Fatal Shadows: a solid beginning

Fatal Shadows Book Review

What is this about?: Adrien English, a bookstore owner, comes under suspicion when his friend and employee, Robert, is murdered. As it turns out the truth can be found in his past, which honestly, I did not see coming.

What else is this about?: Adrien is coming out of his self-imposed dating exile and enjoying seeing Detective Riordan, who is assigned to Robert’s case, and yes, does suspect him of murder.

Stars: 3

Blurb: One sunny morning Los Angeles bookseller and aspiring mystery author Adrien English opens his front door to murder. His old high school buddy (and employee) has been found stabbed to death in a back alley following a loud and very public argument with Adrien the previous evening. Naturally the cops want to ask Adrien a few questions; they are none too impressed with his answers, and when a few hours later someone breaks into Adrien’s shop and ransacks it, the law is inclined to think Adrien is trying to divert suspicion from himself.
Adrien knows better. Adrien knows he is next on the killer’s list.

Adrien is a good guy — the kind of guy who you can call when you’re in trouble and who will give a high school friend a job when he needs it. Except, then Robert is murdered and Adrien finds himself the key suspect in the investigation of Robert’s murder, which in turn brings him into contact with Detective Riordan.

Riordan has no time for mystery writers who insist they’re innocent when far too many clues are coming up saying they just might not be. Even moreso when said mystery writer insists on a farflung theory to explain Robert’s murder — which no spoilers, but it does give a chance to know Adrien more than I thought it would.

Riordan is a man of few words and Adrien is a writer, so they’re naturally complete opposites. But the beauty of Lanyon’s writing is that he takes his time with a tried and tested trope and builds it into a lovely back-and-forth between these two as they try to solve Robert’s murder.

The secondary cast of characters built around Adrien is fun, interesting and lets readers into different parts of Adrien’s life, building him into a interesting series lead. Riordan, given his importance in the rest of the series, is off to a slow start here, but it’s enough to keep me curious about him and them.

All in all, it’s a solid beginning! Looking forward to more — have you read this series?

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