THE SHADOW WRITER
by ELIZA MAXWELL
Genre: Psychological Suspense / Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 348
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. But there’s more to Laura than meets the eye.
Behind the veneer of a charmed life, Laura’s marriage is collapsing. Her once-lauded husband is descending into alcoholism and ruin and bringing Laura nearer to the edge.
As the two women form a bond that seems meant to be, long-buried secrets claw their way into the present, and the line between friendship and obsession begins to blur, forcing each to decide where her loyalties lie. Running from the past is a dangerous game, and the loser could end up dead.
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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 romance novels to nursing home residents, a badass book blogger who married a man after falling in love with his book, then all kinds of crazy paranoia and suspense. I couldn't take it all in fast enough.
Twists and secrets and lies, Oh my! Eliza definitely remained crafty as she masterfully delivered punches to the heart and mind in the crazy dysfunctional lives she created. Dysfunction is my favorite flavor of book and The Shadow Writer was a huge cake of dysfunction, covered in a thick layer of it, then sprinkled with it for good measure.
The all-encompassing book-centered environment was my favorite part of this book. I love reading about other readers and this was the best instance of that I've ever seen in a book. I was mesmerized by the allure of a life I could only dream of. This blogger planned book clubs, book retreats, freaking murder mystery dinner parties, and read books for a living. Yes please! Then you have this aspiring author who lives and breaths her work and becomes single-minded in her passion to publish. Most readers are going to be able to relate to either the love of reading and/or love of writing that is captured in this book and appreciate being represented.
My one hangup was the very few instances where the story line would jump a little from one present tense to a present tense hours or months down the road, which created gaps and some confusion. For example, one scene went from characters sitting and drinking at a house immediately to another perspective where one of them had already walked home with no farewells or any hint to that scene change.
This is one intense, layered build that you wont be disappointed in. I gave this 4.5 stars only because I've read every single other one of Eliza Maxwell's books and I feel like I'm rating her through a higher standard than most, so even the slightest thing is noticed. All her work has been and continues to be brilliant, mind-altering, hangover inducing masterpieces though, so thank you for gracing us with your talent!
I think a better catch phrase for this book rather than, "Every writer has a story. Some are deadlier than others," is "A story worth dying for, but is it worth killing for?" or "How far would you go to get published?"
Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever-patient husband and two kids. She's an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict. She loves nothing more than to hear from readers.
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“It's a difficult thing, perhaps the most difficult of things, to have looked eye to eye at the monster that lives inside of each of us. To embrace it, even for a time, willingly. Knowingly.”
“She quickens her pace, but that's the thing about ghosts. They're impossible to outrun. They travel in the heart of the people they've hurt the most.”
TWO WINNERS: Signed Copy + $25 Amazon Gift Card
ONE WINNER: Signed Copy
APRIL 30-MAY 10, 2019
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