Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived… and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye.
Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as they’re starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?
Going in to Shadowlands, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The summary had a mystery-thriller-type feel to it, and since it had been a long time since I’d read anything like that, I was pretty eager to start this one. What I got instead was a crazy, intense ride for all 336 pages of the book. I literally could not stop reading this one, and even after finishing, was left feeling uncertain about how on earth I could review a book that had left me reeling, for fear that I would give too much away. Yes, it was THAT good!
The book starts off with a bang, when we’re placed inside the head of a serial killer, who is currently waiting for his newest victim, Rory, to walk past him. She escapes, and that escape sets off a chain reaction of events that finally culminates in her, her father, and older sister, Darcy, having to go into Witness Protection. However, Brian continues to allow us inside the killer’s head, so while Rory and her family are thinking they’re getting away, the reader knows just how close he is to them. This made for a very unsettling and absolutely gripping reading experience, because I simply had to know what would happen next.
The family is sent to what’s essentially a vacation island, where Rory finds herself the focus of the insanely gorgeous and aloof popular crowd. She’s unsure what to think of them – and in fact, in the middle of the book, becomes downright suspicious of them when strange things start happening – which just adds to the uneasy feeling of the story. The only part that felt at all lighthearted was when Rory was spending time with Aaron, who I was pleased to see was a generally nice guy. I loved their windsailing adventure and the freedom and happiness that Rory experienced. Good feelings were something that were very few and far between for our main character so it was nice to see her get a bit of a break.
Without wanting to get into too many spoilery details, let me just say this: I did not expect the ending we received, and knowing this is part of a series has me instantly intrigued, because I cannot WAIT to see where the author is going to take the story. I have many questions I cannot wait to have answered!
If you’re looking for something that has edge of your seat excitement, and keeps you constantly turning pages, then this is the book for you. It has something for everyone, from the bruised and battered main character, to the family drama dynamic, to the thrilling insights into the mind of a serial killer. Shadowlands is an exhilarating ride full of non-stop drama and mystery. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.