Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: In the Shadow of Evil
Author: Robin Caroll
Publisher: B&H Books
Release Date: March 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Suspense
Year/Setting: 1940’s/Eternal Springs, Louisiana
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Robin's Website/Blog: www.robinmillerbooks.com
When we first meet Maddox Bishop he’s a teenager who has just gotten back from a fantastic date. He knows he’s late coming home, but Dad is off paying attention to his career in the Air Force, and Mom doesn’t yell nearly as much…so getting home after curfew won’t be too big of a deal. Besides, for the great date, Maddox is willing to deal with a little reprimand. Unfortunately, when he finds his mother lying on the floor, stabbed through the heart, Maddox gets a whole lot more than he bargained for.
Eighteen years later Maddox is a police officer…well, to be fair, Maddox is a top Louisiana homicide detective. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s about to come up for promotion, if all goes well, to become the Commander. Maddox is great at his job, but his background has definitely made him into a man who stays far away from commitment where women are concerned, and far, far away from his father. His partner is Houston Wallace, and they soon get a call regarding an arson in town…with a dead body lying amidst the ashes.
Layla and Alana are sisters who’ve lived in Eternal Springs their whole lives. Layla inherited the family’s land and house when her beloved father passed away and her mother was sent to the hospital for a good, long stay. She can’t stand her mother, but Alana is her younger sister and Layla does her best to take care of her and make sure she’s okay. Layla even gave the house and land to her sister who went on to build the Second Chances retreat. This well-run establishment is a drug rehabilitation center for young people who want to get their lives back in order. They have a great track record – most of the kids have gotten through the program and gone on to better futures.
Layla is a contractor. In fact, she’s just received a letter telling her that she is the contractor of the year. Her father – an A-one contractor himself – would be so proud of Layla for all her hard work. Recently Layla was the contractor for Hope-For-Homes, an organization that builds houses for poor people who really need a better place to live. Unfortunately, when one of Layla’s houses is burned to the ground with a body inside, her life and her future take a severe turn for the worst.
There’s a villain running the streets of Eternal Springs and Maddox Bishop is trying desperately to figure out why houses are burning, corpses are appearing, and why anyone would want to destroy the records and steal the computer of the local contractor who was in charge of the construction of the buildings.
Soon Maddox and Layla come face to face, and as the officer begins to doubt Layla’s word about things, he also finds himself falling for the beautiful, smart woman who is contractor by day and dancer by night. Not only does their relationship heat up, but both of them are going full-tilt to find out exactly who the criminal is wandering their quiet streets.
The suspense is well-written. Although a bit slow at times, Maddox is an interesting character with many layers that will make readers want to see him again in the future. I know I do!
Until next time,
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