Genny Austin canít sleep. She has good reason for insomnia --her husband was killed in front of their house two years ago. But she is beginning to doubt the vivid nightmares she is having has anything to do with her husbandís murder, even though all the experts she goes to for help assure her that is the problem. In the meantime she takes long walks on the beach at night and hangs out at all-night restaurants to try to cope with her sleeplessness and her fears. On one of her late night walks she meets up with some would-be rapists. She also meets a rescuer named Jack Brennan.
She is a librarian. He lives and works on his debt-ridden ship. They donít have anything in common but a fairly instant attraction. While both of them are figuring the situation is all wrong for anything to develop, they continue seeing each other. And, as they do, Gennyís dreams get more frightening, more intense, and more violent. She is beginning to realize she is seeing things through the eyes of a sadistic woman who lived in Africa many, many years ago. What she canít figure out is why.
With the help of Jackís friend, Charley, and her own research, Genny begins to look into when and where the horrible things she is seeing in her dreams may have occurred. She begins to realize she is dreaming of an actual place and actual events. At the same time her sexual bonds with Jack tighten - - and he feels a little choked. He is interested in Genny and annoyed by his interest. She knows that and she braces herself for what she is sure will be his eventual abandonment of her.
The two stories - - Gennyís dreams of what happened over a hundred years ago and her efforts to stop them and the story of Genny and Jackís involvement, which begins to also include a search for her husbandís business partnerís sunken cargo - - parallel each other although not in an exact way. Both include danger and death or the potential for death. Uncovering the mysteries in both arenít easy. Voodoo, evil, betrayal, and reincarnation are entwined in both.
The present day story is the more compelling one, although the dreams, which gradually come to Genny when she is awake as well as asleep, take up a good bit of the story and have a lot of interesting elements in it. However, the dreams never seem as vivid as the relationship between Jack and Genny, even when there is plenty of fascinating stuff in the dreams. That is a weakness in the story, but it isnít a terrible one.
You do feel for Genny and her exhausted despair as she tries desperately to free herself from the grip of the nightmarish visions she is having. And the writer is plausible as she chronicles what is going on and why. I could believe the dreams are happening and the reasons given for them, even though Iím not necessarily a believer in reincarnation.
Iíd take this book along for a good read while on vacation - - but watch out if you are in Jamaica, since that is where Genny finds out the source of her nightmares!