I have loved Vicki Lane’s Elizabeth Goodweather series from the beginning. I usually love the way she weaves the past with the present and shows how actions resonate from generation to generation and down through the centuries. She has never shied away from the darkest and depravest of crimes though she tends to skirt over the more painfully descript details. In a Dark Season had all of those elements yet somehow it all seemed too much, overwhelming and the tapestry seemed heavy rather than airy, artistic and the perfectly blended story that I’ve come to expect. The book took at least 100 pages to take off and it was a grueling 100 pages, at times I even considered putting the book to the side and trying again later in the fall or winter. The book had too many characters and towards the end they all seemed to jumble together into one giant creature and I found that distinguishing the familial relationships and ties to the past was not only overwhelming me but unimportant to me. There were so many mysteries so many coincidences so many connections that my incredulity was stretched and my logic began questioning not only the motives but the crimes themselves shortly after I closed the book. The plots were so numerous it seemed the book couldn’t possibly end with one installment but somehow it ended and in the end all of the murders, rapes, diseases, false imprisonments, sick children, alcoholism, hate crimes, disappearances, affairs, hidden identities, inheritance questions, relationship questions, blackmail, big business development, police corruption, arsons, paranormal activity and I’m sure more were tied up, solved and completed in a little over 300 pages. The writing was still evocative, beautiful and somewhere within the pages of this book was a great story, actually two or even three great stories. One about past lies and choices that tied into the present and led to bitterness and death and another about losing your family, losing yourself, finding friends and making choices that lead to heartbreak, destruction and death, finally, a story about the loss of small and beautiful open land to developers and the monied class and while all of them were good and well told, heaping and blending one into the other didn’t make for the best read and made this book the one faltering step in an otherwise masterful series.