Review: Clementine’s Shadow ~ Peggy Rothschild

Clementine's Shadow

After moving to the California High Desert for a new start, Deputy Casey Lang faces a hard truth: She must work through her fear of shooting another child or kiss her career goodbye. The disappearance of a six-year-old girl from a summer concert in the park puts Casey’s resolve to the test.

Set in a scorched landscaped of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds, Clementine’s Shadow tells the story of a child snatched by a predator and the desperate hunt to find her. As the temperature rises, three unlikely heroes emerge to help.

 5 Thumbs-UpThis is the Authors debut novel and, if she manages to keep up this level of penmanship, she will soon become a household name amongst the lovers of the mystery genre.  How do I know this? Because I stayed up far too late so I could finish this gripping novel.

From the very start she develops her characters with sensitivity and style, with both the main characters being women in search of very different things.  The male characters in the novel are also very well-developed and, unlike many novels with strong female leads, the Author does not belittle the men involved in the unfolding drama.  In the beginning, the cast of characters may seem disjointed and a little hard to follow, but the Author skilfully weaves their stories together as she progresses.  I just wonder what happened to a couple of the characters that appear early in the book, but then do not appear anywhere again, apart from in the thoughts of one of the males whose back story is told.  The Author has also skilfully included characters in this novel that are really not likeable, at all, by anyone who reads this.

The description of the desert and mountains are very well done, to the point where you can almost hear the coyotes barking in the night, and feel the dip in the temperatures as the day draws to its close.  And small town life is described to a ‘T’.

The subject of the book is very well handled, for such a concerning topic.  Graphic details are kept to a minimum, but not to the degree where the horror of the situation is diluted beyond belief.  There is no gratuitous sex or violence in this book, which will please those who are getting tired of Authors using it to pad out their novels.  Also there is minimum use of the F-bomb, again pleasing for those its use might offend.

I don’t usually mention the way a novel has been printed in my reviews, but felt that this one would have to be an exception.  The pages were printed in such a way that, people like myself who hate to break the spine on a book, can read this in its entirety without having to do so.  This was due to the wide margin along the spine edge of the pages, and is something that I, personally, would appreciate other publishers implementing.

Despite a few proofreading errors, this fresh and original book is full of well-rounded and compelling characters and plenty of sharp dialogue which is appropriate for the context in which it is used.  The plot is atmospheric and twisting in a way that keeps you turning the pages to the totally unexpected conclusion.