Dead Man’s Shadow by Anne Wilkinson
In 1890, a new church is being erected in Stoke Newington, headed by a charismatic preacher named Tristan King whose congregation is at odds with the C of E teachings. Despite the disapproval of many of the townspeople, King’s church manages to attract a following, including a young woman desperate to escape her controlling half-brother.
In the present day, Alex’s daughter just bought a new house, and Alex offers to help with the renovations. When an old floorboard is pulled up to reveal an old box containing papers related to an old church, Alex can’t help but find out more about them. Not long after, old bones are found nearby at a construction site. Alex’s investigating leads her to an unbalanced woman trying to prove ownership of King’s church. Soon, Alex finds herself tied up in past events and current mysteries, trying to put all the pieces together.
While I enjoyed the book, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I thought the historical part of the mystery dragged the book down, most of it was pretty predictable and I found myself flipping through much of those chapters. While it was interesting, it went on too long. If pared down to be less wordy, and the modern day plot beefed up a little more, this would’ve been a 5 star book.
The present day plot about Jane and ownership of the church fizzled out with an anti-climactic whimper and I was left wondering why it was a part of the story, it was almost like an afterthought.
I did enjoy the genealogical part of the mystery; it was interesting to see Alex connect the dots. Genealogy is a hobby of mine and I love those aha! moments when you finally find that missing link in a family tree.
Overall, I enjoyed the writing and the premise was interesting but I just didn’t connect with the story at all.
Dead Man’s Shadow is available for Kindle on Amazon
Thank you to Endeavor Press and Netgalley for providing an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
|Series: Mrs Stonier Mystery #2
Rating: ★★★✰✰ 3 stars
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: Sept. 20, 2016
Reviewer: Tam (Mystereity Reviews)