Friday, October 9, 2020

Shadow Ridge (Jo Wyatt Mystery #1)


Shadow Ridge is the first book in a new police procedural series by M.E. Browning. Released 6th Oct 2020 by Crooked Lane, it's 296 pages (print version) and available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats.

This is a well written modern procedural with an ensemble cast. Detective Jo Wyatt is a strong and intelligent female with a surprisingly balanced sense of self worth and confidence considering the casual sexism she endures from neanderthals on and off the job. Her team includes a cross section of small town investigative personnel. The story revolves around the apparent suicide of a local software games developer and the statistically unlikely number of deaths of people in his gaming orbit.

The characters are well rendered, three dimensional and believable for the most part. The disparate plot threads intertwine more closely as the book progresses until they merge about 3/4ths of the way through. One of the biggest standouts for me with this book was the expert way the author managed to explore perception. Motivation from one character's perspective which seems perfectly logical to -them- may not appear so to other characters and the author's ability to highlight both viewpoints  (for example Jo vs. Quinn) was exemplary. 

The clues are found and sifted and the denouement is satisfying and well written I did see it coming, but it was satisfying nonetheless. TI'm looking forward to more adventures for Jo and co.

Four stars. Very well done.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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