Saturday, 15 March 2014
Shadows of the Past
While she’s stalking the truth…
Someone is stalking her.
Psychology professor and criminal profiler Taylor Martin prides herself on being able to solve any crime, except the one she wants most desperately to solve—the disappearance of her father twenty years ago. When she finally has a lead on his whereabouts, Taylor returns home to Logan Point, Mississippi, to investigate. But as she works to uncover the truth, someone else will do almost anything to keep her from it.
Nick Sinclair pens mystery novels for a living, but the biggest mystery to him is how he can ever get over the death of his wife—a tragedy he believes he could have prevented. Now that his estranged brother is the only family he has left, Nick sets out to find him. But when he crosses paths with Taylor, all he seems to find is trouble.
Join the chase as Taylor and Nick search the murky shadows of the past for the keys to unlocking the present—and moving into a future they never imagined.
There are certain elements that I feel are needed in order to make a great mystery. Of course, these elements are very subjective depending on the reader. As I’m reading a novel, I mentally check off each thing in my mind (if it is there). One of the first things I look for is the plot, for invariably, without the plot, the book dies a quick death. For a mystery in particular, the plot has to be twisty, one that keeps you guessing, and leaves you completely surprised in the end.
The next thing I look for is the suspense factor – the kind that leaves you staying up waaaay past bedtime in order to “finish the next chapter” because you just can’t put the book down and leave all these darned questions unanswered!
Finally, the characters – do they move the story along, are they likeable, are they unique (no generic, two-dimensional ones, please!), and do I feel invested in their lives (i.e. am I cheering for them?).
For Shadows of the Past, I felt that it had wonderful characters. I loved the aspects of Taylor’s job, and it made me feel like I was in the middle of a Criminal Minds episode. Nick was the perfect guy – strong, loyal. However, the traumatic experience he endured with the death of his wife made my heart break for him. And as this is a little bit of a romance novel, I have to comment that the chemistry between Nick and Taylor was, while tumultuous at first, became very sweet.
As far as the suspense, it had several dramatic and dangerous situations that amped up the story, but I felt there could have been more surprises and unexpected scenarios. With the story, it was an excellent plot, but I found that there were too many clues scattered through the pages in that I had a pretty good suspicion of the guilty party before the big reveal, so that was a bit of a disappointment.
In all, while it wasn’t the best mystery I’ve ever read, I found Shadows of the Past to be a solid novel, and I will be interested in reading book 2 in the “Logan Point” series. Crossing my fingers that it’s about Taylor’s best friend, Livy!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.