Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Shadow of Guilt by Michael Davis

Are most incidents in our lives random coincidences or do things happen for a reason?
Intersecting paths have Sean Paterson and Detective Christine Sheppy asking themselves this very question.

The book opens with a teenage girl, struggling to survive in a big city. She is running from a dangerous man, trying to protect her young daughter, and looking for the one person who can keep her safe. After months of searching with no luck, one night her past catches up with her.

Sean Paterson rescues a young woman being assaulted, but before he can rush her to the hospital, she extracts a promise from him: protect her daughter. Don’t let them take her. The young girl dies, and Sean vows to keep his pledge. His struggle to uncover the mystery surrounding the girl’s existence brings his own difficult childhood memories to the surface.

Detective Christine Sheppy is called in to investigate a young girl’s murder.  She is temporarily paired with Agent Sean Paterson, and they discover a mutual attraction. Together, they search for information about the girl’s life before her tragic death. Pursuing the truth uncovers connections that force each of them to face the ghosts of their past or destroy their chance for a deep and lasting relationship.

Though some of Sean Paterson’s dialogue felt outdated and somewhat sermonized, I liked his character. He was a man of integrity and wanted to make the world a better place. Confidence and inner strength are sometimes hard-won traits, and Sean definitely earned his. Christine Sheppy portrayed a strong woman that worked hard to have a successful career in a male-dominated environment. The conflict seemed a bit stereotypical but not unheard of, and I admired her spirit and cheered her on.

The plot for Shadow of Guilt came together in a very satisfying way. A tragic death at the beginning will touch your heart and keep you turning the pages to discover who could commit such a crime. The investigation of this murder will have you asking your own questions as the characters follow clues that lead to strands of a larger web of deceit. When the final answers come to light, strong family connections and love provide a foundation for burying the past and looking toward the future.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable read filled with suspense, romance, and a testament to the strength of the human spirit, Shadow of Guilt is the book for you.

Rating:  3 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

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