It is 1915, the year of the San Francisco World’s Fair when Delia Martin returns home. She’s immediately thrust into her duties as maid of honor for her best friend. She also helps take care of the dying woman who had been a mother to her when her own parents died in the great earthquake. But none of this is the reason for Delia’s sudden return from New York.
Gabriel is a man on a mission. Amidst the massive comings and goings of the World’s Fair, a serial killer is on the loose. Lieutenant Gabriel Ryan is determined to catch the killer before he can hurt anyone else and before knowledge of his movements in the city becomes public. The hunt has been largely in vain, but he finds a sudden and strange source of information in his best friend’s fiancée’s maid of honor.
Delia has been recently haunted by a ghost she calls Shadow. It is this ghost who has compelled her home to San Francisco. She and Gabe quickly realize that her ghost is directly connected with his investigation. As the two of them dig deeper into the case, the murderer becomes bolder and more personal. Now, with their lives and the lives of their loved ones in danger, Delia and Gabe must reach deeper into the spirit world to find the villain.
Based on the title and cover, I was expecting a ghost story with some murder mystery thrown in. But the ghosts in this book were a given thing. Nothing mysterious about them. I would call this a historical thriller with some ghosts thrown in. There’s not a thing wrong with that, I just had to adjust my thinking a few pages in. But then I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. There were hauntings and séances, but these were all for the purpose of finding the serial killer and I didn’t really feel spooked by any of it.
So, if you’re a fan of historical thrillers in the vein of Matthew Pearl’s The Dante Club, or Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, then I think you’ll like this book as well. Unless you have a strong aversion to the supernatural.
All of the characters were well-drawn and interesting, even the smallest, side characters. I enjoyed the mystery, though I didn’t find myself shocked by any sudden twists. Mostly what I enjoyed was the hunt for the killer and the relationship between Gabe and Delia.
Delia’s Shadow was a well-written and entertaining novel. I can’t say that it blew me away or anything, but I did enjoy it and would recommend it for fans of historical crime thrillers.
A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Tor Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.