đź“–Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield

Detective Madison Harper’s heart shatters when she searches the bedroom of twelve-year-old Jenny Lucas, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake at Shadow Falls, northern California, with her friends before she vanished. A notebook decorated with stickers pokes out beneath a pink cowboy hat on the bed, which is neatly made up, ready for her return. Madison can’t help wondering why it took their close-knit community so long to raise the alarm. The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She knows better than most what it’s like to lose a child, and she won’t let it happen again, even if that means pressing Jenny’s grieving family for answers. Then, canvassing the local area for hidden leads, Madison discovers a disturbing portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most? If Madison’s instincts are right, then the life of another innocent child could also be at risk—she must find Jenny fast

This book was amazing, and I read it in one sitting. it is so far out of the usual setting of a crime thriller that it completely sets it apart from others in the genre. being a lover of crime fiction I have read every style of crime imaginable. I didn’t think that I would still be surprised by characters investigating a crime. but in this book, I was showing that there is still room to be surprised and characters to fall in love with.

Nate and Madison complementary characters and there is a definite charm to that partnership. they both come from different backgrounds but a united in that search for justice and the trauma of their pasts. Nate remains more unconventional while Madison still plays by the rules. as characters I can see endless possibilities for them. the justice they seek for does not over shadow the crime that they are working on but reminds the reader that there is a climactic ending that is being built towards.

This book was so interesting and so compelling to read. there are three points of view in this story. we have the present day story and plot line with Nate and Madison. then we have the plot line from the past which relives the year Nate was released and finally we have the point of view of a doctor reading a patience journal. at the beginning of reading I didn’t know how these three plot lines would be combined.

The story revolves around a children’s campsite in America. being British born my only knowledge of American children’s camps comes from television and films. with the amount of stories that are shown through TV film and books you would be hard pressed into getting me to spend any summer in one.

There are a lot of different character perspectives to theorise about throughout this book. I tried very hard to guess who and where the culprit was. there is a creepy chillness to the plot of this book that makes you think very hard about the thoughts and actions of the characters involved. At some points I was almost arguing with myself as to who was in the right and who was in the wrong. the book does bring up a lot of questions and makes you think deeply about what humans are capable of.

The book is 363 pages long. it felt like it took a long time to read this book but actually the structure of the book is set up with a lot of short chapters which made reading feel a lot longer than it actually was.

This book is the first in the series and I believe there are three other books already out. the combination of Nate and Madison it’s so rewarding for a reader to read and discover. I already feel very invested in seeing how the resolution of Nate and Madison’s pasts will be unravelled and revealed to the reader. I think it will also be interesting to see how present or current jobs will bind the characters together as they work in the present and look towards their future endings.

After reading what I consider to be a soft crime novel this book was far deadlier in plot. I am hopeful got the next book will focus a little more on Madison’s past and that moving past that we get a united front between the two characters that’ll set them up for future cases.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨

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