When an American woman reunites with her estranged brother in Germany, she will have to face down Death himself in Sharon Kae Reamer's "Primary Fault"
COLOGNE, Germany – In “Primary Fault” (ISBN 1475123094), Sharon Kae Reamer combines fantasy and suspense in a high-intensity tale that pits the real world of science against local political intrigue intersected with the Celto-Germanic Otherworld. The novel follows seismologist Caitlin Schwarzbach as she leaves small-town Texas for good to reunite with Gus, her estranged brother in Cologne, Germany.
However, the siblings’ reunion is ill-fated from the start. Upon her arrival, a man who looks like her brother attempts to kidnap her by dragging her through a wall of glass. She escapes, but the incident is only the beginning of a strange series of supernatural events. At a university reception, she is introduced to Hagen von der Lahn, an aristocrat and blindingly attractive man who lends his amateur archeology skills to a research project planned by Gus. Slated to join her brother on the project, Caitlin's inquiries are interrupted when Gus is called away by an earthquake. Once again, Caitlin is the victim of an attempted kidnapping by her brother’s look-alike. This time Hagen intervenes, saving Caitlin and securing her in his castle near the Rhine.
When Gus disappears, Caitlin is stunned when Cologne police announce her brother is wanted for multiple sexual assaults. As Hagen and Caitlin search for her missing brother, their feelings for each other intensify. While following up on a lead, Caitlin is struck in the head by an unknown assailant and ends up in the hospital. Waiting at her bedside is the being she has feared since childhood. It is Death himself. His appearance can mean only one thing: her brother is in mortal danger.
Caitlin and Hagen must cooperate to save Gus, despite Hagen's romantic betrayal. “Primary Fault” is a fast-paced supernatural suspense that narrates the story of one woman’s journey to overcome her fear, mend a broken heart and save her beloved brother's reputation – and his life – before it's too late.
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
"When the back of a book describes the story within as “a delicious fusion of science-meets-magic set amidst a backdrop of Celto-Germanic Otherworld,” I get high hopes. Luckily, Primary Fault vastly exceeded even my wildest expectations.
When Caitlin moves from Texas to Germany to live with her brother Gus, she is looking for a fresh start, for a break from the constant suffering she has experienced the past three years. Unfortunately, relaxation and peace are not in the cards. Her first night in Germany, she is attacked by a man who closely resembles Gus. Shortly thereafter, the police accuse Gus of sexual assault, and he disappears. In order to save her brother’s reputation and both of their lives, Caitlin must find Gus and find a way to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, she also has to deal with a handsome, mysterious stranger, a spectre of Death himself, and a number of unknown, dangerous people who will not leave her alone. Oh, and she keeps unknowingly and uncontrollably slipping into the Otherworld.
Reamer is able to weave the various aspects of the tale together to create one cohesive and thoroughly enjoyable novel. The mythos is unique and interesting. The characters are fully fleshed out and believable. The sense of place is strong, with characters often using German words (with Caitlin translating for both herself and the readers). The twists are surprising and endless, and the writing is impeccable, creating a solid sense of the world while still keeping the focus on the story. I stayed up all night reading this excellent book because I could not – and did not want to – put it down.
Primary Fault is a dark and subtle entry into the fantasy genre. It will grab hold of you with very first sentence, and it will not let go, even after you turn the last page. It will leave you satisfied, curious, fascinated, and in awe. It will make you want to reread it right away, and it will make you eagerly await the sequel. If you like fantasy at all, read this book." ~San Francisco Book Review
"Primary Fault is a winding odyssey that treads the fine line between fantasy and science fiction. Caitlin Schwarzbach is a former Texas resident who has come to Cologne, Germany; but someone or something has followed her across the ocean. An eerie doppelganger of her beloved brother (a well-regarded seismologist) repeatedly tries to kidnap her, and seems to have framed her brother for multiple heinous crimes including sexual assault. The mysterious and attractive Hagen von der Lahn saves her life, and her attraction for him grows, but before she can uncover the whole truth she suffers severe head trauma. When she awakens in a hospital, she has a vision of a menacing figure from her childhood - could it be Death come calling? Echoes of the sinister supernatural pervade Caitlin's world, in this dark and captivating thriller." ~Willis M. Buhle, Midwest Book Review
"The depth of her seismological and geographical knowledge shines through every page and adds credibility to the story details of this very readable, contemporary fantasy thriller.Sharon Kae Reamer looks set to become an addition to the posse of wonderful, inventive women SFF writers coming out of or based in Texas." Excerpt of the review from Martha Hubbard, writing for The Future Fire Reviews