Thursday, November 6, 2014

Shadows by Don Castle

By Shawn

The Jake Somers series illuminates the world of a private investigator, his associates and his close knit family group.  In this, he third in the series, we find Jake dealing with the murder of a beautiful college coed literally at his back door.  And when multiple murders occur across the city, and under similar circumstances, Jake's crime solving expertise is called upon by the police to help catch a serial killer.

Death on a college campus, illegal synthetic drugs and a maniacal killer are all in a days work for P.I. Jake Somers.  (taken from the back of the book)

This is NOT what I was expecting.

Let's start with the characters.  They're all incredibly likable.  They all have similar personalities, but that's alright.  The bright side of that is that they're personalities that I enjoyed.  It was like having a  book full of polite and bright people. Even the murder was a thoughtful and kind person until bullets had to fly.  I even liked the sweet little drug dealers.  Though there isn't a lot of variance in the characters, they do have different stations which set them apart from each other.  Having different names helped quite a lot too.

As for the world of the detective, it wasn't what I was expecting.  I'll admit I'm a fan of old gumshoe detective novels and I'm quite the fan of Dan Reno.  I thought this would be more like that, but it really wasn't.  Somers works in collaboration with the police.  This particular story is a crime that the police simply don't have time to investigate so they've asked Somers and his partner to look into it for them.  Basically, they're police officers without the benefits of actually being a police officer.  

Now, here's where the book really threw me off.  This is not a mystery.  By page 22, both myself and Somers had all the information to piece everything together.  I had to wait several chapters for him to catch up.  Eventually he did, however. Admittedly, Somers is dealing with his secretary's wedding plans and his mother fracturing a hip, so maybe that's why it took him so long to put it together.  Instead of being a mystery, it's more a glimpse into Somers' life.  We get to sit back and enjoy the ride as he slowly and deliberately begins to puzzle things together and deal with all of the other distractions he has in his life.

If you're looking for a good old detective novel, this may not be what you're expecting but you might find you enjoy it anyway.  If you go into it looking for just a good story without having to put in any thought, this could be right up your alley.  There are some violent situations, but none of the go into detail enough to cause most readers distress.  Though  there are romantic situations, there's no sex.  This is just a good, clean look into one case of Somers' life while he's solving it.

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