“Shadow Man”

cover103048-medium“Shadow Man” by Alan Drew finds Detective Benjamin Wade in 1982 struggling in both his personal life and in his career. He has moved from the crime-filled world in Los Angeles to the idyllic planned world of Orange County California. The unthinkable has happened, and the citizens of his “safe” Orange County planned community of Rancho Santa Elena are terrorized. “No one yet had said there was a serial on the loose, but cops had started to whisper exactly that to one another. “

He struggles with his own personal terror as well, his divorce, his teen-age daughter, and his own dark secrets. Past and present become inexplicably intertwined as Wade tries to find peace for his city and peace for himself. The characters are well developed and realistic, and details of their complex relationships emerge little by little over the course of Wade’s attempting to solve the series of murders.

The setting is almost a character itself. His descriptions of the Orange County are intense as “the western sky a propane blue,” and his locations are geography precise from the shopping centers and the freeways to the Pacific beaches and everywhere in between.

“Shadow Man” shows the alternate side of the tranquil planned community life in Orange County. It is a roller coaster ride with twists, turns, and unexpected happenings from the rugged Orange County mountains to the Pacific Ocean. In the end, all the dark pieces fall into place.

I was given a copy of this book by Random House, Alan Drew, and NetGalley in exchange for my review, and I loved the book. It shows the Orange County where I live and work with all its glories and flaws. I cannot wait for the next in the series.