From The Shadows by G.R. Halliday [review]

From The Shadows book cover
Title: From The Shadows
Author: G.R. Halliday
Publisher: Vintage

[Synopsis]

Sixteen-year-old Robert arrives home late. Without a word to his dad, he goes up to his bedroom. Robert is never seen alive again.

A body is soon found on the coast of the Scottish Highlands. Detective Inspector Monica Kennedy stands by the victim in this starkly beautiful and remote landscape. Instinct tells her the case won’t begin and end with this one death.

Meanwhile, Inverness-based social worker Michael Bach is worried about one of his clients whose last correspondence was a single ambiguous text message; Nichol Morgan has been missing for seven days.

As Monica is faced with catching a murderer who has been meticulously watching and waiting, Michael keeps searching for Nichol, desperate to find him before the killer claims another victim.

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[My Review]

From The Shadows has grit, suspense and intrigue aplenty. The characters are different enough to make me want to read more about them – Monica seems a strong, intelligent detective who avoids being too ‘perfect’ or ‘brilliant’ – she has her own issues and faults – and Michael is similarly touched by trauma, though a very different type of character (which I like as they balance each other somewhat). Both make for interesting reading, and the element of doubt that Monica has about certain characters just adds to the suspense as it makes the reader start to wonder whether they are also being duped by certain people (I don’t want to give away too much). You really feel united with Monica as some of her senior colleagues increasingly ignore her recommendations and suggestions, and it becomes a real race against time when more vulnerable characters seem to be at risk.

I really liked that one particular element of the plot towards the end of the story didn’t go down the route I thought it would which, in my opinion, would have been a little too dramatic and unbelievable – especially as the decision Monica made to get to that point didn’t feel like one that a parent would ever truly make. That’s the only criticism I have, though, and like I say I am glad it didn’t go a certain way in the end.

I liked the structure of the book – each chapter was split into days, and this made it easy to work out how much time had passed. Though there were a good amount of characters, there wasn’t a crazy number which meant it was easier to follow and keep track of who was who.

The plot is dark and has some pretty gruesome descriptions but I didn’t feel that it was too difficult to read (though some who are really squeamish might want to avoid – it was fine for me though!). Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable, promising start to a new series and I’m excited to read following books, and more from G.R. Halliday!

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Readers First for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.

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