As we continue with book 2 of Jennifer Linforth's engaging Phantom of the Opera series, Erik and Anna are on the run making their way away from Paris traveling on the fringes of vagabond and outcast encampments and not exactly sure which crimes they are wanted for. There had been a murder, which was completely justified and a barn fire but that somehow doesn't seem to warrant their unrelenting pursuit by a mysterious tracker. Along the way they picked up a fellow traveler, an old man with a wry sense of humor who is not afraid of Erik despite all his efforts to shake him off. Pappy becomes a true and loyal friend to the pair and a voice of reason on many occasions.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Erik, he is being blamed for the death of Raoul's brother, Comte Philippe de Chagny, whose body had been found by the lake in the cellars of the Paris Opera House.
Then there is Christine, consumed with love for her Angel of Music and mad with jealousy of Anna. When she could have stepped forward and told the truth of what happened to her when she was kidnapped by Anna's evil father she never did and things have a way of spiraling out of control when one lie leads to another. Now, with Erik blamed for Philippe's death, Raoul sets Loup, a merciless bounty hunter, after them. Surprisingly, Loup could care less about the Phantom, it is Anna he would truly like to hunt down.
Abendlied is a compelling sequel to Madrigal. Ms. Linforth creates a uniquely sadistic villain in Loup. She also breathes life into Leroux's secondary character of the Comte Philippe de Chagny. He becomes a heroic ally for Erik and a moral conscience, very much someone who commands the pages he's given in this story. She has also made some brave choices with where she takes Erik, Anna, Raoul and Christine in their separate and intertwining love stories. READ this NOW and take this journey into the life and mind of our favorite Murderer, Maestro, Magician, Mastermind. Next week I'll continue the series with Rondeau.