Writing a novel is time-consuming and hard work. But reading a novel and writing a review is time-consuming, too. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my novel, In the Shadows: An Outsiders Mystery. I love the feedback that you’ve provided, whether it was posted on Amazon, on Facebook, on a blog, or in an email, or given in person or over the telephone. Knowing that people are reading the book and enjoying it is wonderful, and all feedback, good or bad, helps me grow as a writer.
Below are the ten reviews posted on Amazon:
Really Good Writing Brings This Mystery to Life
‘I’m not a big reader of mystery genre books, so there was some trepidation about reading this one for a writer I’ve known for a short period of time. So I was particularly happy when the writing carried me along, breathing life into the characters and settings. The main female character held my attention as the presumably falsely accused, with riveting eyes and the need to stay hidden. If I wanted one element, it was a stronger motivation for the crime she might/might not have committed.The detective who wanted her to be innocent was less enigmatic, but wholly believable.As for pacing and style, again with the caveat that this is not the genre I usually read, I thought perhaps a scene or two might not have been necessary, but I enjoyed the author’s ability to lead me through the character’s perceptions, their various and sundry moods and manipulations. And, perhaps most important of all, it was a good story — a story to be savored, that is willing to unfold without explosions, though ironically, it is throughout a calculated chase. Surprise ending. Unexpected in many pleasing ways. Good job. Ms. Finlay. I’d call this a winner.’
A Book For People Who Love Mystery Stories
‘Susan Finlay’s “In the Shadows” is a mystery-lovers story that drew me in and kept me reading from the first page to the last. Set mostly in the small, rural French village of Reynier, the mystery begins when ex-Chicago detective Dave Martin encounters a young woman who seems to be either lost or on the run from something or someone. Intrigued, he begins to investigate, and the plot begins to thicken and diversify as his maternal grandmother and her best friend get involved and the young woman disappears.
Is he sticking his nose in where he shouldn’t? He’s had that experience before, and it cost him his detective’s shield. His curiosity is aroused, he continues on. eventually solving the mystery of who the young woman Maurelle Dupre is and what has happened to her that makes her so fearful.
The plot lines are fascinating, the setting, in this gossipy little French village, is a delight.
If you like a mystery that is both intriguing and a delight to read, I highly recommend this. It’s one of my favorite mysteries.’
‘Susan Finlay’s sense of character development in IN THE SHADOWS is impeccable. I’m very fond of this author and this story.’
In the Shadows
‘An excellent mystery that I had a difficult time putting down, but forced myself to take my dog for a walk rather than find out the conclusion. Well written and a book full of suspense, with an ending that completely surprised me.’
‘I had a little trouble getting started on this book. Normally, I don’t read books with lots of focus shifts between characters and I know that was a problem in the beginning.
Now, having pointed out my own personal distraction about the book, I’ll get into the meat of it.
Once, I did get involved in the book, it was very good. It was fast paced, easy to read, and the multiple plot lines kept me guessing. The characters were well developed and Maura was intriguing from the start. It took longer for Dave to grow on me and my first impressions of him were not good. However, I did eventually warm up to him.
While I love thrillers and mysteries, I get bogged down by romance in them (another personal failing and in no way reflective of the author, book or genre) and this one had its share of romance.
My favorite characters though turned out to be the “interesting” grandmothers who turn up to not only help the mystery along but meddle with the lives of others… in some ways, they reminded me of The Fates and I found them funny and entertaining.
Overall, I highly recommend this book!’
A Crafty Mystery and Love Story
‘In the Shadows by Susan Finlay is set in the beautiful country of France in a small village called Reynier. Dave Martin is a former detective in Chicago and now a mystery writer. His Seventy-seven-year-old grandmother, Fabienne Laurent, has called him to fly over to Reynier to see her. She has given him terrible news. She tells him she is dying. What else is he to do but to hurry to her side? She is the only remaining family. There is his mother, but they haven’t spoken in thirty-four years.
He travels to Reynier. His days are filled with writing and spending time with a beautiful young lady named Simone Charbonneau as he takes care of his grandmother. Simone Charbonneau owns and works a local coffee shop. Being a model at one time, her self-esteem runs high. Simone Charbonneau’s grandmother happens to be Dave’s grandmother’s best friend. Her name is Jeannette Devlin. These two grandmothers keep this mystery rolling along with their sweet and sometimes not so innocent actions. Seems they enjoy mingling in other peoples’ affairs. And they are not above conniving and scheming. But their personalities and actions are what make this mystery/love story the wonderful novel it is to me. They kept me laughing.
While Dave continues to care for his grandmother and he tries to help her with errands and little jobs around the house and in town, a new face is seen in town. He discovers her name is Maurelle Dupre. Each time Dave sees her, he becomes more involved with why she is lingering is this small village.
The mysterious woman brings the detective out in Dave. It is almost therapeutic for him. The story thickens as friends of Dave are introduced, he becomes more involved with Maurelle and her reasons for being in Reynier, and the two grandmothers plot and plan. Of course, the grandmothers mean well. They are just doing what they feel is best for Dave and Simone.
Susan has woven a great book. I enjoyed learning about France as I read the story. Many facts about the country are written into it. I highly recommend this book!’
Very Enjoyable and Suspenseful
‘This book was a wonderful experience for me. When I had time off from work over the holidays, this book became my entertainment and company. It kept me guessing all the way to the end . I enjoyed the characters very much, especially the two grandmothers. Dave and Maura were very endearing also. I liked the setting being in France. It was interesting to escape to the little village of Reynier for a while with these characters and, since one of the main characters is an American, it made it easier for me to not feel like an outsider. I will miss them but hope to read the next book and hear more about them.’
One of My Favorite Novelists
‘Susan Finlay is an accomplished writer who can bring a story to life. It was easy for me to get lost In The Shadows. I loved this Outsiders Mystery.’
Great Mystery, Romance, Storyline
‘Just finished reading. I enjoyed it tremendously and had a hard time putting it down when necessary. Well written with good story and side plots to keep me reading.’
Good, Except . . .,
‘Overall, it was a good story. Good twists, loved the setting and the characters. But the romance aspect was weak and unbelievable.’