The Shadow Girl, book three in Shannon Hollinger’s Detective Maggie Riley series, transports readers back to Coyote Cove, a small rural town in Maine. A town where persons with secrets seek solace. Hollinger weaved a tale filled with suspense and mystery to keep readers guessing from start to finish.
Title: The Shadow Girl
Author(s): Shannon Hollinger
Series: Chief Maggie Riley #3
Also in this series: The Girl Who Lied, Their Angel’s Cry
Published by Bookouture on September 1, 2023
Genre(s): Crime Fiction
The sun is rising on another brutally cold winter’s day in Coyote Cove when Chief Maggie Riley finds an unmarked envelope on the steps of the police station. Inside is a photo of a teenage girl, bound and bruised. Maggie’s heart constricts at the terror evident in her tear-filled eyes. Who is she? What has happened to her? And most importantly, can Maggie find her, before it’s too late?
Maggie moved to Coyote Cove for a quieter, safer life than her former high flying city detective work. The work that left her emotionally shattered, that one, terrible case she couldn’t close lying so heavily on her even now. But this feels more personal than anything she’s worked on since then. With no one reporting the girl missing, seemingly unloved and forgotten, Maggie vows to rescue her, and bring whoever hurt her to justice.
As Maggie mines the photograph for clues to hunt down the girl and her captor, her search takes her deep into the seedy, dangerous underbelly of the secretive logging camps. Hidden away in the woods, a law unto themselves, Maggie is in unchartered – and deadly – territory. Then, when she finds the body of a girl who was thought to have run away years ago, one with ties of her own to the loggers, Maggie knows she’s on the right track. But as her search for the truth intensifies, Maggie’s own safety is put in jeopardy. Can she save an innocent girl’s life and get out alive herself, or could this be the one investigation she won’t survive…?
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Firstly, I recommend reading the books in order of release. Although each book features a different mystery, there is an overarching series thread which needs to be followed sequentially. In this instalment, Maggie faces her biggest challenge since taking up the post as police chief in Coyote Cove. The discovery of the body of a teenage girl who went missing two years ago hook her to the core. Solving murders was out of her jurisdiction, leaving her to rely on the State police to solve the murder. However, the discovery of a Polaroid photo indicating that another teenage girl is missing led Maggie on a desperate search to find the teen before it’s too late.
This was another intense and riveting tale. It featured a large suspect pool and wading through the lot proved a challenge. Fortunately for Maggie, she had help in the form of her new lieutenant, Kal. Although new to the series, he proved to be a great addition to the cast of characters. Like his boss and her fiancée, Steve, he too had his secrets. Secrets which fuelled his decision to accept the position as the new lieutenant in Coyote Cove. It would seem that Steve’s secrets were about ready to explode in his face. The major questions on the mind of the reader were:
- What impact will the revelation have on his relationship with Maggie?
- What steps will he take for those secrets to remain hidden?
Hopefully it works out for him because secrets aside, I believe he is perfect for Maggie.
As Maggie steps up the search to find the girl in the Polaroid photo, she discovers a connection to the murdered teen. This case hit rather close to home for Maggi. This led to her engaging every possible method to find the missing teen. Unlike the first instalment, The Girl Who Lied, the mystery in The Shadow Girl was twisty and a challenge to solve. The story highlighted the impact of adults’ failure to protect the children in their care.
The Shadow Girl was an addictive and fast-paced crime thriller. The unresolved issues from the secrets shrouding Maggie, Steve and Kal leaves no doubts in the reader’s mind that there is more to come. As such, one will be waiting eagerly for the next book in the series. Fans of police procedurals will find this series intriguing.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: