Mystery, murder and magic. Elen Sentier has an unstoppable passion for Celtic legend. This gripping novel is sensuous, fascinating and eerily spiritual.
Vicki wakes out of a dream just as the phone rings. She picks it up and finds her dream was true. The housekeeper tells her that her archaeologist father, Jacob, has been killed, just as she saw in her dream.
She goes home to find out what has happened and old things begin to surface … her father’s obsession with his ancestors; his mistress’ mania to find the grail; Vicki's own lover from the past. And the village is in turmoil because Sylvie, her father’s mistress, has capped the spring and the village is dying for lack of water. Vicki meets Merle again, her ex-lover from whom she ran away, and learns Jacob had found the village’s famous 4000 year-old gold cup that he’d been searching for all his life. This re-awakened Sylvie’s own grail-obsession. She and Jacob fought.
Now the cup has disappeared again, both Vicki and Merle suspect Sylvie of taking it and begin the hunt to find and retrieve it. Events are exacerbated by Vicki’s resumed but still rocky relationship with Merle. And by the shadowy Owl Woman, the spirit-of-place, who has her own agenda. Vicki finds herself becoming this spirit.
The Owl Woman is wanting to settle old scores.
Vicki was dreaming, she realised. One of those terrible ones where you’re out of control, can’t stop, no way out, nothing you can do. She was flying over the tree-tops, darkness rushing below, moonlight blinding her. Then it all came into focus and she found herself hovering above the tower … as a barn owl.
A man stood below her on the edge of the waterfall, something golden in his hands. He held it up to the light. The cup!
No! He mustn’t do that! She tried to call out, stop him, but only the screech of the owl came out, right over his head.
He ducked, startled, let go the cup, slipped on the wet stone and fell. She watched him plummet down the fifty foot waterfall and strike the surface of the pool. At that speed the water was like solid concrete. His body plunged on down to the bottom, smashing his head open on the rocks. Slowly, he floated to the surface again, pinwheeling like one of Van Gogh’s crazy stars, a trail of smoky blood leaking into the water to form a dark halo round what was left of his head.
She hovered over him, helpless.
Something bright glimmered in the water near him. He turned, finger pointing. The cup? How the hell was it floating? She strained to speak to him, but the owl had no words.
His eyes caught hers. He could see her, she realised, stunned. Somehow he wasn’t dead yet. He tried to turn, reach for the cup but it slipped away from his fingers and sank down into the water. He looked at Vicki desperately, his lips moving.
‘Remember!’ he seemed to be saying. ‘Remember!’ But no sound came out.
Suddenly, everything went hazy. Now, when she wanted to stay in the dream, stay with him, it was falling apart. She felt herself sucked backwards into a long, dark tunnel towards a bright point of light at its end. Feeling left her body as consciousness slipped away into the mist.