A SHADOW REVIEW
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As with all series, it is best to start at the beginning. However one can usually jump in anywhere and the author often provides enough background in the course of the story so that the reader feels comfortable with the characters. This is certainly true with Michael Connelly, Lee Child, etc. In the case of Sandra Parshall I feel it is absolutely mandatory to read her first book of the series, "The Heat of the Moon". While one can enjoy "Under the Dog Star" on it's own(as I did) the reading experience was so much richer when I went back and read the series in order. Her first book is a wonderful amalgam of mystery, romance, psychological suspense, family drama, and a beautiful Hitchcockian style-noir. It won the Agatha award and truly deserved it. Her next two books deepened the story of Dr. Rachel Goddard and introduced her future love interest, Tom Bridger. She skillfully moves the action from Washington, D.C. to a small town in Virginia. The complexity of the characters, their issues due to ethnicity, and Rachel's attempts to come to terms with her past make for exciting and fast moving novels.
|Author Sandra Parshall|
This book, the fourth in the series has dog-fighting, animal cruelty, family secrets, and murder most foul. A heady stew but Parshall handles it all with her usual skill. Rachel is now living with Tom Bridger, an investigator with the sheriff's department. Their relationship is only one part of a twisted family drama and often brutal story. It is to Parshall's credit that she not only weaves all these elements into an interesting and coherent pattern but brings her characters to life so dramatically. Any fans of Mary Higgins Clark will enjoy this series. The new book, "Under the Dog Star" will be published in September so you have plenty of time to start the series. Enjoy them all.
STEVE SHADOW SCHWARTZ