Thursday, April 15, 2021

Audiobook Review: After Dark by Jayne Castle

After Dark

Jayne Castle
Series: Harmony (Book 1)
Narrator: Joyce Bean
Publication: Brilliance Audio (June 1, 2009); Berkley; Reissue edition (September 1, 2000)
Length: 8 hours and 17 minutes; 354 p.

Description: Welcome to Harmony—where the rules are a little different.

Life is tough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed para-archaeologist. Seriously stressed-out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work part-time in Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn’t going well. Stuff keeps happening.

Take the dead body that she discovered in one of the sarcophagus exhibits. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn’t helping matters either. And that’s just today’s list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don’t really heat up until After Dark.

My Thoughts: Para-archaeologist Lydia Smith has had nothing but bad days lately. After losing 48 hours and her memory in an alien tomb, she's lost her university job and is working at Shrimpton's House of Ancient Horrors while trying to start her consulting business.

Her first client is Emmett London who is looking for an ancient Earth artifact called the chest of curiosities. Lydia has her doubts about the provenance of the chest and also about Emmett but a job's a job. Only she doesn't make a good impression on Emmett when the two discover the body of one of Lydia's acquaintances near her office at the museum. Chester Brady had the same psychic talent as Lydia but didn't have the advantage of her education. He was quite a shady character. 

Emmett is keeping a number of secrets about his quest and about himself which are slowly revealed through the story. He's really looking for his nephew who made off with the chest and then disappeared. The nephew isn't the only unexplained disappearance either. 

Chester knew something about the disappearances and about a discovery of very rare artifacts and those who are trying to keep their crimes secret believe that he told Lydia. This puts Lydia in lots of danger and causes Emmett to move in with her to protect her. 

Fuzz is the dust-bunny in this story. He's Lydia's companion and the one who rescued her when she was trapped in the alien ruins. He is very protective of Lydia even though he most often looks like dryer lint and is small enough to ride on her shoulder. He is a big fan of pretzels. 

This is definitely science-fiction-lite but an entertaining paranormal romance. I liked the worldbuilding and the paranormal talents the residents of Harmony are developing. 

Favorite Quote:
She had a feeling that with Emmett, like Fuzz, by the time you saw the teeth it was too late. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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