3 out of 4 stars
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Dr. Brooke Kaufmann was awakened by her husband, Police Chief Cliff Kaufmann, to inform her that her parents’ house was on fire. After she had raced to the scene, it slowly became apparent that they did not escape. Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the cause of the fire was arson, and Kent and Sharon Brookfield were murdered. Who killed the doctor and his wife?
Was it Myke, who Dr. Brookfield had helped send to jail after Myke had almost killed his wife, Mattie, in a fit of anger while he was drunk? Upon discovering that he was coming up for parole, Dr. Brookfield wrote a letter and circulated a petition to prevent him from getting out of jail. However, the petition and letters had not been received before Myke was paroled.
Dr. Brookfield was in the process of selling his farm to Edward’s Resort and Amusement Park, so they could develop a theme park on it. This news had enraged several members of the town council. Would they have murdered them, hoping to prevent the land from being sold?
His previously undisclosed illegitimate daughter had just moved to town to go to college and find answers about her background. She had become suspicious that he was her father. Could she have done it?
Or was it someone else entirely? Other than the murderer or murderers, the only one who saw everything that occurred that night was a ghost named Marianne, who wandered around the property.
Written from the third-person point of view, from multiple perspectives, Sparks Fly at Midnight by Christin Hepner is an action-packed, suspenseful book. It is a 262-page crime drama and mystery with some supernatural and romantic components intertwined. The author’s prose is descriptive and easy to understand.
The tale begins in the present day as it jumps right into the story with Brooke receiving a call from her husband that her parents’ home is on fire. The author portrayed Brooke’s emotions so vividly that I could experience the tension, and I felt like crying with her when she couldn’t find her parents. Woven masterfully together, several subplots were used with Dr. Brookfield involved in each of them, with the exception of the history of the ghost. The thrilling suspense continued until the end of the novel, making it difficult to put down. This was my favorite aspect of the book.
The novel alternated between the current day and the past while the stage was set for the murders. Unfortunately, it was sometimes confusing trying to figure out what time frame it was in until a few paragraphs had been read. This could be easily corrected by putting the year at the beginning of each new time frame. This was my least favorite aspect of the book.
All the essential questions were explained during the story; however, there were a few less relevant loose ends that were not fully tied up. Because the book ended with “THE END . . . or is it?” I have to think a sequel is in the works, and those questions will probably be answered.
I discovered nine grammatical and punctuation errors in the story. It could use one more round of editing.
Although I loved this book and desperately wanted to give it four stars, due to the errors and the occasional confusion about the time changes, Sparks Fly at Midnight achieves a rating of three out of four stars. It is definitely too good for two stars. If the aforementioned issues were remedied, which wouldn’t take much, I think it would be deserving of the highest rating. It is enthusiastically recommended to readers who enjoy stories with mystery, suspense, romance, and a dash of supernatural elements. No sex was encountered in the story. However, there were some mild profanities; therefore, it is not recommended for children.
Sparks Fly at Midnight
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