Blog Tour Review, The Shadow Girl

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The Shadow Girl
Shannon Hollinger

330 pages
published September 1, 2023

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:

Ever since I tried to escape, he’s been keeping me in the dark. My bones ache with the cold. The longer I sit, trapped alone with just my thoughts, the more I worry… What if this is it? What if I never get to leave?

The sun is rising on another cold winter’s day in Coyote Cove when Chief Maggie Riley finds an unmarked envelope on the steps of the police station. Inside is a photo of a teenage girl, bound and bruised. Maggie’s heart constricts at the terror in her tear-filled eyes. Who is she? What has happened to her? Who would have left this photo, but done nothing else to help?

Maggie moved to Coyote Cove for a quieter life after her beloved young brother went missing five years ago. And this case feels as personal as anything she’s worked on since then. With no one reporting the girl missing, seemingly unloved and forgotten, Maggie vows to rescue her, and bring whoever hurt her to justice.

As Maggie mines the photograph for clues to hunt down the girl and her captor, her search takes her deep into the seedy, dangerous underbelly of the secretive logging camps. Hidden away in the woods, a law unto themselves, Maggie is in uncharted—and deadly—territory.

Then she finds the body of a girl who was said to have run away years ago, one with ties of her own to the loggers. And Maggie knows she’s on the right track. But as her search for the truth intensifies, Maggie’s own safety is threatened. Can she save an innocent girl’s life and get out alive herself, or could this be the one investigation she won’t survive…?

A dark and totally gripping crime thriller, perfect for fans of D.K. Hood, Melinda Leigh and Lisa Regan.

My Review

This is book three in the series and usually in police procedural series, the cases being personal are over.  But that is not the case for this series.  Chief Maggie and her fiancé Steve still have a lot of secrets.  Quite a few things they are keeping from each other and even some of the details are not clear for the reader.  Each case stands alone, but a bit of the book also focuses on how these secrets are impacting the case and their lives.  And Maggie has a new detective that seems to have a lot of secrets of his own in addition to fitting in in the community he is trying to protect.  I think his character fits into the flow well.

I flip flop on how well I like the main characters, but they are deeply developed and no matter if I am in a moment of like or dislike, I still want to know more about them.  There is still a bit of mystery to their backstories.  And I can’t say Maggie isn’t determined to serve and protect.  She is dogged in protecting the town and solving whatever case comes her way.

The case in this one is complex and for it being a somewhat small town, the bad guy isn’t obvious.  I really like the mix of the case and personal lives and since Maggie’s story isn’t over, I feel there is a next installment coming.

I think this one is best read as a series in order, but if you are one to focus more on the case and less on the characters, then it can definitely be a stand alone.  I’ve grown to really like this series and recommend it to anyone that loves a good crime series.

About the author

With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too.

Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture.

Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.

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