#BookReview #ShadowMoon Alexandra Sokoloff @AlexSokoloff

Shadow Moon: Book VI of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers by [Sokoloff, Alexandra]
Source: Amazon Purchase

I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for this book, “Shadow Moon” from Alexandra Sokoloff, the sixth in the Huntress series.

Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:

For thousands of years, women have been prey. This time, the predators lose.

Does Fate connect us?

Mass killer Cara Lindstrom is in the wind, after a deadly encounter which leaves FBI Special Agent Antara Singh questioning her own sanity and fitness to serve. ASAC Matthew Roarke exiles Singh to Portland to work as an assistant to his old mentor, retiring profiler Chuck Snyder—but a mysterious break-in alerts Singh and Snyder to an active threat revolving around an old case: a series of brutal murders of homeless teenagers on the streets of Portland and Seattle.

Singh and Snyder must go on the road and deep into Roarke’s and Cara’s pasts to discover a pattern of destiny and interconnection that holds the key to unsolved child murders, past and present.

My thoughts:

Wow, just WOW! That was well worth the wait! If you haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, I would make sure you go back and read them first. The author makes it very clear that in order to appreciate this novel, you really do have to have read the others. And anyway, why wouldn’t you read them? It really is an outstanding series!

In Shadow Moon Agent Tara Singh has been sent to assist profiler Chuck Snyder clear up his files as he approaches retirement. It soon becomes clear that Snyder is hiding something. Singh too, is not without her secrets. Singh and Snyder take centre stage in this novel with Cara and Roarke’s story being revealed in the background. We learn more about both of them through the eyes of others and through flashbacks. Not many writers could pull off the multiple timelines but Alexandra does it with aplomb and then some! It weaves together beautifully, it’s like watching a jigsaw being completed on the pages in front of you.

There is something exceptional about Alexandra Sokoloff’s writing. Not only does she present you with an outstanding cast of characters and a tightly knitted plot but she drills right into your brain and she makes you think; she makes you think about all that is wrong with the world. And as a woman she makes me proud and she makes me feel confident in knowing that it is absolutely OKAY to not put up with shit because of my gender.

The whole series and indeed Shadow Moon, is more than just a story, it is a strong and powerful statement: she addresses and strips back that “we’re just all guys here” mentality that pervades some of the country’s top agencies: the attitude that objectifies women and seeps through to practice. There is something gloriously empowering about this series, watching Cara bring down the predators, does not mean I want to go out and kill people but there’s a certain sense of a justice being served, Cara’s actions are a metaphor for true justice.

I have to be truthful and say that I do not see Cara’s victims as victims at all. The scene at the Grand Canyon in this novel, was particularly poignant, looking at how an act of sexual violence has destroyed some of the beauty of nature; how such ugliness and evil does not belong in a place like that.

Alexandra Sokoloff never ceases to amaze me. How she weaves time and character without leaving the reader behind. She not only tells a story but she gives a powerful message: the child abuse, trafficking are not fiction, it is a reality for kids on the streets; she has based this on her own professional experience. She uses Cara as a tool to advocate for these kids who do not have a voice; she uses her characters to express an anger at a systematic failure to protect these kids and she uses her writing to give the world a massive big nudge to sit up, take notice and do something. Using the narrative the author highlights the issues with the systems in place eg.ViCAP database isn’t working as law enforcement agencies consistently fail to input the data into the system which means violent offenders and predators are free to continue.

Cara Lindstrom is my all time favourite serial killer! I’ve followed her and Matthew Roarke across the series, I’ve watched her slip away from law enforcement and I’ve watched him watch her with admiration, awe and with love. It is a perfect fictional pairing. The parts of the book dedicated to Cara are for sure my all time favourite. And of course Matt Roarke, he is determined and he is focused and he always has been. We learn what connects the two characters and just how far back that connection goes, Cara’s influence on Matt’s decision to aim to be an FBI agent.I’d want both these characters fighting my corner any day.

I enjoyed getting to know Snyder a little better this time round; learning about his relationship with Roarke and in total awe of his mentoring skills. As he and Singh work together I can see the man he was way back at the beginning shining through.

Alexandra Sokoloff has created a wonderful cast of characters who I have connected with right from the start of the series: her use of narrative to address some relevant and topical issues is fantastic and extremely well written. It might win her no friends in a certain POTUS camp, but I somehow don’t think she will lose any sleep over this, and not should she because these are issues that have to be raised and addressed and I strongly believe that fiction has a place in opening up dialogue and discussion. Alexandra does this beautifully in addition to providing readers with a bloody brilliant read!

Shadow Moon is available to purchase from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the author:

Alexandra Sokoloff

Alex is the Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated and Thriller Award-winning author of the Thriller Award-nominated HUNTRESS MOON crime series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, WOLF MOON), the HAUNTED supernatural thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN), and the non-fiction workbooks SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS, STEALING HOLLYWOOD and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog.

As a screenwriter Alex has sold original suspense and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west (the screenwriters’ union) and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America. She is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. She now splits her time between Los Angeles and Scotland, where she lives with the Scottish noir author Craig Robertson. In her spare time (!) she performs with Heather Graham’s all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook. But not an addict. No, seriously, it’s under control. 


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