Then came a call for help from the one person she could not refuse--her sister, the internationally celebrated model known only as Jo.
Jo's plea draws Christy back to the magnificent mountains and mysterious red-rock canyons of the Four Corners country. But she's too late--Jo has disappeared. However, Christy does find an unlikely ally in outlaw archaeologist Aaron Cain, and together they pursue Jo and a fabulous cache of ancient Indian artifacts worth millions.
Christy and Cain clash at every turn, but their antagonism soon turns into partnership--and blazing passion.

While reading this book it soon became clear that I have read this book before, but it certainly made no difference in my enjoyment. Ann Maxwell has written a very captivating book, with lots of interesting knowledge about the ancient Anasazi Indians. Fast paced and filled with adventure.

Christy hasn’t heard from her famous sister Jojo in 12 years. So when she is suddenly leaving messages for Christy to call her, she has to be in trouble. And as the eldest sister, it will be up to Christie again to safe her. Jojo is a user, she is gorgeous, and she thinks she is enabled to what ever she wants. But Christie still believes that there is some good in Jojo, and after all, she is her sister. Jojo is the exclusive model of designer Peter Hutton, but lately his designs are not that good and new anymore. But even her new boss wants her to go to Colorado, where Peter Hutton has acquired a ranch, and where his new spring line will be on show. Christy can’t believe her sister went to the west, they both desperately wanted to escape the poverty from back home and come to the big city. And so Christy has no choice, especially not if her sister promises her the necklace she stole from their grandmother when she ran away. But when Christy arrives at Xanadu, the heavily guarded ranch-without-cattle, Jo has disappeared, and no one seems to know where she is.
Peter Hutton is very proud of the Anasazi artefacts discovered on his land, and it truly is breathtaking. His new line is clearly inspired by it. But Christie is not interested in the fashion, she wants to find her sister, and sets out into the big house to find her. Instead, she finds a burglar, and what happens to him when security finds him. She can barely escape being captured herself, only the quick and silent intervention of a stranger keeps her safe. But Jojo has warned Christy against Aaron Caine, and so she dares not confide in him. He really loathes her sister and has nothing but disgust for her. Christy really doesn’t want to believe everything she hears about her sister, but when the evidence is piling up, she has no choice.

Caine tells her that Jojo used him, she betrayed his trust and stole some of his own Anasazi treasures (he is a freelance archaeologist) and finally she set him up to be murdered. He was lucky to have survived being shot with a rifle a few months ago. But who is going to believe an ex-con anyway? The local law is certainly not interested in solving the case, the sheriff and his deputies are busy guarding Hutton.

Caine takes Christy and his big dog Moki with him to a place called the Secret Sisters, an Anasazi landmark. He is certain there should be ruins near, and proof of who shot him there. It is Christie who finds a clue, an ancient drawing of Kokopelli, and Anasazi deity, pointing to some cliffs. And inside those cliffs they find very well preserved kiva’s. Only they are too late, everything has been looted or destroyed. No telling what has been taken and no way to rescue anything for archaeological research. Before they can leave, they are attacked.

Lots of action and suspense from here on, and I won’t spoil anything for you. You’ll just have to find a copy of the book, and read it yourself.

I liked Christy very much. Even though she wanted to keep believing in her little sister, she had to face the truth. But throughout the book, she is a very strong character, she doesn’t hesitate in the face of danger, or gets week. She stays strong, does what needs to be done, and really doesn’t take any orders from Caine. Where he goes, she will go. She is never afraid of Caine, and even defends him against himself. He is not a murderer, killing Johnnie happened in self-defence, and she will tell the sheriff that as well! If she ever gets the chance before they are killed. So many bad guys to escape, so little time to find out the truth, and to find her sister.
Caine sure is some hero. He wants to keep Christy safe, but Christy refuses to stay behind. He believes himself to be a bad guy, after all he accidentally killed someone in a bar fight when he was 19, and spent two years in prison for that. But he is also self educated, and is a bonafide archaeologist. He totally hates and loathes Jo, but he soon enough finds out that Christy is not her sister, and she is not just using him. And I really loved his dog Moki.

A fast paced story, with lots of information about the Anasazi and their lives and art. Very interesting. I really liked it. Ann Maxwell has a very captivating and easy writing style, before you know it, you are halfway through the book.

7 stars.

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7 opmerkingen:

  1. Maybe it's because I have a lot of sisters, but I love stories about sisters. I know from personal experience how strong you have to stay, even while watching your siblings make mistakes they can't avoid.

    The storyline here sounds like it has a lot of interesting twists. Glad you liked it.

  2. I love stories about sisters! Seriously and I think I have read this one---way back when. I will have to dig through my old books to see :)

    Yeah for the oldies but goodies!

  3. I like Elizabeth Lowell a lot, but I have never read anything she wrote under the name Ann Maxwell. I love books about siblings, so if I come across this book I will buy it!

  4. @Missie: it is a really good book.
    @Felicia: Great that you might have read it :)
    @Mirjam: be careful if you want to buy something, as some of the books have been re-published under the name of Elizabeth Lowell only. See fantasticfiction for that.

  5. I just got stuck on kokopelli cos that word sure sounds Finnish, well they are Finnish words. Cool

  6. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. What sold me was the Anasazi angle! Yep, I do need to add this one to the wishlist!

  7. @Blodeuedd: what does it mean in Finnish?
    @Melissa: you realize this one is probably out of print, and you need to find a secondhand copy?
    But it has been re-issued directly under the name of Elizabeth Lowell a few years ago.
    @Missie: forgot to mention: don't expect great sisterly love in this one!