Past-life memories implicate a contemporary heroine in a baby’s burial a century ago.
Could pretty Helen Williams really be the reincarnation of Annie Evans, a woman who has haunted her since she was a child and “saw” the very Victorian Annie bury a child in a darkened churchyard? When Helen’s godfather sends her to his pal forensic historian Simon Shaw to discover whether Annie really existed, Simon, despite misgivings that Helen must surely be wacky, is soon wading through newspaper clippings, old town maps, and elders’ memories. The evidence leads him and Helen to Annie’s life as the matron in charge of the baby cottage at the Raleigh Christian Orphanage in North Carolina. When two oldsters die and Simon and Helen are trapped in a warehouse storage bin, it seems likely that someone a good deal more contemporary than Annie has dire reasons for keeping secrets—and that the culprit might well be a member of the fancy, upscale Hays family with senatorial aspirations, trust funds at risk, and more.
The mundane wrap-up, which depends on both logic and coincidence, will surely disappoint readers who up till then have been neatly led down the reincarnation path. But fans of Simon (The Fugitive King, 2002, etc.) will enjoy his trademark professorial manner and his uncharacteristically circumspect ruminations on love.