shadow play book coverReviewed by Jenna Arthur

A little girl’s bones are found decaying amongst the moss and trees in the middle of the woods. An evil man looks on, in utter anger and paranoia. They must not find out her identity. She must stay invisible.

When a small town sheriff approaches Eve Duncan, forensic sculptor, with a request for a facial reconstruction of a little girl, she thinks it is just a case of an impatient sheriff. That is, until he urges her repeatedly that this case is different, this case is calling to him like no case has before. Eve, trying to simply quiet the man, starts on the little girl’s reconstruction only to find that this little girl also holds a mysterious and emotional pull on her. Jenny, as Eve has named the skull, speaks to her, first figuratively and then literally. Eve begins to hear Jenny’s voice speaking to her, pleading with her to help her. Bonnie, Eve’s murdered daughter, has been the only one to speak to her beyond the grave, so Eve is instantly taken aback by Jenny’s presence and is unsure of where this case will lead her.

Working with the sheriff, her partner, and “an off the books” animal communicator, Eve begins the hunt for the man who stole this little girl’s life away. But the hunt is more urgent than they know. The man has another victim in his sights and if Eve and her group do not catch him quickly, another little girl will end up like Jenny.

What has drawn Eve so close to this case? Why is it that she and Jenny must travel this perilous path together? Evil has a face, a name, and if Eve does not stop his destruction both she, the little girl, and everyone she loves will end up joining Jenny in the cold earth.

Iris Johansen’s Shadow Play is action packed combining the supernatural, mystery, and thriller into one nail-biting story. Johansen’s characters do not disappoint in personality or structure and her Eve Duncan continues to be the same strong willed, intelligent character that she has been in Johansen’s other Eve Duncan books. Shadow Play draws you in with a solid plot and gives you enough of a “cat-and-mouse” feel and climactic moments to make it a book that you want to read cover to cover in one sitting. The story line, minimalism of graphic physicality, intelligent character development, and laser focus make Shadow Play possibly the best book in the Eve Duncan series. I highly recommend this book to all mystery, thriller, crime, and supernatural lovers alike.

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Jenna lives in the bustling city of Pittsburgh with her wife and furry children. She loves to cook, watch movies, and looks for inspiration in every book she reads.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.