To my friends who love a good psychological thriller, pull up a chair while I tell you about author Eliza Maxwell’s newest novel, The Shadow Writer. This story had me on the edge of my seat and definitely had my head spinning, so read on – and be sure to enter the giveaway, too. I was thrilled to get an advance copy from the author and NetGalley for review purposes, and as always, this post contains affiliate links.
THE SHADOW WRITER
Genre: Psychological Suspense / Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 348
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Every writer has a story. Some are deadlier than others.
Aspiring author Graye Templeton will do anything to escape the horrific childhood crime that haunts her. After a life lived in shadows, she’s accepted a new job as protégé to Laura West, influential book blogger and wife of an acclaimed novelist. Laura’s connections could make Graye’s publishing dreams a reality. But there’s more to Laura than meets the eye.
Behind the veneer of a charmed life, Laura’s marriage is collapsing. Her once-lauded husband is descending into alcoholism and ruin and bringing Laura nearer to the edge.
As the two women form a bond that seems meant to be, long-buried secrets claw their way into the present, and the line between friendship and obsession begins to blur, forcing each to decide where her loyalties lie. Running from the past is a dangerous game, and the loser could end up dead.
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I have read Eliza Maxwell’s previous books, so I thought I knew what I was getting into withThe Shadow Writer. She is a true storyteller, her books have a dark edge to them, tend to really stick with you after the final page is turned, and I can count on at least one really unexpected, unpredictable twist.
Well, let me just say that Eliza Maxwell really blew the doors off this one. The Shadow Writer is gripping, suspenseful, and unexpectedly mind twisting. It’s a well-spun story with unforgettable characters that has more twists and turns than a mountain switchback, and one that will have you saying “just one more chapter” – late into the night.
The story starts out innocently enough and grows more complex and dark as it unfolds, speeding up to a reckless pace – only to throw you against the window as it makes a sharp turn and then nearly takes you over a cliff.
Laura is a successful book blogger – a title I’d certainly like to hold – with a marriage that I’d just as soon pass on, thank you. Graye comes to work as her personal assistant after having previously worked as a teaching assistant under Laura’s husband, a professor
The story is told from multiple points of view. Chapters flit between Graye, and Laura. There are also chapters told from the point of view of Sister Margaret, a nun from the orphanage where Graye was raised after the murder of her mother – a secret and infamous past that she has no intention of sharing. Graye’s backstory unfolds in bits and pieces, and you might get a hint of something, well, off – but this is a woman who endured an unimaginable childhood, so you can imagine that she has some idiosyncracies. Maxwell’s switches from point of view were confusing at times, but it only seemed to add to the feeling of unpredictability.
The characters are complex and contradictory, manipulative, and weirdly both likable and unlikable at times. The shifts were subtle and I was never really sure if the characters were who I thought they were – or just who they needed to be. Whose viewpoint is reliable? The fairy tales shared at the start of some chapters and the additional point of view of Sister Margaret and others add layers to the story – but things are never quite what you think.
I refuse to give away any spoilers, but goodness, the twists! When I thought I knew what would happen next, I didn’t. When I thought it was over – it wasn’t.
My complaint of late is that there are far too many books held up in comparison to others that, in the end, bear no resemblance to said novel. When I saw initial comparisons to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, admittedly I was leery, but Maxwell truly delivers with The Shadow Writer.
Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever-patient husband and two kids. She’s an artist and writer, an introvert, and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers.
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
ONE WINNER: Signed Copy
APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2019
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