Due to time restraints while I work on my own novel, reviews on this site will now comprise a book blurb and a short response.
Sunset Shadows is the third book in Bronwyn Parry’s Goodabri series. Here’s the blurb:
For police officers Steve Fraser and Tess Ballard, a split-second decision saves the lives of fifty members of a cult – but it also puts their careers on the line.
Tess’s upbringing left her unprepared for the world; however, she’s left her past behind her and forged a life for herself through dedication and determination. Her work is everything to her, and she’s committed to protecting the vulnerable.
With his life abruptly turned upside down, his own career has just become Steve’s least concern. As senior officer he won’t see Tess’s career ruined if he can help it, even if it’s his last act as a police detective.
But in the aftermath of the cult members’ rescue nothing is simple. The alleviation of one threat has left a power vacuum and as the new leader takes over, Tess’s past comes back to haunt her – and Steve – with tragic consequences. As the violence escalates out of control, Tess becomes the focus of the mob’s anger, but she’s not the only one in danger. Isolated in rugged country, they’re both faced with the impossible choice: who do you protect when there is more than one innocent life at risk?
The stirrings of love and attraction against a backdrop of danger, lies, manipulation and fear – Bronwyn Parry has a real knack for bringing all these elements together in her romantic suspense novels. The tension escalates quickly on all levels and throws the characters into a situations brimming with difficult choices, placing menacing shadows behind the budding desire.
Parry also has a way with bringing the landscape into the story, using isolated territory to enhance the tension. It gives a different picture of Australia, albeit it a more chilling one than usual. I do think the danger and action overshadowed the romance somewhat and I didn’t feel that attraction as strongly as I have in previous books. It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story, however.
Sunset Shadows can be read as a standalone book, but I do think there is value in reading the previous books first, because it gives useful background and adds to the suspense.
Available from good bookstores (RRP $29.99 AUD). My copy was courtesy of Hachette.