Shadows Still Remain
Review: Peter de Jonge's debut thriller, Shadows Still Remain, introduces Detective Darlene O'Hara out of Manhattan's 7th Precinct in a dark, graphic and gripping mystery.
O'Hara was troubled teenager but is no less troubled as an adult. An unwed mother at 16, she worked to get her GED and with her mother's support, she kept her son, straightened her life and became a cop working DUIs, sexual assaults, robberies, and the like. While working overtime on a Thanksgiving weekend, she and her partner, Serge "K" Krekorian, are called in on a missing persons case involving Francesca Pena, a 19-year-old sophomore at NYU. David MacLain, an old friend of Pena's from Westfield (MA), had reported her missing. He had been preparing Thanksgiving dinner at Pena's apartment but she never showed. When Pena's body is found it had been cut up like a totum pole. Since this was now a major case, homicide detectives are called in relieving O'Hara and Krekorian of their responsibility for this case. But O'Hara had already become much too involved to just step aside, so she goes off on her own to try to solve the crime. By doing so she is relieved of all her duties and put on report. But O'Hara continues to investigate, going from trashy bars and shoddy "houses of pleasure" to upscale strip clubs, from Brooklyn's tattoo parlors to NYU's ivory towers, uncovering secrets that were never meant to be revealed.
The intricate and sharply developed plot of Shadows Still Remain is compelling in its own way, but the character of Darlene O'Hara, yet another cop with a past who's trying to go straight but has to prove something in the meantime, is hard to like. She always seems to have a chip on her shoulder that gets more prominent the more she drinks. And she drinks a lot. Characters with an edge are all well and good but in this case, it doesn't work. Still, there's potential here for O'Hara to develop so it will be interesting to see how (or if) she's grown in her next case.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Shadows Still Remain.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Shadows Still Remain for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Shadows Still Remain: New York City
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Shadows Still Remain by Peter de Jonge
Publication Date: April 2009
List Price: $25.99