It wasn’t easy getting to Shadow Point. Turns out it’s even harder to leave. Madison McPeake, not in the best mood most of the time, has just been not-quite fired, told her brother is dead, discovered she’s responsible for a five-year old niece she’s never met and realized she has to go all the way to San Diego to see to her brother's affairs.
Isolated from the world by geography and a navy base bristling with security, Shadow Point is scarcely habitable—at least Madison thinks so. Coping with the living conditions while getting to know her niece is a daily challenge. Things gets easier when the next-door neighbor, Dr. Alice Piper, seems as eager to share smoldering glances as Madison is. But something’s not right and Madison’s questions about her brother’s death go unanswered.
Madison’s not sure if unnerving events are actually subtle warnings to stop her inquiries. The sexy, alluring Pipe doesn’t seem to think anything’s amiss, which only compounds Madison’s fears. And every time she makes up her mind to pack up her niece and go, it's as if someone—or something—has decided she should stay.
Debut writer Amy Briant has crafted a heroine with more vices than graces in Madison McPeake, who narrates the mystery and passion—and hair-raising surprises— of Shadow Point.
Author of THE BOOK OF KELL, HEAVENLY MOVES, ROMEO FAILS and SHADOW POINT, Amy Briant won a GCLS Goldie for Best Debut novelist and was a Goldie finalist for best Lesbian Paranormal Romance for SHADOW POINT. A native Californian, she is startled to find herself living on the East Coast. Her latest, THE BOOK OF KELL, is a YA post-apocalyptic thriller. Connect with her on Twitter (@AuthorAmyBriant) & at www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyBriant/.
I enjoyed this novel about a woman who goes to a desolate naval base to take charge of her orphaned niece, and ends up fighting a malevolent spirit. Along the way, she meets a dreamy marine biologist and starts a romance with her. Shadow Point was an exciting read that was also laced with wry, subtle humor. (There was a moment that had me chuckling aloud when the heroine Madison is fleeing in terror and yet notices that a rock is shaped like Bing Crosby. It makes more sense when you read it; just trust me, it's funny.)
In addition to the spooky supernatural thrills, I liked the transformation of the heroine from a lonely, bad-tempered drinker to a woman who has found love. It's very romantic but there is no on-screen shagging. I also thought that the character of Madison's five year old niece was very well-realized, and I enjoyed watching Madison struggle to take care of her.
My only tiny criticism of this book is that, although written very crisply and consistently, the plot takes a while to really get going. We don't meet the love interest until oh, sixty pages in. The opening chapters give meticulous detail of everything that happens to our heroine: packing, her plane trip, what she eats, going to the grocery store. This level of detail is more exciting when it's about a vengeful spirit trying to murder Madison. Despite this quibble, I am looking forward to reading more novels by Amy Briant.
I'd give this a bit more than three stars -- it was coherently plotted, the main character, Madison, had a humorous, distinctly individual voice and the writing was skillful. I wouldn't rate it 100% for plausibility, but I managed a willing-enough suspension of disbelief and went with the departures from realism without protest. I felt the author 'played fair' when it came to plot elements that went beyond the entirely natural world.
I'd willingly read other titles by this author, and would be glad to rejoin this cast of characters again, should she ever do a sequel.
For whatever reason, I found the first few pages a bit jarring - the story is told in first person and there's some wonky sentence structure and non-sequitors. By the fifth or sixth page, the story and the narrator won me over and I devoured this book in two days. Some nicely done suspense and spooky elements that weren't overshadowed by romance (there is some, but the focus on the book isn't romance). The ending came a bit too quickly but overall I enjoyed the book.
This is a ripping good story with well defined characters and palpable tension and intrigue. Madison McPeake is real, flawed, and believable. The setting becomes part of the story and draws the reader closer to the main characters. I would like to see what becomes of Madison, Katie, and Pipe.