Wolff understands Highlanders and their intricate history. She uses this knowledge to great advantage but she allows her characters to flounder far too much in the past, continually bemoaning loss and rarely becoming the strong men and women she usually creates.
After the Scots’ loss in the Civil Wars the MacAlpin clan returns to their home at Dunnochen Castle. Dark secrets and the abduction of his twin brother years ago are tearing Cormac MacAlpin apart. Only Marjorie Keith shares his secret and his pain.
Marjorie and the MacAlpin boys were playing together the day Aiden was snatched off the streets of Aberdeen. Since then she has devoted herself to caring for the city’s poor. Now, another child has been kidnapped and only Cormac can help rescue him. Wallowing in self-pity, Cormac initially refuses Marjorie’s pleas, but eventually relents and they embark on a journey to uncover the truth behind the disappearances. Yet the gravest danger comes from opening old wounds and rekindling the love they once had. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Aug., 352 pp., $7.99)