I was going to get this review up last week but was in recovery mode after Wimbledon and then we have just had a nerve wracking Test Match which reduced me to a gibbering wreck. Having been sitting in the sun and relaxing today, I am finally getting down to this post.
I have read all of Simon Hall's mysteries featuring the TV Detective as he is called, Dan Groves. He has forged a close, if unlikely, alliance with Detective Inspector Adam Breen. I say unlikely, but there is a TV series at the moment called Castle in which a thriller writer is teamed up with a NYPD detective - a glamorous female one of course, so obviously the idea has possibilities. In any case, in reading fiction one has to suspend disbelief else we would spend our time not believing anything and where is the fun in that?
Simon Hall's writing is intelligent and incisive and his plots are well thought out and tight with no loose ends. As with all good detective series there is a running narrative concerning the personal life of the main protagonist or, as in most case, the lack of same. Dan has an on off relationship with Claire another detective and I always enjoy these threads running alongside the main storyline as they add interest and provide extra tension. In this story Dan finds himself becoming rather attracted to Katrina, a glamorous specialist called in to help which does not go down very well with Claire who is keeping a close eye on him.
Shadows of Justice opens in a court room where we await the return of a jury with a verdict. We do not know what the crime is or who is on trial and the story flashes back to enable us to find out what is happening. We learn that there has been a kidnapping. The daughter of a prominent businessman has been taken and held to ransom and Dan finds himself working alongside Adam once more to assist him in tracking down the culprits and, if possible, rescue the kidnapped girl.
Now I have to be really careful here because it is almost impossible to tell you any more without giving away the plotline and the outcome. I will therefore keep details to a minimum. What I can say is that the kidnapping has a dreadful effect on the victim and her family and sets off a train of shocking events and leaves the reader pondering on the tricky question of when is it right to take the search for justice into one's own hands, if it ever is.
As always with Simon Hall, I find once started I have to sit and read the book right through to the end and, as always, there is a twist which I did not see coming. I was preening myself on solving the mystery only to find that I was wandering up the wrong garden path......
I have reviewed earlier books in this series by this author, see links below and I can highly recommend them. Best to read them in order I feel so do get started, you have several to enjoy ready and waiting for you.