*Review by Stacey
With a cast of characters that you've come to know and love, the Jake Somers mystery/suspense series illuminates the world of a private investigator and his close knit family group. In this the third in the series, we find Jake dealing with the murder of a beautiful college coed literally at his back door. And when multiple homicides occur across the city and under similar circumstances Jakes crime solving expertise is called upon by the police to help catch a serial killer. Death on a college campus, illegal synthetic drugs and a maniacal killer are all in a days work for Jake Somers.
Now crime novels are one of my favourite genres and as I haven't read one for a while I was looking forward to reading this as I thought it sounded interesting, like my kind of read. The story starts straight out with the discovery of a dead body outside Private Investigator Jake's office block. Eventually more bodies turn up and after investigation alongside the police department and the district attorney, the death can be related to a case he was previously investigating. We meet a lot of other characters in this book, including his office partner Steve and their receptionist Maria, Captain Huddleston from the PD, Jake's mum Josie and his girlfriend Shirley, the killer, and a few others who I lost track of in the end and had to keep checking back.
Due to the previous case relation, we keep hearing details from that case and the current one; they did fit together quite well and we could see clearly how they were related. Don seemed to have done quite a bit of research into synthetic drugs which featured heavily throughout the story. I did think though that the killer was revealed too early and it was quite obvious who it was from not long after we meet them around halfway through, which didn't give much structure to the rest of the story as it was just Jake trying to find them.
As well as these two cases being investigated, there is also a story line of Maria's wedding planning which features quite heavily and I didn't think it fit too well. It would have been better to just have snippets of it rather than feature as heavily as it did as I think altogether these three were just too much in one story. I can't really pick a favourite character as I didn't find them very engaging; I didn't really feel any substance to them and the conversation was quite repetitive. Because of discovering the killer half way through I thought the ending was quite abrupt too as there wasn't anything major to be expected or excited about.
If you are looking for an easy to read mystery novel involved with drugs and murder then this may be the one for you.
You can keep in touch with Don Castle and news about his books on his website or Twitter.
Get your copy of Shadows: A Jake Somers Novel here (UK) or here (US).
I received a copy of this book to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.