It rarely happens that I pick up something so dark and serious. And it’s even more rare that I finish reading a book like this, but let’s just say I had a motivation. And I was curious to finish it. It wasn’t easy, but here it is.
Angels in the Shadows by Joseph Blanche
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Angels in the Shadows is a psychological thriller about a young lady, Krissy, who uses a veteran Combat Tracking dog to search for lost children. Krissy is on the trail of two missing girls when she discovers something that threatens to destroy her and her family, and she finds herself on the trail of a serial killer.
If you’re looking for a pleasant mystery story – this is not for you. It’s brutal, bloody and graphic. The author did well to show you exactly what a psychopathic killer can do and what others are able to withstand to survive. The worst part of it is that it’s about children. I admit I struggled a lot to read it because of that. I’m more used to “nice” stories. This one shook me, scared me and yet it made me believe that people can do good things even if their life wasn’t easy.
The story follows few characters, sometimes maybe a few too many, but somehow it didn’t break the flow. The chapters are very short and sometimes they switch from one person to another in a whim presenting you with a new point of view. At first, it seemed strange to me, but I got used to this style and I have to say it felt right.
Let’s talk a bit about the characters. The main evil psycho (I’m not just calling him that, he really has a psychological problem) is a guy with several personalities and throughout most of the book, the evil ones are out. I think the author did a really got job portraying this several-men-in-one-body issue. They switched personalities so suddenly sometimes and yet you could always say which is out at the moment.
Krissy – the brave teenager leading a veteran tracking dog to the killer, is determined, strong and someone you need to admire. I can’t say she did everything right, but really, who does? She had a tough life before it all started and now she’ll have to live with the memory of everything that happened, but also with some new friends and family. Actually, I don’t think any of these people will have an easy time after these events. They all went through some really bad things.
This is the first book Joseph Blanche wrote. I admire the imagination and the research he had to do to get it all together. It couldn’t have been easy to write it. And from what I’ve heard publishing your book can be a pain.
If you don’t mind some cruel and painfully realistic descriptions this is a solid read with well-crafted characters and a thrilling crime story. It will make you cry, hate, want to hit someone. It will awake all the bad emotions, but it will also give you hope. The ending is kind of bittersweet. I won’t tell you why – you’d have to read it, but it left me both hopeful and maybe a bit broken and scared. I will need some serious cozy-mystery therapy after that to pick my mood up.
I guess it’s a story that will be good for Halloween, so if you need a good thriller for this time of year – check it out.
In the meantime, let me know what are your favorite Halloween time stories?