Performed by RC Bray, Rinelle Harkin, Casey Turner, Meghan Kelly.
Released on Audible: October 2019
Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Audiobook, Book Review
Mass killer Cara Lindstrom is in the wind, after a deadly encounter which leaves FBI Special Agent Antara Singh questioning her own sanity and fitness to serve. ASAC Matthew Roarke exiles Singh to Portland to work as an assistant to his old mentor, retiring profiler Chuck Snyder—but a series of mysterious break-ins alerts Singh and Snyder to an active threat revolving around an old case: a series of brutal murders of homeless teenagers on the streets of Portland and Seattle.
The story begins in the present, following on immediately from Hunger Moon, with FBI Special Agent Antara Singh bound, drugged and blindfolded…alone in the deserted and derelict hotel except for the carnage left behind…to hide the fact she was complicit in what happened.
The pursuit of Cara Lindstrom has left Singh conflicted and unsure of her future. Instead of resigning as she had planned, she finds herself on her way to Portland to assist soon to be retired Special Agent Snyder, as per ASAC Matthew Roarke’s orders. Chuck Snyder is Roarke’s mentor and friend, a successful profiler and although age has caught up with him, there are times his perception and sharp mind are most definitely still in evidence.
Initially Singh is helping Snyder add his case files into ViCAP—The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. The work is soul destroying in its tediousness and horrific detail, plus the fact a good number of the violent perpetrators are still at large due to lack of prioritisation and diligence by some areas of law enforcement. Singh also discovers that Roarke’s history with Cara goes much further back than she had ever imagined.
That their connection is more profound than she ever guessed. It is an incredible secret for Roarke to have been keeping, these many months that the team has been in Cara’s pursuit. Then she wonders if Damien knows. Roarke would not have any reason to tell her, but he may have told Epps. Or not. It is a mystery.
It changes everything.
The narrative comes from various perspectives which puts the reader or listener right there with the characters, feeling what they feel, experiencing the horror and the light bulb moments.Singh’s conversations with Snyder bring to light the many surprising links between Cara and Roarke, when their paths crossed, knowingly or otherwise, spanning years. The story includes flashbacks to events in Roarke’s past, and follows Cara as she traversed the country, the fleeting hope that she can escape the darkness of It never materialising. Chapter headings give the timelines and places ensuring there’s no confusion.
When it is done, she stands up under the daylight moon with blood on her hands, on her clothes. Her heart is pounding. But what she feels is peace.
This filth has no place in the Canyon. No place on the earth.
There’s a layer of mysticism and the supernatural making their presence felt, as it has through most of the series and the white supremacist subplot seems all too horribly real.
Descriptions of Montana and Glacier National Park are beautifully vivid, the hotel used in the story is a real one and looks fabulous in its breathtaking setting.
Shadow Moon is a culmination of previous storylines and the parts the characters played in the dramas that have been unfolding. It’s really not a standalone read and the books should be read in sequence to get the most out of the complete story. The series covers the darkest aspects of humanity—among other things abuse, torture, corruption and child sex trafficking. There’s a deeply sexist attitude from a section of the male community that degrades women and children, whether it be because of race, colour or sexual orientation, they reduce people to objects to do with as they please.
The political aspect isn’t as obvious in this instalment although it’s apparent the author’s views on the present US government haven’t changed.
Alexandra Sokoloff states in the author’s note that she has not “in any way exaggerated the plight of children and teens in the Social Services and justice systems and the prevalence of child trafficking. All the predators and crimes in the Huntress books are reflective of real-life predators and real-world events” which is a terrible thing to contemplate and, whether right or wrong, more than half of me wants to side with Cara as she metes out her own form of justice. It’s a sobering thought that these atrocities are actually happening and are the reality for countless victims. The messages contained in this, and the previous books, are powerful ones that are heart breakingly relevant and desperately need addressing.
Although I believe this may be the last in the series (and hope it isn’t) the open ending does leave room for a continuation.
ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, BITTER MOON, HUNGER MOON – now in active development as a TV series), and the supernatural HAUNTED thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN). The New York Times Book Review called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”
Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with The Slice Girls and Heather Graham’s all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But not an addict. Seriously, it’s under control.