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The Shadow Writer

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,367 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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.

Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published May 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,367 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell is a 2019 Lake Union publication.

Graye Templeton wants to be a writer, but she also needs to live under the radar, while she distances herself from an unbelievably shocking childhood. However, it seems that luck is finally shining on Graye when she backs into a dream job working for Laura West, a star blogger who has catapulted authors from obscurity to bestsellers. Now, if Graye can only get Laura to realize she is not only a great assistant, but a promising
Christina - Recipe & a Read
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-read
3.5, well that was unexpected stars!!

Graye Templeton wants two things in life, first to escape her truly horrific past and second to become an author. She wants to be real, and seen and knows that the best way to achieve this goal is to publish the book she's been working on for some time. When Graye lands the job as a TA to the best selling author and now professor at her university, David West, she feels like the tides are finally turning and luck is sure to follow. When Graye accidentally bum
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read all of Eliza Maxwell's books and was in love with The Unremembered Girl, which stayed with me for weeks, with the ache I felt for the main character still in my memory today. I enjoyed this book also although it has a lighter feel for me even though the subject matter deals with murder, manipulation and lies. The chapters are from the point of view of Graye Templeton, Laura West, and a few more characters.

Graye had an abusive, lonely childhood that included the murder of her mother wh
Katie B
I was really disappointed in this one because I actually liked the author's other book, The Unremembered Girl. The characters just fell flat which is a shame because there was a pretty decent backstory for Graye. As the story progressed I cared less and less about each person. It's like the book had the basic elements of what should be an interesting story but lacked any meat and therefore came across as lackluster.

Graye Templeton has tried to move on from her horrific childhood and aspires to
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell is a book that I will probably read again because there is so much going on in this novel that a second read would be beneficial. Graye Templeton is a woman whose childhood was marred by a terrible crime that was so notorious that her name had to be changed to protect her. She is hired as an assistant to Laura West, a well-known book blogger whose husband is a famous author. The women quickly develop a strong friendship. Upon moving to a Texas island, in a gues ...more
Louise Wilson
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5⭐️ rounded up to 4

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 a protégé to Laura West, influential book blogger and wife of acclaimed novelist. Laura's connections could make Graye's publishing dreams a reality. But there's more to Laura than meets the eye.

This is the first book that I have read by the author and I can honestly say that I did not know what I was going to get
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Obsession. Manipulation. Lies.

This book was in a word UNPREDICTABLE! A crazy ride! A plot full of twists and turns and characters with agendas you are never privy to. Eliza Maxwell has crafted a dark disturbing tale about obsession and manipulation. Unreliable, unlikable, self serving narrators who left a bad taste in my mouth. I am still baffled as to how we got from that first chapter to the last, but it sure was entertaining getting there.

Here is a quote from the book I think all my book r
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Shadow Writer has such a cool, inventive premise!

Graye Templeton is an aspiring author. She had a tough, abusive childhood and one that still colors her darkest days.

Graye has been hired as a right-hand to Laura West, wife to an acclaimed novelist and big-time book blogger. Working for Laura might take Graye to the next level in writing and give her the connections she needs.

However, Laura is not-so-simple.

Everything is falling apart for her. Her marriage is in a tailspin. Her husband ha
DJ Sakata
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Favorite Quotes:

She signs the visitor's log, and the receptionist passes her a neon-green sticker to affix to her shirt. Proof that Graye isn’t some rogue criminal, there to ravish old ladies and steal pieces from the jigsaw puzzles.

She stares at him for a beat, struggling to remind herself of the man she knows he can be—when he isn’t being this one. It’s getting more difficult every day to bring that man to mind.

Whom you choose to be married to is your business, Laura. I decided a long time ago
Zoe Mann
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh wow! This just blew my mind. Actually feel so emotional after finishing it which I wasn’t expecting at all!!! I can see this becoming a best seller for sure!!

I’m actually left so speechless I don’t even have the words to write a full review even 2 months after finishing this book, they just wouldn’t do it justice.

If you want to be taken on the craziest, emotional journey of your life then read this book and try and write a review yourself because I give up!
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
To begin with I really enjoyed The Shadow Writer by Eliza Maxwell. The story was interesting and I was intrigued. Unfortunately it slowed down and I started to lose interest. The characters were all rather unlikeable - all out to get what they could from each other. I had hoped for more from this book but it fell a bit flat for me. A decent ending though.

Graye Templeton had a horrific childhood, one that she hoped to escape and put behind her. She gets a job working with Laura West - a blogger a
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
Ahh I so love diving into a dark tale of obsession, especially when there are two women involved, there’s something intoxicating about a relationship full of secrets to me and there was plenty of that here. This was a slow burn with a big payoff in the end, one of my personal preferences when reading a slower paced book, and I throughly enjoyed this one.

Both Laura and Graye were complex women who were not altogether very likable but I tend to enjoy reading about unlikable (and unreliable) charac
Aga Durka
3 Solid Stars.

“The Shadow Writer” is a fast-paced, suspenseful read. There are few unexpected twists and the story has a dark and sinister feel to it. I enjoyed the story and the mystery within the pages of this book, however I did have a hard time connecting with the characters. I am not sure why but the characters felt flat to me and I just could not relate to any of them. There were also few places where I felt disconnected from the story, places where the story jumped in a time period witho
**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**


I've read every book written by Eliza Maxwell, even though she writes the type of stories that I usually don't read that often. However, I have become a fan of her writing and her great story-telling abilities. She really knows how to grab and put me on the edge of my seat. Her stories are suspenseful, mysterious and dark. They are unpredictable and you'll always get hit by a twist that you don't see coming. So when I started reading
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
This book will take you on a ride much like a roller coaster.  It is filled with heart-pounding action and just when you think everything will be ok, along comes another turn that throws you for a loop.

I have only read a few of Eliza Maxwell's books, but each one has left me wondering how in the world she (or any other author) can derive such diabolical scenarios.  And very few characters are who they purport themselves to be in this book.  Graye is the biggest mystery and the things we learn ab
Yna the Mood Reader
Nov 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
“A person writes a book out of ego, reads a book out of hope, and recommends a book out of love.”
Tangled in Text
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Giveaway live on blog on 05/02/19:

Oh how juicy and tantalizing this dynamic is between Laura and Graye! Eliza put all I could ever want into one story, and I couldn't get enough of it! She gave me this explosion of personalities in this pair of alternating perspectives which beautifully complemented each other, an immediate heart-stopping hook, and a huge twist in the first ten pages. Swoon! Then all her fun details with a character who reads dirty romanc
Christina McDonald
An intriguing premise with characters and a plot that centered around obsession. There were long, dry spells in between intriguing, heart-pounding scenes, so it was a bit of a mixed bag. However, the characters were well done with some surprising plot twists near the end.
Kristine Hall
AUDIO BOOK REVIEW. When I read the book jacket of THE SHADOW WRITER, I let out an audible “oooooh” and knew what I was getting into – a story that would be intriguing, multi-layered, and dark, as I’ve come to expect from Eliza Maxwell. I am happy to say that I am right about my initial appraisal (who doesn’t love being right?). However, a confession is in order: that is about the only thing I got right in reading this book.

“He smells of salt and booze, sweat and inadequacy.”

Talk about your compl
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is few and far between that I rate a book five stars. It has to be really outstanding; especially for psychological thrillers. This is my genre and so I have read many books. They do have a common theme but if done right the book can be a home run. Author, Eliza Maxwell scores a home run with The Shadow Writer! Ms. Maxwell pens engaging characters with a sharp storyline that kept me glued to the edge of my seat. This book is a must, must read.

The mystery surrounding Graye instantly drew me i
Lynn Poppe
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I want to make sure this review is as spoiler-free as possible. This is all you’ll read about the plot from me: I DID NOT see those turns coming! The plot is twisty and well laid out. If there were clues in the narrative, I sure didn’t pick up on them. Great job there, Ms. Maxwell!
Instead of ruining the plot for you, let’s focus on characters and writing style.
I’ll admit that when I started listening to this book, I wasn’t sure if I could trust any of the characters. And by the end, I’m still no
Ruthie Jones
Most books typically end with everything neatly wrapped up, all questions answered. However, sometimes the mystery tapers off, with the sad reality that lives are ruined or lost, memories are dealt with through storytelling, and some answers open up doors that are better left closed.

The Shadow Writer is a complex labyrinth of lies, manipulation, and characters that may or may not be guilty of heinous crimes or be victims of horrific family dynamics. Who's really to blame once the dust settles an
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a stormy spring here in my part of Texas, and for me, nothing goes better with gray rainy days, or nights full of crashing thunder and flashing lightning than a compelling mystery or a good thriller. Eliza Maxwell’s The Shadow Writer gave me the perfect storm setting mystery and suspense against a literary background and giving me strong female protagonists, as well.

Much of the novel is told from the point of view of Graye Templeton, a young woman whom we initially meet when she accide
Erin Decker
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-paperbacks
Eliza Maxwell is the most underrated writer of this decade. I am continuously blown away by her writing and her novels. This was by far one of the best thrillers I have ever read, and don't think I am just saying this, I truly mean it. 

The Shadow Writer is dark, twisted, mysterious and enthralling. I was completely captivated by the mystery in the book and trying to figure out what characters did what. For the first time since college, I stayed up way too late past my bedtime to finish this book
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have personally never read anything by Eliza Maxwell but I have heard many things about her work though. And boy did her novel, “The Shadow Writer” live up to all the rave! I stepped in wanting a deeply mysterious ride with killer characters which is exactly what I got. Literally.
Every corner seemed to have twist after dark, twist! I just barely finished the last chapter, and I’m in a complete state of utter amazement! (Which please forgive me I this review sounds spaced because it’s so hard
Rachel (Words With Rach)
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The beginning hooked me and there were several interesting twists. I appreciate the character back story that the author included. I also loved that one of the main characters is a book blogger and the other main character is a writer. The conclusion was the only part of the book that seemed a little off for me. That being said, I would still recommend this book to anyone looking for a good mystery.

Thank you to the author for my gifted copy.
Bonnye Reed
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Graye Templeton is a character, like many in everyday life, that you have to feel sympathy for even as you are exasperated by their helpless immersion in their problems. The wrong turns in their world are not motivated by hate or greed or self-defense - Graye reacts only with love and caring and a wonky fault line between right and wrong. You want to help her, to come to her defense but she is her own worst enemy and your fault line is hard-set, black and white.

As is the conscious of our primar
Morgan Schulman
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reader-s-copy
I received an advanced readers cubby in exchange for an honest review. This was really dark and there were times that I don’t think I fully took in all of the layers, but it was enjoyable and they kept me reading just to see what would happen next. The characters are all very anti-heroic and yet likable. Kept me turning pages. 3.5 rounded up
Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Eliza Maxwell's previous novel, THE WIDOW'S WATCHER, was one of my favorite reads last year, so when I saw her newest book was a thriller involving a book blogger, I couldn't wait to get my hands on its pages!

As a huge fan of the thriller genre, I have read many titles, and I must say that this one stands up there with many of the more widely known! Featuring unlikeable and unreliable characters with ambiguou
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Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with a patient man, two impatient children and a bird named Sarah. When she's not working on her next novel, she stays busy trying to keep her children from some future therapist's chair.
You can reach her at

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“As my father likes to say, a person writes a book out of ego, reads a book out of hope, and recommends a book to another out of love.” 1 likes
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