Drawn Into Darkness

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Drawn Into Darkness

A Soul Gatherer Novel, Book 1

In this world there are three planes: heaven, hell and earth. Heaven is ruled by God, hell by the devil and earth has death. To help each ruler there are archangels (heaven), demons (hell) and Soul Gatherers (earth). We pretty much know what archangels and demons do but Soul Gatherers? A Soul Gatherer arrives at a newly dead person to gather their soul. They then wait for a representative of heaven or hell to meet them to escort the soul to its respective destiny. Demons are known to try to steal souls bound for heaven so Soul Gatherers have to be warriors to protect the souls in their custody. Soul Gatherers are those who aren’t bad enough for hell but not good enough for heaven. Lachlan MacGregor has been a Soul Gatherer for centuries.
Lachlan was a minor landholder in Scotland 400 years ago. He now serves white haired, blue eyed, sexy death. His current assignment is to watch over 14 year old, Emily. He’s not sure why death has such an interest in her but he has no choice. It doesn’t help that Emily’s mother, Rachel is the first woman that Lachlan has desired since he became a Soul Gatherer. The easiest way to keep an eye on Emily is to get close to Rachel but can Lachlan take that chance.
Rachel is a single mother. Her ex doesn’t have much to do with Emily, forgets to send child support and generally isn’t in their lives. Rachel works full time where they believe no one has anything to do more important than work. They just don’t understand why Rachel has to leave to take care of things with Emily.
Emily is a wild child. She sneaks out the window during the night. Her new boyfriend is in his 20s and rides a motorcycle. Rachel doesn’t know what to do as Emily spirals out of control. Perhaps the priest that lives upstairs can help, Father Lachlan MacGregor.
Fantastic new book by a great new author. I loved it and it kept me glued to the story from beginning to end.
The world that is set up is complex and well developed. The basics are quickly laid out and throughout the book the basic structure is filled in with details. By the end, you have a pretty good idea as to what each plane can do and what powers Soul Gatherers can draw on as well as some of the demons.
The characters were complex and multifaceted. Rachel wasn’t just a single mother. She had a career with work issues.   She had an ex with problems. She had a wild child. She was, like many mothers are, stressed and ready to pull her hair out. She also was drawn to a priest and was pretty sure she was headed to hell, not his bed. Lachlan’s past dictated his present. As we learn about his present, things from his past are made known. Lachlan has his good points and his bad making him as human as the rest of us though he lives a lot longer!
Because this book is more than just the romance between Rachel and Lachlan, there are intriguing secondary characters, a mystery to be solved and most importantly Emily being Emily. The biggest question of the book is why is death watching Emily? What purpose does it serve? And when death marks her, how can Lachlan tell Rachel?
At points this story almost feels a bit preachy but the action picks up quickly making it a minor bump and not a mountain. 
The front of the book says that this is “A Soul Gatherer Novel”. This leads me to believe that we can expect more books in located in this realm. While I can see the possibilities and I’m willing to keep an open mind on the next books, I am cautious about getting too exited. This book had a unique feel that I’m not sure can be replicated. Still, if Ms McCleave can pull it off she’s going to a favorite of many new fans.
I don’t think I can do this book justice, I run out of good adjectives. Fantastic, unique, spell binding, riveting could be a few that I could easily use. Excellent story.

Book Blurb for Drawn Into Darkness

A captivating tale of angels and demons, and of a man and woman as inexorably bound by passion as they are by the evil destined to destroy it...

For centuries Lachlan MacGregor has battled demon thieves for the souls of the dead, carrying out his pledge to deliver them into Heaven or Hell. But his greatest challenge as a Soul Gatherer is now among the living.

Struggling to connect with her troubled teenage daughter Emily, artist Rachel Lewis turns to her enigmatic yet strangely compelling neighbor Lachlan for advice. As Lachlan soon discovers, the young girl has fallen victim to a seductive demon—a specter from the past using the unsuspecting women to fulfill an ancient prophesy and settle a hellish score with Lachlan himself.

In the race to save Emily and avert a disastrous power shift among the deities, Rachel and Lachlan forge an uncommon bond. But how can Lachlan tell the mortal woman he’s falling in love with that the next soul he’s been enlisted to gather—and deliver beyond—is her daughter’s?

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2009 5.00