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Another day, another review

August 29, 2010

Robert Brooks  – August 26, 2010

The opening chapter sets the scene and pace of An Evil Shadow: the reader is brought in to the bathroom apartment of a mysterious individual who rarely uses his own apartment. Suddenly, another mysterious man attacks. From the moment of the first scene, An Evil Shadow draws the reader into a complex story of corporate and personal greed.

The central character of the book is Val Bosanquet, a former police detective who quit the force for unknown reasons. However, he is offered a second chance at police work when his twin brother proposes that Val become the Chief of the University of New Orleans Police Department. Val joins, but not out of a sense of renewed public duty, but because of a connection in his new job with an old, and personal, case from his days on the NOPD. As Val investigates the mysterious connection between his first post-marriage murder case and his current job in order to protect the murderer of that very same case, he is brought into a dark world of scams and cons committed in Haiti, and the political result of those scams.

AJ Davidson does a great job developing Val as the central character: by the end of the book the reader truly fees as if he knows Val. The author also did a good job developing the minor characters in the story. There is Val’s shallow ex-wife, his equally vain twin brother, and a cast of villans that constantly let you think you have guessed the ending, when you are far from the truth. There is a large cast of characters, which can be a bit confusing at times. A couple of the characters were not distinguishable enough from each other to always keep straight in the plot-line, even if they played a major role.

Davidson clearly knows a lot about the history of Haiti, New Orleans, and the impact of Voodoo culture on both. This knowledge helps make the plot move more quickly in areas that might be traditionally slow, and helps to provide some truly original explanations for events.

Davidson’s tone, story structure, and plot devices are very similar to a novel by James Patterson. While perhaps not quite as polished, equally entertaining and fun to read. Anyone who enjoys reading thrillers, action-adventure, or mysteries will likely enjoy this novel.

Note: there is some graphic language and scene descriptions. They are not gratuitous or obnoxious, but the reader should be aware if they would prefer to avoid such language or scenes.

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