Title: Shadows of Doubt
Author: Mel Corcoran
Author's Website: Mell Corcoran
Publisher: Mill City Press
Genre: PNR/Thriller mix
Length: 425 pgs
Buy Link: Shadows of Doubt
Humans sit comfortably at the summit of the food chain; rarely does any other animal get the advantage. But other people? Now there’s something to fear. In Mell Corcoran’s thrilling crime novel debut, Shadows of Doubt, women are being hunted, tortured, killed and their assailant leaves the same clue on each of them but it has no scientific explanation. Detective Lou Donovan (because nobody better call her Tallulah) must figure out this killer’s signature because he’s escalating and no one knows where he will strike next.
When the first victim appears in Shadows of Doubt, neither Lou nor her partner wants the case but it’s dropped in their laps. As soon as they make some progress, however, the case is taken from them and the explanation is weak at best. Lou won’t let go and tries to work below the radar but she’s foiled at every turn. It’s as if someone is watching her and knows her every move.
Shadows of Doubt is an exciting ride. It has everything a good crime book needs: a fiery detective with a bloodhound’s sense, dark figures with dark pasts, twists, turns, and action. And then there’s the tall, gorgeous man. Lou and this mysterious stranger keep crossing paths and his presence disarms her. What she doesn't know is that her effect on him is the same and therein lies the rub. If he can't think straight, Lou will die.
Shadows of Doubt was a pleasant surprise to me since as with the summary above you cannot see anything but a murder mystery/police procedural but this is a paranormal story that you don’t even know it IS paranormal until about 50% through the book. Nice touch in my opinion for the reader but not sure that the author may have missed the real target audience. There really is a paranormal romance embedded in this story, the author keeps it hidden for a long time.
The story revolves around a series of murders where young women of questionable character are found dead after apparent torture and ritual carving. Lou keeps getting close to the truth and then the case gets taken away to her shock. Something is going on here and she wants to find out what.
The story leads you in several directions and had me guessing all kinds of theories as to what was going on (all of them wrong) and about 50% through the book you find out the answer to a lot of these questions and the reason I can say this IS paranormal. The serious main plot of finding the killer is laced with a sometime humorous romance that evolves along with the investigation. I loved it totally.
Unfortunately, I cannot go into a lot of detail because the second half of the book revolves around things that are a mystery in the first half which made it a exceptional reading experience but a nightmare to try to review other than something akin to “trust me”.
Bottom Line: This is pretty close to a full 5 Star effort but the editing could have used a better hand since several instances of you’re/your and then/than pop up but after you get about 30% in either the editing got better or the story had me so hooked I did not even take notice (sounds like a WIN-WIN). So grab a copy of this book and enjoy, note that it is NOT a short little thing, it is about 425 pages in paperback and not crammed with filler like many are so get this book!
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