Publisher's Note:  

Gifted musician Catherine Clayton was born into a life of wealth and privilege. Following the death of her father, she makes a bold decision she hopes would make him proud: she's using the family money to establish a music school and offer free lessons to the underprivileged. A providential suggestion from an old college friend leads Catherine to select Riley, New York, as the perfect location for her new school. Hit hard by the economic downturn, Riley personifies economic hardship: peeling paint, overgrown landscapes, and damaged buildings. But the damage runs much deeper than Catherine first realizes. Two years ago, Riley was rocked by weeks of vandalism followed by the brutal murder of beautiful elementary school secretary Olivia Perry. Everyone in town loved Olivia but especially the two men with whom she was caught in a love triangle. Though the murder remains unsolved, Catherine receives ominous warnings that one of these men, Adam Becket, is responsible for the girl's death. Unimpressed by the lack of evidence against him, Catherine is drawn to the shy but endearing Adam. Could he really have been involved in Olivia's murder? Just as Catherine is settling in and getting to know Adam, a vandal strikes again, and it's eerily reminiscent of the events surrounding Olivia's murder. The death threats splashed on the walls prove that the killer is back and this time, it's Catherine who wonders if she's come to the wrong place at the wrong time.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Covenant Communications


by Stephanie Black

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Overall Review:  

Shadowed was an enjoyable read.  While the author did not use especially unique or notable prose, she managed to keep the reader uncertain and doubtful.  Black casts doubt on almost every character in the story.  It was great that even the characters with whom the main character shared religious beliefs came under scrutiny.


Although the premise for the story was disturbing in and of itself, it also kept things interesting.  Much of the plot centers around a woman whose unsolved murder of two years has left a town scarred and suspicious.  Catherine Clayton moves to town and is immediately thrust into this tense environment.


Catherine Clayton was an interesting main character.  Sometimes she seemed especially naive, other times thoughtless in her quest for answers and at other times a very thoughtful individual. As a reader, it was hard deciding how to feel about her. 


This great who-done-it novel also inserts a bit of romance.  This aspect of the book was especially well done.  (None of the typical, 'she shivered or tingled at his touch', scenes.)  Very impressed in this department!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:   None


Violence/Gore:  Many references to a murder from the past, including speculation about the killer; characters theorize about being strangled, stabbed, shot or killed; characters attack other characters and injure them, two scenes lasting more than one page; some intense, scary scenes; characters report killing others.


Sex/Nudity:  Character says flirtatious things; character put hand on another's back; non-married characters embrace, hold hands and kiss, a few times.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Murder, death of immediate family members, terminal illness, domestic abuse.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Report of character drinking; character rumored to be addicting children to drugs and then turning them into dealers.

Reviewed By Susan
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