One of the crappy things about being an editor is that I’m constantly critiquing whatever reading material is in front of me. And it’s not just books—it’s menus, instructions, social media posts—heck, I even find grammatical errors when reading people’s facial expressions.
It’s rare, even among best-sellers, to find a book that truly resonates with me. Sometimes I love the characters, but break my ankles falling into the gaping plot holes. Sometimes it’s a fantastic plot, but I want to stab the characters in the eye with a screwdriver. And sometimes the writing style just grates on my last nerve. So to find a story that has those three aspects flawlessly braided and blended together—well, that is true art.
When you find an author who is so in touch with her story that each word strung together forms a melody, with the depth of the characters and the intricacy of the plot harmonizing, it literally moves your soul. It changes you. You get a sense of yearning that you can’t express; you just know that your world has shifted and you realize that words. Are. Powerful.
Where The Shadow Lies did this to me. I was fortunate enough to be the lucky editor for this thriller. Not only did I laugh and cry, but I hyperventilated, I squealed, I bounced, I paced, I made noises that caused my husband to ask if I needed him to take me to the hospital (and trust me, that’s never a question that’s asked while editing. EVER).
Cassie Sharp, man. She takes words, and she makes them her bitch.
Where the Shadow Lies follows the stories of three characters, the main one being Jael. Jael is a troubled woman who has lived her life, quietly trying to conquer demons from her past—and she’s losing this battle. But she’s got to keep a strong façade for her college-age son, Jason.
Jason is oblivious to his mother’s past, but he knows she’s a hella good mom. Besides, he’s fighting his own battles. Despite playing college football, Jason just can’t seem to form solid relationships—no best friends, no girlfriends—he just doesn’t fit in. Anywhere.
So when Jason receives a threatening note on his car windshield one day, he chalks it up to typical bullying. But Jael…
She loses it. This is her worst nightmare come true, because the monster who lurks in her nightmares has manifested, and yet THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. What’s worse is that she has no one to talk to—and she STILL has to hold up a façade for Jason, so she secretly hires a security guard to follow him around without him knowing.
Enter Zander, a private investigator with an ailing—and absolutely HILARIOUS—grandmother. Zander sees something in Jael and Jason that the rest of the town doesn’t. His heart tells him to help them, but common sense says to stay far, far away. Besides, he’s had a lapse in judgement before … and it cost people their lives.
Let’s just say that this combination of characters and their flaws is a recipe for an intense, creepy, terrifying disaster.
But Cassie’s writing style is so lovely, it’s like murder wrapped in a pretty pink bow. It’s like coming home and finding a present sitting on your doorstep, and when you open it, there’s a severed finger inside.
Oops! Have I said too much?
You can buy this little nugget here.