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Killing Me Softly (Secrets of Shadow Falls #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  950 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews

The Nightcap Strangler, who terrorized the town of Shadow Falls sixteen years ago, has finally been executed. Case closed. Until Bryan Kendall's lover is murdered in the notorious killer's unique style and the rookie cop stands accused. Has someone committed the perfect copycat crime...or was the wrong man put to death?

A continent away, Dawn
Mass Market Paperback, 376 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Mira (first published June 22nd 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jane Stewart
Good story, slowly solving the mystery of a serial killer while on the run from police and the killer.

Dawn’s father was psychic. Somehow when he died five years ago his gifts were passed to Dawn. She began seeing and talking to ghosts, and she couldn’t make it stop. So she ran away from Vermont and made a new life for herself in California. She left her teenage sweetheart Bryan. Since then she has been taking tranquilizers and alcohol to stop the ghosts. Bryan became a cop. Nick, ano
Laurie Garrison
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Paranormal and Suspense readers
Wow, I simply loved this book and let me tell you that says something because, I’m one that loves my books with quite a bit of steamy romance in them, but this one didn’t give me that, nope. I know your saying so what kept me reading? Well it was because the story was so freaking amazing I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who was killing these women and why and then the story turned again to where you suspected someone else OMG, it was just an amazing ride one I wont never forget ...more
Lisa Kay
★★★✩✩ Guessed the killer almost instantly. Which is a good thing, in a way, as it made total sense and wasn't some contrived convoluted unrealistic twist. I like this writer and will read more in the series.
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to jenjn79 by: continuation of a series
After a rather long wait, it was great to finally get to read Dawn's story. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but Shayne delivered a story that I enjoyed.

Series Note:
I think it would be pertinent to give some background info here. This trilogy, and particularly this first book, connect to Shayne's "Mordecai Young" romantic suspense trilogy.

It's been quite a while since I read that initial series so my details may be a little off - in the MY series, Dawn Jones is a 18-ish young woman w
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, to-review, netgalley
It’s not often that I get out of my cozy comfort zone of reading Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books, but there are time when i am really glad I did and this definitely one of those times.

Killing me Softly is a straight out Whodunit book with a Romance and a bit of supernatural thrown in for good measure. All those ingredients make a great, fast paced and thrilling ride that I am really glad I decided to join.

Dawn escaped Shadow Falls 5 years ago, when her insane father died and passed hi
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thrillers
Book #12 of 2011

I wanted this to be a better book than it was. The writing was fairly decent and the characters were likeable enough, but it was just rather obvious to me who the bad guy was. Right from the start. And, I suppose that I could believe that the characters wouldn't suspect this individual, and if it hadn't been so obvious as a reader who it was, it would have been a better book. I mean, these kind of suspense books work a certain way, right? At some point, the reader is introduced t
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the first book that I have read by Maggie Shayne, and I really liked the story. It had drama and mystery and kept me glued to the pages.

Dawn was not a favorite character for me because she appeared to be self absorbed. Sure she had some issues, and although she had a supporting family, she chose to run from them and her problems. There was so much talk of her ghost whispering skills and I was disappointed that I didn't get to see them in action.

Bryan I immediately liked. He was a good g
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. I found the story interesting and the fact that she wove a realistic relationship in, I give her kudos. I hate when an author makes characters fall "in love" and get engaged in a matter of days. The serial killer aspect was not generic either.
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally reviewed at smexybooks-

Olivia Dupree has been hiding in Shadow Falls for 16 years. Never getting to close to anyone. When a man is brought to the hospital with a gunshot and her business card is in his pocket, Olivia assumes it is Aaron Westhaven, a recluse author she had invited to speak at her university. Only, Aaron doesn't remember who he is or why he is there.
When Olivia is the victim of a break in, Aaron comes to the rescue and her past i
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I count on Maggie Shayne to give me a thriller with hot sex scenes thrown in. Some of the book was a bit cliched, and I still enjoyed reading it.

Dawn is a specialty mechanic in California. Bryan is her former high school sweetheart back home in Vermont.

Off-duty cop Bryan finds a dead body in his bed - apparently killed by a copycat of the Shadow Falls Strangler, said Strangler having recently died in prison.

Dawn's mom, now married to Bryan's dad, calls Dawn to come home for moral support. She he
EZRead eBookstore
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: jenifer-reviews
One of the Laws of Nature states that in order to have a good thriller/suspense novel, the serial killer must have an incredible name. I don’t think that there is a better one out there than the “Killing Me Softly” Nightcap Strangler. It brings up images of men in robes enjoying scotch and murder, waiting until nightfall to creep and kill. It’s Halloween costume ready, even. Names aside, this EZ reader had the extreme pleasure to review Maggie Shayne’s new book “Killing Me Softly” before its rel ...more
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense

I gave this book a 3.5 due to many things.
First off I have wanted Dawns story since she was that smart mouth teen in Thicker Than Water (the first book of the Mordecai Young series). I was kind of disappointed for many reasons. I will not state them all because it might spoil the story for those that still wish to read it.

I was upset that she ran away in the last book. This book takes place roughly 5 years after that. Dawn now is 24 living in Cali as a specialty mechanic. She gets a call from B
Lynsey A
For those of you who are fans of Maggie Shayne the H and h in this one met in their teens in Colder Than Ice which is book #2 in the Mordeci Young series, which is about their respective parents. It was a pretty decent series but not as good as her earlier paranormals. The heroine, Dawn Jones is the daughter of Mordeci Young who was a psychic cult leader and killer and one of his young followers, Beth. (view spoiler) ...more
Barbara ★
First of all if you haven't read the parent series (Mordecai Young), you really need to read that before you attempt this series as the heroine of Killing Me Softly is the daughter of the serial killer, Mordecai Young.

That said, I was rather disappointed in this story. The characters were all flat and one dimensional. And there was absolutely zero spark between the hero and heroine. Apparently they had a hot and heavy relationship that was destroyed when Dawn up and left town without telling Bry
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Two or three months ago a co-worker and I got to talking about books. She proceeded to tell me about this book series. It sounded too violent so I wasn't crazy about reading them. Days later we ended up doing a bookswap. She lent me this book and I lent her Ted Dekker's Thr3e. Well, needless to say I sat on it for quite a long time. Then finally I picked it up last night and read it straight through (thanks to my husband who ended up taking care of the kids all night).

This was a gripping t
Allyson Abu-hajar
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sixteen years ago, Shadow Falls was terrorized by a serial killer, called The Nightcap Strangler. The now retired, Nick Di Marco, made a name for himself capturing the serial killer, writing a book and got a movie deal.

Bryan Kendall woke up on the floor, following a late night party, and went back to bed...only to find his girlfriend Bette dead. Her manner of death, looks a lot like The Nightcap Strangler. To everyone else, it looks like Bryan is the killer. Nick Di Marco, Bryan's mentor, comes
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
While I prefer Maggie Shayne's paranormal series, I highly enjoy her thriller romance novels as well. The romance between Dawn and Bryan kept me on edge, which is great. I kept wanting it delved into a little more, but the way it was done showed how the characters matured (they're about 24 here, which is young for most modern romance novels).

The story revolves around Bryan and Dawn. Fives years before the novel, Dawn and Bryan had been in love, but she left town--and Bryan--without a word, tryi
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
What I loved: This was a great read from beginning to end. The characters were engaging, the story was riveting, and the pace was steady through out the whole book. I don't know if I have ever read another Maggie Shayne novel but I will be looking up her other books after reading this one.
Why it only got a 4: I figured out who did it about half way through. I did enjoy watching the characters figure it out but I kept hoping it wasn't the obvious choice. Also, the first part of the book I felt li
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After reading the Mordecai Young Series, and hoping tht there was going to be another series spin off tht one. It finally came true, I always wondered what happend with Bryan and Dawn, and I was not disappointed with this book. My husband was deployed when I bought this book and I had two small children at home, I went home from the book store and waited til I got the kids put to sleep I usually read about an hour or two after the kids went to bed at 8 pm for some me time.....well I finally drag ...more
Kathleen Burket
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Despite correctly identifying the Nightcap Strangler with less than 20% of the book completed, I found Killing Me Softly a very satisfying read. I think that part of the reason is that even though the reader may have guessed the identity of the serial killer, you are caught up in the story as the killings continue and the good guys slowly close in on the culprit.

I loved the romance between Dawn Jones and Bryan Kendall which came across as completely believable and can't wait to discover the res
This was my first book by this author and it was pretty good.

I liked the paranormal/psychic aspect that was thrown in. Dawn inherited her abilities from her father who basically went insane and started killing people. She has since turned to Ativan and vodka to block out her psychic powers. She ignores her powers for years until she returns to her hometown to help her childhood sweetheart on his murder case. He is being accused because his current girlfriend is found strangled in his bed while
Natasha  A.
Jan 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Who do I recommend to? This is a very simple, easy read, good for a quick pick up and devour.

Why did I read it? I have enjoyed Maggie Shayne in the past.

My Rambles:
This was a fun, quick, and refreshing read. I admit, I didn't have the mystery fully figured out, but then again I am usually pretty slow on the uptake. The mystery itself was good, but I did feel that both Brian and Dawn were a little naive and young. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I guess I have just become jaded. It oc
Well, I have to say that I am disappointed. The book is a fast read, maybe because not a whole lot happens. We follow two people on the run and trying to clear one of them from charges of murder. They discover a lot of new clues, but even without them, I knew who the killer was almost from the start. There really were not any other possibles. There were all sorts of odd things brought up, one of the victims had recently had a baby for example, that led no where in the story. The love story was s ...more
Lacy♪ ♫Movements of a Demigod ♪ ♫
I found this book to be good, but not great. The storyline with the main characters trying to discover the identity of a serial killer just isn't something that appeals to me. That being said I really liked the relationship between Bryan and Dawn. You have Dawn who ran away to California trying to escape her gift of being able to speak with the dead due to her belief that it drove her father crazy. Then you have Bryan who is a heartbroken cop whose life gets turned upside down when he is suspect ...more
BonSue Brandvik
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Maggie Shayne's "Killing Me Softly" kept me turning pages till the end. This story was about a serial killer who tries to frame a rooky-cop for the resurgence of his murder spree, even though someone else had been convicted of his crimes and had recently died in prison. I figured out who the real murderer was pretty early-on in the book, but that didn't prevent me from enjoying the story.

One small detail that bothered me about the story was that the killer stands behind the bed of his victims
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maggie Shayne’s Killing Me Softly begins another great series. Following the adventures of Bryan and Dawn, Maggie gives us another hard to put down story. Bryan is now a rookie cop who woke up from a party the night before to find his now girlfriend dead from what looks like the Nightcap Strangler or at least what all the facts point to. But the Nightcap Strangler is dead, so who is killing? Bryan is number one on the suspect list now. Dawn comes back to help Bryan prove his innocents after bein ...more
Killing Me Softly is the first Maggie Shayne novel I've read, but I will follow the rest of this series (and will probably seek out the Mordecai Young trilogy!). I really enjoyed this book, as it combined the mystery with a supernatural edge and just a bit of romance. Maggie Shayne's writing style makes it hard to put this book down, and once I hit the last 100 pages, I just HAD to keep reading. I recommend this book to mystery fans as well as romance fans (there's a good balance of both in this ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not one of my favorites. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with this one, having read a couple of others by Maggie Shayne. At only 121 pages, I felt a lot of the book was rushed and thrown together. I usually really enjoy a paranormal element in suspense thrillers, but that element in this novel was a bit unrealistic and for lack of a better term......cheesy. The serial killer's name was a bit cheesy as well, taking the eerie feeling out of it for me. "Sleep with the Lights on" and "Gingerbread ...more
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book. So much happened 16 years ago between a 19 year old boy and girl and she had to go away from him because the dead decided the wanted to talk to her. Between the those years the Nightcap Strangler started his killing spree, someone very close to the case. Now, the girl has returned to the man who is a cop and is being set up to take the rap for crimes he never committed. This book has alot of intrigue, want, need, violence and uncontrollable rage. If you get a chance to re ...more
Feb 28, 2012 added it
Enjoyed it. Its hard for me to get into a mystery thriller novel esecially the beginning but when I do I finish it. This wasnt on of those botched attempt to create a mystery it was slow going but it picked up it became enthralling. Yeah it wasnt that suspenseful and it had real good lot twists and I was glad not have been able to predit who was the murderer that usual kills the story. Shayne has the reader progressing just as the characters are, instead of having them figure things out that the ...more
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The Ultimate ABC ...: Killing Me Softly by Maggie Shayne 1 2 Mar 14, 2012 05:24AM  
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  • In Seconds (Bulletproof, #2)
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  • Midnight Fear (Chasing Evil, #2)
  • Make Her Pay (Bullet Catcher, #8)
  • Love You to Death
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I live in the teeny, tiny town of Taylor, NY, (Alliteration Alert!) though my mailing address is Cincinnatus, my telephone exchange is Truxton and I pay taxes and vote in Cuyler. All of these are at least in the same rural county in the southern hills of New York State; Cortland County. There are more cattle than people here. The nearest “big” cities are Syracuse and Binghamton and they are an hou ...more
More about Maggie Shayne...

Other Books in the Series

Secrets of Shadow Falls (4 books)
  • Kill Me Again (Secrets of Shadow Falls, #2)
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me  (Secrets of Shadow Falls, #3)
  • Kiss Me Goodbye

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