Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shadow Woman by Linda Howard

4.5 thrilling stars

There is always a lot of excitement and anticipation when starting a Linda Howard book. Mr. Perfect, Dream Man or Open Season are titles that will always be in the back of my mind because they are the works of a talented and very skilled writer who has you on the edge of your seat with stories of suspense, an all-consuming romance and a mysterious plot that keeps you engaged and challenged until the very end. Shadow Woman is one of Linda Howard’s better works even though it is not on the same level with other books she has written.

"Then she straightened, tossing her hair back, and turned to the mirror - and stared into the face of a stranger”

It’s a usual Friday morning for Lizette; taking a shower, getting ready for work at an investment firm she has been employed at for five years. The only problem…she doesn’t recognize herself in the mirror. All of a sudden a combination of numbers pops into her head and she gets raging headaches when thinking about past events. What is even more bizarre, when Lizette calls in sick to work, her boss tells her she hasn’t been sick once in the three years she has worked at the firm. Three years? How can that be? Somehow Lizette is missing two years from her life, two years she can’t remember. She can’t remember the interview for her current job, how she moved into her house. Who is this woman she sees in the mirror? Slowly Lizette gets snippets of a past, a past she can’t identify with but the woman is her. Her instincts are telling her that she is being watched but who are They and why does she suddenly have an in depth knowledge of guns and martial arts? So many questions and no one to trust. Lizette faces a seemingly insurmountable problem but she figures it out step by step.

Lizette’s instincts are correct. She is being watched! Xavier is one of many people watching Lizette live her everyday life. His intentions are not always clear at first but he quickly becomes a key figure for Lizzie to regain her memories. The plot of Shadow Woman is original and very mysterious. I felt challenged by the author to work at putting the puzzle pieces together which was almost impossible to do. While reading this book, I shared the story with friends and family and had them guessing with me because the story is interesting and intriguing. There is not one moment of boredom; the tension is on a steady high until the slightly uneventful ending. I was captivated by this strange woman who was discovering herself while not being able to fully lose her new identity. The step by step discovery of Lizzie and how Lizette came to be was one of the strongest points of the book and kept the story very real and believable.

While the suspense plot was very strong, the romance was lost along the way. Lizzie and her love interest don’t physically meet until the last third of the book and even then their relationship feels rushed and should have been explored a lot more.

Summed up in one sentence, Linda Howard is back! I wish for more romance and chemistry between the characters but I am beyond excited for upcoming books!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House via Netgalley*

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  1. Great review Steffi! This is a must read for me!

  2. Great review, Steffi. I've been meaning to read this book.

    1. Thanks, Kristen. I hope you pick it up, it's a wonderful book but you have to be in a certain mood for it. It might not be the best book if you're looking for heavy romance but the mystery plot is outstanding.

  3. Fab review, Steffi!! I enjoyed this one as well:)

    1. Thanks, Eliz. Glad you enyjoyed it, too. I'm very excited about another release by Linda Howard called Running Wild. It's a contemporary with a bit of a suspense element, so pretty much the opposite of Shadow Woman:)