Book Review: Chasing Shadows by Karen Harper
angela | Karen Harper’s Chasing Shadows takes us into the haunted depths of Florida, as forensic psychologist Claire and attorney Nick engage in a murder investigation with a spooky twist. Along the way, Claire has to balance treating her lifelong narcolepsy in new surroundings among new people – not all of whom she can trust to help her. They are joined also by Claire’s ex-husband, Jace, a rather selfish pilot with whom she shares custody of their daughter.
If you are a fan of suspense, this is a fairly decent, quick read. Harper does a good job of keeping the suspense up, and the murderer isn’t given away too easily. Strong points of the story include the scene descriptions of the Shadowlawn plantation house and its surroundings, as well as interesting side notes on indigo production, puppetry, and more.
Romantic suspense is a difficult genre to balance, as it necessarily requires that the characters involved have at least a minor degree of chemistry. Unfortunately the chemistry between Nick and Claire really fell flat for me. I get that their relationship is meant to develop slowly over time, so it wasn’t necessary for them to get hot and heavy or anything. However, it was tiresome to repeatedly see their feelings be revealed through their internal narratives, rather than through their interactions in the wider environment.
I would give this book 2.5 glasses out of five. The concept could be good, but I felt the writing was a bit too much “tell” rather than “show”. The romantic element completely falls flat for me, and because it does I wonder why it was even necessary. I think Claire’s character development could carry the story without the need for any kind of romance between her and a male character, so having it there is more of an annoying interjection at this time.
november 29, 2016