The Shadow Girls by Dawn Merriman

Posted on September 11, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 5 Comments

Ryan Flynn returns in The Shadow Girls, the second instalment of the Rylan Flynn paranormal mystery series by Dawn Merriman. Once again, Merriman delivered a tale filled with suspense and ghostly phenomenons.


The Shadow Girls by Dawn MerrimanTitle: The Shadow Girls
Author(s): Dawn Merriman
Series: Rylan Flynn #2
Also in this series: The Spirit Girls, The Whisper House
Published by Hachette UK - Second Sky on September 6, 2023
Pages: 229
Genre(s): Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Format: eArc
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

I open my eyes. The room is dark and I can see no windows, only stairs leading up to a metal trapdoor. From the shadows, a figure emerges. A little girl with long, pale hair. She smiles at me. “Are you my new mommy?” she says.
A young woman is missing. And Rylan Flynn was the last person to see her alive.
Nobody has heard from Bess Freeman since Rylan saw her leaving a bar and walking into the night with a stranger. Normally quiet and shy, Bess would never skip out on her family and friends like this. The small town of Ashby is in shock.
While the police struggle to find leads, it’s immediately clear to Rylan that this is no ordinary abduction. Her ability to see ghosts reveals sinister clues on all sides .
In the basement of an abandoned church, Rylan finds the spirit of another young woman who may be a victim. And when the police uncover human remains beneath a barn, a male figure watches them closely, then disappears.
Ashby’s handsome head detective, Ford Pierce , is as reluctant as ever to involve Rylan in the case.
But when another woman’s body is discovered hidden in a derelict family home, it’s clear that Bess is in mortal danger. And her time is running out .
For years, a killer has been lurking in Ashby, driven by a darkness that is more than human.
Desperate to find Bess before another innocent life is lost, Rylan must work with Ford to unravel a dangerous web of lies. But is she drawing closer to the truth or walking into the killer’s trap?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


After my experience with The Spirit Girls, I couldn’t wait to dive into The Shadow Girls. It was worth the wait. Before going into the review, I am providing a recap of Rylan’s abilities. She sees and communicates with ghosts. She helps them to gain closure, thus allowing them to crossover. Not only that, but she does this with the help of her best friend and her father.

In this instalment, a young woman, named Bess, has gone missing and Rylan was the last person to see her. Rylan is unable to remember the details of that night. All she remembers was that she saw her leaving with a man, but she is unable to provide a description. A few days later, the police discovers human bones buried beneath a barn. Further investigation revealed that it belonged to a woman who went missing a few years ago. The bones also happened to belong to the spirit of the woman that Ryland had been communicating with in the basement of an abandoned church.  How is this woman’s disappearance connected to Bess?

Now while Ryland can provide information regarding the investigation, Ford, the detective in charge, is reluctant in accepting her help. However, desperation to find Bess and to stop a killer in his tracks led him into accepting her help.

The Shadow Girls kept me engaged. The mystery surrounding Bess, the bones found in the abandon church as well as another missing woman was twisty and full of creeptastic surprises.

It’s interesting to note Ryland’s father is a pastor who believes in her gift and offers his help when it’s needed. Her brother who works in the District Attorney’s office is not keen on her involvement in the police investigation. Of course, the story features a few sceptics who view Ryland as a freak.

Ford and Ryland clearly like each other, but are dancing around their feelings. Based on the information received at the end, it would seem that readers can expect some drama where these two are concerned. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it will play out.

Readers who enjoy mysteries with a paranormal vibe will get a kick out of this series. 



Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


About Dawn Merriman

Dawn Merriman writes creepy small town murder mysteries from her small farm in northeast Indiana where she lives with her husband and teenage children. You can often find her with muck boots on her feet and a story in her head. She enjoys animals, auctions, snorkeling and archaeology. Dawn Merriman grew up a small town farm girl, on a small time pig farm in Indiana. She spent her young adulthood sitting on her bedroom floor scribbling stories in notebooks. She won the “Northeast Indiana Young Writers” award as a sophomore in high school. After battling severe depression, she wrote her debut novel “How Murder Saved My Life” as therapy, mixing her love of murder mysteries and farming with climbing out of the darkness of illness.

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
Follow Me
Latest posts by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading (see all)
Please follow and like:
Visit Us
Follow Me
Follow by Email

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 responses to “The Shadow Girls by Dawn Merriman