Book Review: Calling Karin Slaughter Fans!

*originally published 02/16/2016

One thing I love about my job as a Library Assistant is being in Check In – the area where books are being checked in from patrons, other libraries and NEW BOOKS! I love seeing books come in, period. I see books I have read and loved – and read and not loved- and books that look interesting enough to add to my TBR list or a new book I need to put on hold. I also come across books (cough Kardashians cough) that make me doubt the publishing world – thank gawd that only happens once in awhile. And, then there are moments I know the Book Fairy exists – a new shiny hardcover with the phrases “A Thriller” and “debut novel” comes in from our technical department and there is NO hold on it. I feel guilty at first and look around me and see if anyone else is experiencing this miracle with me. No, it’s just me. I caress the cover and slowly open it without cracking the spine. It has me from “Beth Sturgis…Atlanta PD…manhunt for serial killer”. This book is going home with me…done. I take it home and put it on the TBR shelf on my bookshelf of books and tea and jewelry. I cannot wait and start the book a night later.

ONCE SHADOWS FALL (Sturgis and Kale: #1) Written By Robert Daniels

2015; 352 Pages (Crooked Lane Books)
Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller, romantic-suspense

Rating: ★★1/2

Beth Sturgis has worked her way to the Robbery-Homicide division of Atlanta PD as a Detective.  With her partner out of commission, Beth is the lead on a murder case that has all the markings of a past murder spree complete with two women missing.  As the serial killer, the Scarecrow, has already been caught Beth is now looking for a copycat.  For more insight into the case she looks to Jack Kale, a former FBI agent, to help her discover where the women are and who has them.  Kale’s reluctant advice leads Sturgis to the bodies of the women and she is afraid there will be more to come.

Kale, who left the FBI due to the Scarecrow case does not want to help Beth or the Atlanta PD and tries to walk away.  The killer has other plans for Kale and soon he finds himself in the middle of the manhunt with Beth by his side.  In trying to uncover the killer’s identity Kale must keep his demons at bay and keep him and Beth alive.  Beth just wants to capture the killer before more bodies pile up and her job is jeopardy.

t has awhile since a new-to-me book and author has had me flipping pages deep into the night.  As I was reading this one in hardcover I could not sneak extra minutes in the dark like I can with my eReader.  Right away this novel had me hooked! Beth is a strong female lead that any reader can relate to – yet she has some secrets that come out slowly but I don’t think we have the full story yet. Kale, flawed as Will Trent (from Karin Sluaghter’s series Will Trent), is the ying to Beth’s yang.  They have great chemistry among the thrilling plot.  I enjoyed the secondary characters that help balance this book from just being a mystery/suspense.  Like a good series we are introduced to these characters but Daniels has kept back things that will have you coming back to find out more.  I enjoyed the suspense in this story and the mystery had me guessing to the last clue.  And, when you think back it all makes sense…I am so happy to sear that this will be a series and the second book will be out later this year.  I don’t want to reveal any spoilers so I apologize for my vagueness.  I highly recommend this book to ANY mystery lover that can take a bit of grittiness.

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