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Catherine M Johnson

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Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace
by Catherine M Johnson   

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Publisher:  iUniverse Type: 


Copyright:  November 2007 ISBN-13:  9780595460328

Inspired by a true story, Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace is the compelling strugle between good and evil, and the violent undercurrent running beneath the illusory serenity of a close-knit Midwestern family.

Catherine Johnson Novels

 Inspired by a true story, Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace is the compelling saga of the Pierson family whose wealth and prominence cannot stay the depth of evil in their midst. When handsome Paul Pierson takes a beautiful bride, the family rejoices that he has finally recovered from the tragic death of his beloved first wife. But while Paul’s family longs for his happiness, they are soon expressing concern about the true intent of his new wife.

A classic story of good versus evil, Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace explores the universal themes raised by human conduct and moral responsibility. It is the compelling and intense drama of a sister and her brothers, of husbands and wives, of parents and their children faced with the darkest of malice, and the anguished choices even the most morally grounded of individuals confront.


"Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace" explores the tightrope families' walk when one of their own is constantly under attack, and they're asked to retreat. An engrossing drama of frustration, human conduct, and murder."
Robin Van Auken, author of Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball

Professional Reviews

Absolutely riveting!
Wow! What a great read! I sat down Sunday afternoon with a copy of Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace and thought I'd read a few minutes before I did some chores. Forget that. Hours later, the sky was dark when I put it down because I had read the entire novel. Couldn't put it down. As a novelist myself, I was genuinely impressed with the quality of this author's debut novel.The characters were human and real ~ even the villains; the story was compelling; and the outcome was a stunner yet so skillfully foreshadowed that it was totally believable. Will I buy Catherine Johnson's next book? You bet. I'm already waiting for it.

Prudy Taylor Board, author of A Grave Injustice and Murder a la Carte

Review of Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace
What happens when you take a wealthy Minnesota family running a successful business and inject a truly wicked influence? Potential disaster is the simple answer.

Shades Of Darkness – Shades Of Grace is inspired by a true story, although I am pretty certain that Catherine Johnson would not want to elaborate on the source. If this is based on reality, and I am convinced it is, it goes to show that fact is indeed often stranger than fiction. We do indeed live in a strange and deranged world.

This is Catherine’s first adventure into the world on Novel writing, although she is no beginner in the writing world, having worked for many years in the corporate communications world.

Shades Of Darkness is a very fine book, and it explores an all too common theme, marriage, family, divorce, and the fallout that results.

The Pierson’s seem an idyllic family, Mom, Dad, and their grown up children Kay, Paul, and Peter have a successful family run Real Estate business. But happiness is often an emotion displayed on the outside, rather than the inside. And when Paul’s wife dies unexpectedly the family watches with great concern as Paul retreats into himself.

About a year later, there is a glimmer of hope, Paul meets a new partner, someone who seems to inject the old vibrancy into him. It is with happiness and great expectations that the family heralds the marriage between Paul Pierson and Pamela Schaeffer. But is Pamela the young and vibrant bride, or does she have darker motives. There are cracks in her facade that cause some of the family members to worry. And before long the evidence is overwhelming that Pamela is not what she seems.

Infidelity is a label that she wears with pride, and rather than appear the ‘guilty party’ in the ensuing divorce proceedings, opts to go on the attack. This is attack with vengeance. No one is safe from her, least of all Paul.

This is a fascinating book, and very cleverly written, it creeps up on you. I have known several people that have lived through acrimonious divorces, and they are never a pretty sight. Written from sister Kay’s perspective we get a ringside seat of the drama unfolding. Catherine Johnson has done a fabulous job of capturing the tension and intrigue, and also the fallout that effects not only the named parties, but their family and friends.

I once made the huge error of not completely reading a book before I interviewed an author. My rational was that there was only one chapter left, and I could ‘wing it’ and read the final chapter later. Of course I asked a question, and the author replied, “Oh I thought I covered that quite well in the final chapter”. Did I feel stupid! It is something I have never done again. Shades Of Darkness – Shades Of Grace is one book that keeps it’s secrets to the very last page. This Scorpion has venom in its tale and tail, and the poison is lethal.

I have to admit that I was really surprised and shocked by the ending.

You can order your own copy of Shades Of Darkness – Shades Of Grace from Amazon, there is also a web site for the book that shares some interesting insights.
Simon Barrett
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