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Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Book 252: SHADOW WOMAN Review


Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
ISBN: 9780345506931 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780345535924 (ebook)
ASIN: B007PFDGRC (Kindle ebook)
Publication date: January 1, 2013 
Publisher: Ballantine Books


Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn't recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.
 
Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn't a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.
 
Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn't trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.

Imagine you wake up one morning and you not only don't recognize the face in the mirror, but you can only remember the last three years of your life. You don't know how long you've been working with your present employer.  You can't recall buying your car or even moving into your current residence. Everything in your life seems wrong.

This is what happens to Lizette Henry. Every time she tries to remember more than the past three years, she becomes nauseated and has an unbearable headache. If that wasn't enough to deal with she also has this sense that she is being watched and she doesn't know why. Lizette's paranoia is based in reality . . . she is being watched. Fortunately, one of Lizette's watchers is a man that is her protector. As Lizette decides to search for answers to her life, she winds up on the run from a government agency. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game where Lizette is running away from the bad guys (the government agents) and the good guys. Will she be able to recognize the good guys before it's too late?

Shadow Woman is a suspense thriller with a little bit of romance to heat things up. It seemed like the more Lizette uncovered and remembered, the more problems she encountered. It was fascinating to watch Lizette turn from an every-woman type character to super-agent as she eluded not only government agents but her protector as well. The attraction between Lizette and Xavier quickly evolved into romance as more of her memory returned. Although I found some of the action implausible (namely the subplot involving the former President and the First Lady), I enjoyed reading Shadow Woman. The suspense and thrills kept my attention throughout the book and just when I thought I had it figured out, Ms. Jackson would provide a detour that was completely unexpected. Ms. Jackson provides good guys that aren't wholly good and bad guys that aren't wholly bad, mixed with government conspiracies, and rogue agents and agencies. If you're looking for a fast-paced romantic suspense-thriller read then this may be just what you need.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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