Thursday, August 3, 2017

Shadow Girl ~ Gerry Schmitt (earc) review [@BerkleyPub]

Shadow Girl (An Afton Tangler Thriller #2)
Berkley Books
August 01, 2017
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The brutal murder of a business tycoon leaves Afton Tangler and the Twin Cities reeling, but that s just the beginning of a gruesome crime spree...

Leland Odin made his fortune launching a home shopping network, but his millions can t save his life. On the list for a transplant, the ailing businessman sees all hope lost when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.
Now with two pilots dead and dozens injured, Afton Tangler, family liaison officer for the Minneapolis Police Department, is drawn into the case.

As she and her partner investigate family members and business associates, whoever wants Leland dead strikes again and succeeds in a brazen hospital room attack.

The supposedly squeaky clean millionaire has crossed the wrong person and she s not finished exacting her revenge. The case explodes into an international conspiracy of unbridled greed and violence. And as Afton gets closer to unearthing the mastermind behind it, she gets closer to becoming collateral damage...

Readers were introduced to Afton Tangler, the Family Liaison Officer with the Minneapolis Police Department in  Little Girl Gone and now Afton is back, involved, perhaps more than she should be, in a new case. She is only supposed to be helping Max, Detective Max Montgomery that is, out: keeping his notes organized but otherwise only doing her assigned job. But for Afton, who wants to be a detective, it's hard to not go when someone needs questioning or a lead needs to be followed up on. Even if it is beyond what a Family Liaison Officer should be doing.

One of the things I really loved about Shadow Girl was that the police did not miraculously piece everything together or stumble across something crucial as can happen in some books. There were times I was sure someone was going to remember something that another character said or guess the next stop and things were going to all come together. But they didn't. In this book the bad guys get away with more than you think they will and seem to always be a step ahead.

It makes for a very thrilling read and definitely keeps you, the reader, guessing. Afton, Max and the other members of the department have to investigate, talk to witnesses, engage in a bit of conjecture and be in just the right place at just the right time. It feels realistic but also exciting and definitely keeps you reading.

I truly enjoyed how the mystery unfold in Shadow Girl. It seems that we know the 'who' from nearly the very beginning but the 'why' is left for later revelation. Then, the more that is discovered, the more we learn from the characters, the more you have to wonder who all is involved - even remotely or indirectly - in what happened. And who will be safe when it's all done.

I do wish there were more female members of law enforcement (police, detectives, etc) in the story. We do only focus on a handful of characters but, aside from Afton, even those only mentioned seem to be male ("...large, hunky men dressed in riot gear." pg 302).

The way this series focuses on Afton, who is a Family Liaison Officer but still seems to find herself in the thick of it. doesn't sensationalize the investigative aspects and is building relationships between the characters makes for both a thrilling, satisfying read and has me eager to read more of the series.

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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