Thursday, December 3, 2020

Review: The Shadows by Alex North

Author: Alex North
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication Date: July 2020

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile--always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet--and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree--and his victim--were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It's not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there's something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn't just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again...

I was a bit wary about trying The Shadows after not really enjoying The Whisper Man last year.  I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this latest thriller.  This is why I try to give author a second chance.  The detective from the first book, Amanda is back in this one.  She is investigating a potential copycat murder.  The murder of a young boy mirrors a gruesome murder that happened 25 years before.  

The mystery in the book was a lot more engaging.  I did not call the twists and there are a few. The story waffles between the present investigation and what happened to Paul and his friends in the past.  We see those parts through Paul's eyes.  There are only a few points of view this time around and the story really benefitted from that.   It did start out a little slow in the beginning, but by about 25%, I was sucked in.  If you were hesitant to try this one based on your experience with the first book, I do recommend trying this one out.

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