Thursday, January 11, 2024

Review - The Shadow Girl

Title:  The Shadow Girl
Author:  Shannon Hollinger
Publisher:   Bookouture
Series:  Chief Maggie Riley #3
Genre:   Psychological Thriller 
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   330
Date of Publication:   September 1, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 


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…?


Police Chief Maggie Riley feels like she is in a race against time when the body of one teen is discovered and a disturbing photo of another teen girl lands in her hand. This second girl just might have a chance if Maggie can find her in time. While she works this new case, she is also contending with a new lieutenant, a man of Indian descent in the town of Coyote Cove, a town that has mostly white residents. His name in Kal, and he experiences a lot of racism as he tries to do his job. 

As far as Maggie's personal life is concerned, she is engaged to Steve, and it becomes quite apparent as this book progresses that Steve has a terrible secret that he is hiding from Maggie. So, you have Maggie's case with the missing girl, enhanced by the teen's perspective as she is being held captive. Then you have Kal trying to fit into his new job. Then you have the mystery of whatever it is that Steve is hiding from Maggie. 

Because of where the first body was found, this is not even Maggie's case, but she can't let it go. She wants to find the missing girl, and if she has to claim plausible deniability, then so be it. 

Maggie is a strong woman and a fearless police chief. She refuses to give up on finding the missing girl alive, even if it seems that no one else is as concerned as she is. The drama that went on with Steve was rather intriguing. I can't wait to see what more Maggie has in store. I also would love to see Kal staying in Coyote Cove and having an easier time of it.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn't just seen the dark side of humanity - she's been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too.

Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture.

Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.

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