The Shadow Box
by Luanne Rice
The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Last Day delivers a haunting thriller about how far one wife is willing to go to expose the truth—and the lengths someone will go to stop her.
After artist Claire Beaudry Chase is attacked and left for dead in her home on the Connecticut coast, she doesn’t know who she can trust. But her well-connected husband, Griffin—who is running for governor—is her prime suspect.
Just before the attack, Claire was preparing for an exhibit of her shadow boxes, one of which clearly accuses Griffin of a violent crime committed twenty-five years ago. If the public were to find out who her husband is, his political career would be over. Claire’s certain her husband and his powerful supporters would kill her to stop the truth from getting out.
When one of Claire’s acquaintances is murdered, the authorities suspect the homicide is linked to the attack on Claire. As the dual investigations unfold, Claire must decide how much she’s willing to lose to take down her husband and the corrupt group of elites who will do anything to protect Griffin’s interests and their own.
I knew my good luck was going to end soon.
You know those books that stay with you, and you obsess over and basically, would sell your life to have all the editions of that book?
Well, this wasn't that type of book.
This was the type of book which I had low expectations going into and got out with even lower expectations. (how the heck is that even possible-)
In other words, this is going to be a rant.
I hated this so much
Beginning with the matter of inconvenience that had as many holes and imperfections as my confidence on Mondays, the wonderful plot. (Picture that statement with someone over dramatically presenting it)
It was nonexistent.
Haha, surprise! It actually was present, and devoid of any brain cells whatsoever. So, okay, of course, going into a thriller book with more than three-star rating is somewhat of a struggle, since my hopes and dreams (daydreams to be exact) usually get thrown up into Olympus to then descend lower than my will to interact with people.
Which this book obviously accomplished to do.
(one of the few things it excelled at)
See, we alllll know, Griffin (the MC's husband) is the killer, right? It is plain and obvious. What do the detectives in this novel do? Investigate the husband of a presumed dead victim? Even though he has money and connections, someone still has an inkling of common sense and decides to search up Griffin's background? Nahh, let's just THROW the logical things out (like, their ability to think), and settle into a different sort of outcome. Let's just allll say Claire (the useless MC), was attacked by some 'unknown' attacker, who then flew the scene and left it all in disarray.
*me shaking my head in disbelief*
I just didn't get the whole purpose nor lack of rationality that lived within these pages. First, the MC gets almost killed by the husband (it isn't a spoiler, thank goodness) then someone somewhere gets killed because of something else. A lot of affairs. Dumb twists and basically zero to no thriller aspect in it. Helllooooooooooo, this is SUPPOSED to be a thriller. Not a parody of Telenovelas or Soap operas. Psh! As if.
Jumping on to the next rantiful topic (as this book did. It didn't walk, no, too slow. It JUMPED, right into the Bye Bye bin) the writing.
Well, it was nice, unless you count the drastic amount of awkwardness which everyone spoke in. Forget Spanish, English, French, or any other language (I would include all but I don't want anyone to feel excluded), let's just introduce something else, Awkwardness.
Here I shall paste some examples taken out of the many bountiful dialogues I found supremely intriguing in this story:
“Mommy, Daddy, don’t fight!” Gwen said. Charlie clung to Sallie.
“Let’s go for a ride, kids,” Dan said. “And we’ll get ready to go to Block Island. Maybe we’ll play mini golf and get an ice cream. Mommy’s not going to come. She has other things to do. But we’ll have fun, Gwen, Charlie—I promise.”
Is it me? Am I the problem here? Gwen is almost ten years old. This came out of nowhere.
“Hi, Sallie. Alexander’s worried about his brother,” Claire said.
“Sallie said he drove away drunk yesterday,” Alexander said. “Aren’t you worried too?”
“Yes, I am,” Claire said.
“She wrote him a note,” Alexander said. “I want her to tell us what’s in it—she was the last one to see him. It could give me a clue.”
“Alexander, that’s between Sallie and Ford,” Claire said.”
This is so uncomfortable. Sallie and Ford sound like an automobile company. No offense to those named like that, by the way. The characters just annoyed me a lot.
“I’ve read a lot about domestic violence over the years,” Claire said. “Your clients post on Reddit. On the dark web, too, I suppose. You help victims get away.”
“I never call them ‘victims,’” Spencer said. “They are so strong. They have gone through hell—a hell they entered out of pure love. Abusers are weak. They trap women who have gigantic hearts, who want to help these poor, sad wounded birds.”
“That’s what I think too,” Claire said, nodding. “I’ve always believed we have big shoulders.”
Did I read that wrong or did Clair just contradict herself?
And those are a few of the instances that began to create a book slump out of thin air that would later smack me at the end of the book. And not with a donut in hand.
The first thing that came to mind with the characters were the words: emotional carcasses.
As I mentioned before, lots of deaths were involved in the story, lots of betrayals, and one would expect emotion, right? At least a speck of it. Nope, wrong. None of that was made available, I literally thought that I was reading about rocks and even those nonliving materials are more interesting than the lot of people that were actually ‘people’ and not card boards.
Who would’ve thought-
I won’t mention them one by one because I confused them with one another at times and I seriously don’t have the energy nor the will to torture myself more. (At least not now, of course) I will mention a small detail that made itself known to me and was actually remembered. A small moment of proudness.
Only in books y’all.
Not even an accent fixes it.
What most saddens me, perhaps, is that I actually really wanted to love this book. Thought that ‘oh, I don’t like this because I’m being picky’ and that angers me now.
Like the whole thing itself.
And oh! Before I close this off because I need to find some books that’ll actually make me want to keep reading. I need to mention another detail that made me dislike this so much more.
So, the MC was hiding in a cabin in the woods, and that’s all well. However, I shall show you where this cabin was placed because I need to rant a little more.
So yes, I enjoyed this book immensely. Can you tell?
On a final closing note, I shall say that this book took my mind off of things, which I'm partly grateful for. I wished that the plot was more developed, that the flashbacks weren't so intense, and that the characters had some sort of personality. It truly makes me sad when I think of the potential this had and all the time I could've been doing something different instead of pushing through.
I would personally recommend this to whoever wants to try it because I would feel like a hypocrite to recommend something I didn't enjoy. Ayyyy, me sounding all professional and ish. (I'm hungry, it clouds my judgement)
Disclaimer: Any and all opinions said up there are my own, and please feel free to call me out for any errors or any offensive comments, so I can get right on it and get it fixed!
I would say the end, but it was not good.
Oh! Well- nope. Not that.
The evil guy wasn't even evil. His personality trait? Eyes turning from green to black. I can do that too! Let me just feed you a knuckle sand-
I'm going to go cry now.
“I quickly logged on to my account, glanced at my wall full of hundreds of messages.”
You know dang well that the Captcha thingy takes at least 6 minutes.