Psychological Thriller Book Review: Shadows in the Water

Continuing on with my journey checking out the other authors in the Strong Woman/Thriller giveaway, I picked up Shadows in the Water by Kory M. Shrum. It features a strong female protagonist by the name of Louie Thorne, who we see disappear into her bath through her mother Catherine’s eyes in the prologue.

Fast forward several years in the coming chapters, and Lou’s parents became victims in a drug war and Lou didn’t take it so well. She gets her kicks by exacting revenge against the Martinelli crime family, who sent the men after her father in an attempt to stop him from busting them. The “disappearance” of her youth, as we find out, actually was the manifestation of a terrifying power, which she calls “slipping.” She can do it in shadow and move all through our world, anywhere where very little light touches.

But when she goes through water, she re-emerges in the surreal (and dangerous) La Loon, the dumping ground for her crimes.

Except there’s more to the story, of course. Because Lou isn’t the only one with the power to slip. Her aunt Lucy also has the ability, and before his death, her father Jack tried his damndest to send Lou to her in order to save her from herself. Or at least teach her how to control her powers.

Lucy is afraid of Lou’s growing coldness and the comfort Lou gets from murdering people. She sends Lou to visit an old flame, Detective Robert King, in an attempt to tame her niece’s wayward tendencies.

Together, she and King find themselves embroiled in a mystery involving Senator Graham, a serial murderer who sent countless girls to their deaths aboard his ship.

Lou is a fascinating character not unlike the hard-boiled detectives of old. I found myself relating to her despite the obvious squeamishness of her…hobbies. We’ll call them hobbies. That said, sometimes I found her responses to those around her, particularly Lucy, a bit bothersome. She comes off as very selfish toward the beginning, though we do see some growth by the end.

Shrum’s prose is quick, decisive, and easy to read, and her descriptions are beautiful. I never once found myself lost in a scene, and I admire the way she choreographed the fight scenes and made use of Lou’s fascinating power. I found myself bingeing through until the end, something not so common for me in the thriller genre and especially so for a book that’s over 500 pages long.

4.5/5 stars, am looking forward to checking out the rest of the series.