Each Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first part of a book that she is reading or thinking about reading. This week I'm sharing the first few paragraphs of Search the Shadows by Barbara Michaels. In honor of my 'Gothic Reading' quest and also in honor of the fact that I try to reread at least one or two Michaels/Peters books each year, this is one of my favorites. See what you think:
Nineteen sixty-five wasn't the worst of years in which to be born, but it certainly wasn't the best. It was, among other things, the year of Selma and of Watts. Martin Luther King went to Alabama that year; they met him with tear gas and with dogs. In Chicago they met him with night sticks. But the Voting Rights Act became law in 1965. You have to call that a plus.
It was the year of the 'Great Society,' which would eliminate poverty in America. An A-plus idea--if it had only worked. On a lighter level, the Rolling Stones hit it big with a song called 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction,' and Simon and Garfunkel swept the charts with 'The Sounds of Silence.' Diet Pepsi was introduced to the lucky American public; and in December, the month of my birth, Mary Quant unveiled the miniskirt.
On the minus side, there was that little far-off police action in Vietnam. By the end of 1965, U.S. planes had begun the bombing of the north, and there were over 400,000 American troops fighting, bleeding, and dying in actions that were never called a war. One of the ones who died was a boy named Kevin Maloney. For over twenty years I thought he was my father.
Haskell Maloney was cruelly orphaned when she was just a baby. Now, twenty-two years later, she receives confirmation of the bitter truth she always suspected: the fallen war hero whose name she shares was not her father. Her quest for answers—and a personal history—brings Haskell to the famed Oriental Institute in Chicago, a city in which her mother lived and thrived before her strange, untimely death. But by rummaging around in the darkness, Haskell's exposing much more than she bargained for. And now she's racing against the clock to discover who she really is . . . and why someone is suddenly determined to kill her.
Barbara Michaels (aka Elizabeth Peters, aka - real name Barbara Mertz) was a graduate of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute with a doctorate in Egyptology when she was 23. This book has all the components of my definition of 'gothic', plus it has some great Chicago info. I love rereading it!