4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Shadows Behind Her Smile is a mystery novel by Karen Millie-James.
Written in the third person perspective, the story is about Cydney Granger, a smart and beautiful corporate forensic specialist who has the gift of mediumship, that is, she has the ability to see and communicate with the spirits of dead people.
The book begins with a prologue which happened four years earlier when Cydney had a vision and knew right away that her husband, Capt. Steve Granger, was dead. The book, then, moves on to the first chapter showing Cydney, at the present time, on her way to a meeting with her long-time friend and client. While contemplating on her life, her twins, Jake and Lauren, and her work which she enjoys, she suddenly feels the familiar sensation of being approached by a spirit and finds Ray Gordon, a middle aged man who just died, next to her in the taxi.
Though the story is basically about Cydney’s inability to connect with her dead husband when she can easily communicate with her dead father and her newly-found friend, Ray, it also presents multiple subplots including that about a greedy brother who is trying to rob his sister-in-law and her kids of their inheritance, a pair of dishonest businessman who are willing to resort to criminal acts to have their way, a maltreated half-brother who is too scared to confess the truth to the woman he loves and a soldier who is trying to get back to his family.
I commend the author for successfully bringing in too many subplots in one relatively short novel. The story is fast-paced with plenty of suspenseful scenes. The descriptions, especially of Cydney being approached by a spirit, are creepy and chilling. The author also adeptly creates a cast of relatable and memorable characters. Cydney is a brave single mother who finds it difficult to let go of her deceased husband. Sean is a loyal and protective friend who stands by Cydney all these years. Ray is a loving husband and father who tries to take care of his family even after death. George is a patient and kind man who hides a sad past. Richard, Jenny and Ash are Cydney’s efficient and trusted employees.
However, I find the subplots too many for my taste as I, personally, prefer it if the author focused on the main plot and maybe a subplot or two. Then, there are scenes that I find confusing like the reception that Cydney and George attended. It was held at a hotel but the setting suddenly changed to a hospital. I reread it but still did not get what happened. Finally, there are too many flashbacks that detract the smooth flow of the story.
Despite those, however, I really enjoyed the book. So I give it the rate of 4 out of 4 stars and I recommend it to readers who enjoy mystery, thriller and paranormal. However, there is a specific issue in this book that is left unexplained and which, I presume, will be the subject of the second book.
The Shadows Behind Her Smile
View: on Bookshelves
Like kimmyschemy06's review? Post a comment saying so!