Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Review: 'Banished Threads' by Kaylin McFarren

Oregon author Kaylin McFarren has seen and experienced the world in preparation for her successful writing career. Born in California, relocating with her family to Washington, and now nesting with her husband in Oregon, she has virtually been around the world. She has served as the director of a fine art gallery, providing not only curatorial kudos but also assisting in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists, and in writing she has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest. Kaylin received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, and in her free time, she is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation - a non-profit she and her husband founded and continue to support. Having coped with tragedy this Romance/Adventure author believes ‘good things can grow out of the worst times in our lives if you just take the time to open your heart.’

Kaylin understands the marriage of thriller and romance combinations and the importance of leaving little clues along the way of her story that foretell secrets, subtly, in the Prologue: The watcher smiled and was about to leave when a tiny fraction of light picked up something on the ground. Careful inspection confirmed it was a gold hoop earring, plucked from its owner— a marvelous souvenir to add to the prized, growing collection. After the watcher slipped it into a pocket in the yellow-hooded slicker and removed the binoculars, a pleasant thought came to mind. Since it had become a moral right and obligation to dispose of the unworthy and undeserving in the Cumberforge Manor, it wouldn’t be long before Gwen’s lover would be joining her and the rest of the disloyal moneygrubbing fools who had been personally escorted to the bowels of hell.’ Notice, no mention of our main characters but the clues have been assigned…

Kaylin, as usual, offers her own synopsis of her thriller – ‘A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members. While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves’s paintings are stolen from her uncle’s popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife’s missing granddaughter. Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty’s name and, in the process, win Paul’s favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel’s uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother’s death and the deaths of Sara’s former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect. With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle’s freedom not only endangers Rachel’s life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?’

And of course we know that by the end of this rather complex tale the author’s ending question will be answered. Kaylin succeeds in making us part of the intrigue, if only from our armchair. A terrific read. Grady Harp, April 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.