It takes a lot of energy to save a soul. – Tempest McTierney
My Aries Secrets, the second book in author Claudia Hoag McGarry’s astrology themed thrillers, finds Tempest McTierney, the protagonist from My Scorpio Soul, released from prison and in the unlikely position of a reluctant “Dear Abby.”
Having herself dealt with a situation where another woman was threatening to destroy her family – in Tempest’s case a stalker infatuated with Tempest’s husband – and taken the matter into her own hands out of desperation, her stint in prison has turned her into something of a cult hero to desperate women with lost souls.
Haven Rodriguez, the latest lost soul to reach out to Tempest, finds her previously idyllic life shattered when her husband, Jerod, goes missing. Making matters worse, his disappearance occurred on the heels of Haven learning that he had been having an affair, and that the company he worked for was being criminally investigated for possibly running a Ponzi scheme.
Now, Haven is torn between the fear of never finding out what happened to him, and anger at the thought he may have run away with his mistress and/or the company’s money. She seeks guidance from Tempest to help her control the homicidal feelings she has toward a female neighbor she’s convinced knows where Jerod is – or actually had something to do with his disappearance.
Where author McGarry’s first book was more of a pure psychological thriller, My Aries Secrets is heavier on the psychological and less so on the thriller aspect. In a series of “exchanges” between Tempest and Haven (letters from Haven, journal entries from Tempest), McGarry explores the gamut of emotions that occur when one finds themselves in the position of having their life torn apart, losing the security of everything they thought they knew to be true, and being confronted with disturbing, almost overwhelming impulses to act violently.
My Aries Secrets is a powerful study of the psychological pain a woman must sort through when deciding how to proceed with a shattered life. Is the comfort of putting the pieces of the familiar back together worth the pain of forgiving a betrayal? The answers aren’t easy, obviously, but McGarry doesn’t shy away from exploring them in depth. McGarry does ramp up the thriller aspect toward the end of the book, however, including a clever – and violent – twist ending that sets the stage for a third book in the series.
You don’t have to have read My Scorpio Soul to appreciate My Aries Secrets, just be aware there are aspects of the first book that are referred to in detail in the latter.