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The Shadow Tracer by M. G. Gardiner

Sarah Keller is not who she says she is. Her daughter, Zoe (age 5) is not really her daughter – at least, not according to the microchip in Zoe’s neck, found in a routine x-ray after an accident sends her to the ER. But who are Zoe’s real parents? And if Sarah really has nothing to hide, why would she run with Zoe from the hospital, vanishing (almost) without a trace? Unless she isn’t just running from the police – unless there is someone else far more terrifying to hide from…

The Shadow Tracer is M. G. Gardiner’s eleventh crime thriller, and from the very first page it is clear that we are in the hands of a professional. The reader is taken on a nail-biting ride through the Southern States, and, as Sarah’s story gains complexity, the chance of anyone getting out alive becomes doubtful.

The characters are generally well rounded, with clear motivations that fit the plot well. However, a few things are touched on that are never quite explained or developed further. Zoe seems to have a hint of a supernatural ability, or at the very least incredible intuition, but it seems to only be used when the characters need to know something to further the plot, rather than as an interesting plot point on its own. Luckily this doesn’t get in the way of the story, and for the most part, The Shadow Tracer is thoroughly enjoyable.

My only real complaint would be that, at times, the relentless pace gets in the way of clarity. One or two big reveals lose their impact because any build-up or foreshadowing has been missed in action. The finale could also be stronger, as there appears to be a blatant set-up for a sequel instead of a full resolution, meaning the whole wild journey seems to come to a bit of a shuddering halt rather than ending on a high note. That said, I would happily read another book about Sarah Keller – perhaps the cliffhanger serves its purpose?

REVIEWER: Tanya Allport

TITLE: The Shadow Tracer

AUTHOR: M G Gardiner


RRP: $30


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