By – Luanne Rice

The Shadow Box is a well written novel with developed characters and intense action & plotting. Luanne Rice is not a new writer so it was not normal  to see her being offered for a First Reads title; that by itself had me intrigued. Subsequent to perusing “The Shadow Box”, I can see reason why her book is here – it resembles a breakout title from the tired few she’s written in the past, (altho’ “last day” was fairly better)

The Shadow Box starts with a BANG and a fight as spouse attempts to kill wife and hangs her from the garage rafters, leaving her to dead. The rafters used was old, save her life and we’re off and limping into the exciting future as Claire scrambles to reveal the 5 W’s and 1 H of things.

There are 50 parts and majority of which are told from alternating point of views of the principle characters, (Claire, Sallie, Tom, Conor), and a couple of sprinkled sections denoting the entry of explicit time (3 days back, 5 days…). Almost immediately the book is an equilibrium of prose and dialogue while the heft of the characters are being created and the complexities of the plot are being spread out. It is a fine equilibrium as there are 2 secrets, from 2 diverse time spans woven through the pages. That they meet up is definitely not a major spoiler yet the how and who of things is a head shaking, twisty, psycho, mess of literary crazy; positively, if you like this kind.

As the story advances, it turns out to be more dialogue driven and the psychological angles arrive at their pinnacle. There are numerous social and financial issues tied up in this story, on the off chance that you decide to put them there. Or then again, you can suspend the “profound reading” and simply permit that these rich people have their own entitled image of insane and read for the delight of reading, in any case, there are issues and you can manage them, or not. Different subjects incorporate family, fellowship, legislative issues, network, dependability, truth and honesty.

Rice’s writing is illustrative however less that the violence or sexual substance gets needless. Language has unpleasant patches, including a couple of f-bombs, yet these are not many and utilized seemingly out of the blue, not much or utilized as literary fodder.

All in all “The Shadow Box” is a well written psychological, mystery, suspense novel.