Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Marker by Diana Savastano Added to Personal Favorite for 2017

Winslow Homer's Famous 1862 Drawing of a Civil War Surgeon at Work in the Field
I loved this book! The concept and follow through of the storyline of this book was fascinating and I read it in one day, finishing about midnight...If you enjoy paranormal/ supernatural fiction, with a historical slant into the Civil War period, this one is highly recommended!

May 1863: Port Gibson, Mississipi

Early morning sun struggled to diffuse the heavy fog that blanketed a peace valley where battle-wear Confederate soldiers rested in makeshift tents.
As the first rays of sunlight penetrated the ghostly haze, a sea of blue advanced with lightning speed on horseback and on foot. A ragged Union flag flapped briskly as the blue-clad ranks moved swiftly and brutally firing torrents of artillery into the enemy's camp. The earth trembled, and disoriented Confederate troops desperately scrambled for their weapons.
When the sound of gunfire awakened Dr. Bradley Taylor, he instinctively grabbed his medical gear and ran from his tent. With no concern for his own safety, he tended to both blue and gray troops, remaining faithful to the sacred oath he took when he became a physician.
Moving from one soldier to another, he doctored wounds until a single-bullet found its intended mark. A searing pain ripped through his back as he slumped to the ground, writhing in agony...

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." --Daniel 12:2

A sharp pain in his stomach caused him to press his hands against his belt buckle. His swollen fingers followed the outline of two raised metal initials. Panic swept over him when he realized this was a Union buckle. He pulled at it, but it wouldn't break free from his belt...

They had found him four years later and buried him as an unknown soldier. Someone had placed a belt buckle for US and a union soldier uniform...He was buried in the cemetery for the Union... 

Dr. Bradley Taylor had lost his identity in death, he was buried without anybody knowing he was even dead. His family would have never known what happened to him. Buried, but not at rest in this place...He could not move on. What of his beloved wife and son? Decades went by but nobody searched for him. Why would they? He had fought for the Confederate, and as a doctor who served anybody who needed his medical training. 

He didn't deserve being murdered, betrayed... He would wait...

Readers learn of Dr. Taylor in the Prologue, while the book itself begins in the Present Day in New York City. Jennifer Beasley, the primary writer for a major magazine is begging her boss to give her some very much needed time off...

Jennifer has recognized the signs of stress of overwork and, this time, she's not going to let her boss prevent her from taking time off... She almost succeeds, but another writer who had an assignment has suddenly disappeared without explanation. Jennifer compromises and agrees with an immediate two-week vacation upon return. She discovers that Jake, the photographer, a friend, but also an admirer who has been pushing for more would be going. Jack just adds more to the stress, but they do have a good trip which included a little shopping for a gift for her father, a Civil War, enthusiastic collector. Before she leaves, she is able to purchase a Grave Marker, from an unknown soldier in a Civil War Union Cemetery.

But after she bought it, she worried about the appropriateness of giving a grave marker to her father...Before she had decided, though, Jennifer began to hear a voice...A voice that claimed the marker was his, from his grave... He asked for her help!

The man kept asking for help and with her unexpected assignment now done, she proceeds to plan time off, even as her boss tried to keep her there...The man was telling her to go Jto Natchez. Jennifer knew she was meant to go! 

And there the search began, using her research skills as well as trusted people who agreed to help along her way, she began to put the puzzle together, searching historical documents, personal letters, old Bibles, diaries as well as present records of where people were based upon name changes, and more...

But that's just saying what was happening to find the answers. Surrounding the work,  we get to know the people who were living during the Civil War. We learn that Rebecca, Bradley Taylor's wife, married again and how badly that turned out for her, for one thing... Interestingly, Dr. Taylor appeared to Jennifer once near the grave upon her arrival, but then never again. She had agreed to help and proceeded into an amazing adventure that she knew she would not stop for any reason...

Supernatural, yes Indeed! But consider the last part of the scripture given, "...some to shame and everlasting contempt..." While Dr. Taylor could not rest, neither could those who had done that in the present day, how the former generations lived, so it affected those individuals in their present lives... You know, close to another scripture that talks about the sins of the father being visited on the son... 

All Dr. Taylor wanted was to rest in peace with the rest of his family...but...what happens in the lives of Jennifer and those helping solve the "cold case" includes healing, love and marriage. There was only one clue that suggested me that Dr. Taylor had been reincarnated... Let me know if you think I read right! Nevertheless, a wonderfully written page-turner that pulls you into a cold murder case like no other... After all, the victim sought help in solving the crime! Highly recommended!


Diana began her writing career as a columnist and feature writer. She later became a food journalist and editor. In 1992, she established her own company, publishing two print magazines (The COLLECTOR Newsmagazine and Gourmet Fare). In addition, Diana was the creator and host of Cooking with Grandma. Her first book, ON THE BREATH OF ANGELS, was released in April 2008. WINDS OF POOD series (Under the Puddle and In the Blizzard) are her first middle-grade novels, followed by The Upside Down Inside Out Life of Maureen Kiernan (Book 1: The Magic Cello), The Princess Who Loved to Swim, and THE MARKER. In addition to writing books, she is working with veteran entertainment advisors penning multiple script projects to bring
 her book characters to life on screen. 

Visit Diana at

No comments:

Post a Comment