Shadows of the Past, by Patricia Bradley (Revell, 2014)
Taylor Martin’s criminal profiling skills have solved some high-profile crimes. Now someone is stalking her: sending photos and gifts. She suspects a former student, Scott Sinclair, who has dropped out of sight.
Suspense novelist Nick Sinclair, Scott’s brother, hasn’t seen him in years. He’s hoping the local police can help find Scott so they can reconcile. Nick and Taylor both want to find Scott, but can they work together when one believes him innocent and the other guilty?
There’s so much going on in this story, but nothing gets in the way. It flows like real life, with the information we need trickling in as needed. No information dumping, no slowing the pace to explain. Patricia Bradley weaves every nuance and detail together into a delightful read.
Taylor and Nick have fully-developed personalities and histories, each with a lot of pain. Taylor’s fiancé dumped her for another woman. Nick’s wife was murdered. Nick’s mother walked out when he was a child. So did Taylor’s dad, except he didn’t say goodbye.
In the midst of trying to find her stalker before the danger escalates, Taylor is dealing with nightmares from her father’s desertion. Her family refuses to talk about it, but she’s determined this time to find some answers.
Even the secondary characters are lifelike. Taylor dreads going home to her family in Logan Point because of the undercurrents and barriers, yet when she has to go, we discover they’re not the stereotypical dysfunctional family we expect. They’re individuals with hurts and attitudes, but they’re a family who care for one another.
My favourite line: Taylor phones her friend, Livy, to say she’s meeting Nick to discuss the case—at a blues restaurant. Livy’s response?
“Very romantic.” Taylor could imagine Livy’s eyebrows doing a Groucho Marx. (p. 151)
Shadows of the Past is book 1 in the Logan Point series, and I’m happy to know there are more to come. Book 2, A Promise to Protect, releases November 2014. Suspense lovers will want to be in on this series from the beginning.
For more about author Patricia Bradley, visit her website, “where love and faith cross paths with murder” and also check out her guest post on surviving the long road to publication at The Over 50 Writer. (Leave a comment there, and you might win a copy of the novel.) Or if you’ve already read the book, check out her discussion questions for Shadows of the Past.