Review: Shadow Hill (Thomas Kies)

This appears to be the second book in the series – I have not read the first; however, this can stand on its own without any problem at all. (Edit: it is book four in this series.)

Geneva Chase, former reporter, now freelancer and information analyst for Lodestar Analytics, is assigned by her boss to look at the apparent murder-suicide of Morris Cutter and his wife. While the local authorities see it as open and shut, Lodestar is hired by the family to go over it again. To Geneva and her boss Nathaniel, it is anything but apparent.

Cutter dies just days before he was to present a report before Congress, about environmental issues with fracking and so forth. Thee are plenty of suspects: the remaining family, Cutter’s brother, who accepted a buyout at a cheap price before the company they ran went public and was worth tons more than he got, a couple of radical environmentalist groups, and even the board of the company itself. There are some goons who appear – courtesy of the board – and offer Geneva $250K an then a half a million dollars to agree that it was a murder- suicide and issue a report saying so. Geneva refuses, finds that people are following her, and the stakes are even higher when Cutter’s daughter disappears, the lead scientist on the report vanishes, and Nathaniel is brutally beaten.

The pace of the book is good. There are no real laggy parts, and no giant holes in the narrative. I did have an issue with the ending – not with the ending itself, but with the main character screaming and seeming to be a it out of control. The circumstances were pretty dire, but still, I’d have liked her to not freak out “We’re going to die!!!” style.

Overall, a satisfying read, and a solid four stars.

Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for the reading copy.