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The Brim Reaper (Style & Error Mystery #3)
Diane Vallere

Fading Shadows

Fading Shadows - Susan C. Finelli Fading Shadows begins with the death of Kay Straga’s beloved grandfather, Nick. It is revealed that Nick fears that Kay may have been involved in the murder of Christopher Jeffries, the son of a past business rival. This suspicion proves too much for his frail heart, and he collapses and dies in his wife’s arms. Daniel, the love of Kay’s life, flees town in the aftermath of Christopher’s murder, compounding Kay’s heartbreak. Kay marries her best friend and has a family, but her heart continues to belong to Daniel. Eventually, Christopher’s brother, Reid, sets into motion an elaborate plan to exact revenge for his brother’s murder, forcing Daniel to return to protect Kay and her family.

I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. It promised all the elements of the type of book I enjoy reading: mystery, secrets, romance, revenge. Unfortunately, I found that I had to force myself to continue reading it. To be fair, this book is the second of a series, and I did not read the first book in the series, which may have contributed to my confusion. There were many side characters and stories, and the narrative switched abruptly from one storyline to another. It was very difficult to follow and keep track of which storyline was being told at any given time. I felt the ending to be almost an afterthought, as though the author suddenly realized she had to tie up loose ends in order to finish the book. In addition, I found it difficult to develop any type of attachment to any of the main characters, who I found, for the most part, to be selfish, petty and wholly unlikable.

Lastly I found several instances of incorrect grammar usage (“Hunter shuttered in disgust”) and fragmented sentences (“Gordon Brothers Construction would now reap the rewards of her skill by receiving a hefty early completion premium bonus. Something that Sidney had negotiated.”). These structure issues were so distracting that they caused my confusion as to the storyline to be intensified.

Was this the worst book I have ever read? No, it was not. However, if you are a stickler for correct grammar usage, as I am, the errors are very obvious and very distracting. If you find it in the library or book exchange, it may be worth a look, but I can’t recommend that you run out and buy this book.

Rebecca Kinnie
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