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The Shadow Box Hardcover – February 1, 2021
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An Amazon Charts bestseller.
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.
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“[A] gripping psychological thriller…Prepare to be up all night reading.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Decades-old crimes lead to current murder in a case unwound through the efforts of strong women. With a core of appealing characters, bestselling author Rice―known for domestic fiction and romance―has the makings of a promising mystery series here.” ―Booklist
“The Shadow Box is a heart-stopping yet enthralling breath of sea air, with as much dark beauty as one of Claire Beaudry Chase’s own shadow boxes. It’s also a resolute testimonial of inner strength, no matter how far from our plots and plans life takes us.” ―The Big Thrill
“The Shadow Box is a captivating read as much for its illuminating portrayal of domestic disenchantment as for its requisite, and robustly handled, mystery elements. Ultimately, Luanne Rice has given us a deeply affecting meditation on how we both lose and find ourselves, proving once again that she’s a luminary in any, and all, literary realms of her choosing.” ―Criminal Element
“The Shadow Box is Luanne Rice at her dazzling best. Filled with dark family secrets and wells of deep emotion, this novel will stick with you long after you’ve finished reading.” ―Harlen Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away
“As always, Luanne Rice gives us characters so real they feel like family and families so flawed they give us chills. Shocking, compassionate, and told with the unerring eye of a true and gifted observer, The Shadow Box will keep you turning the pages long past your bedtime.” ―Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy
“A clever protagonist in extreme danger pitted against a cruel and powerful circle made the stakes in The Shadow Box so high I could barely stop reading for a drink of water. Luanne Rice creates a thrillingly compelling tale of common cruelty, high ambition, and the courage it takes to oppose them. Well done!” ―Barbara O’Neal, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids
“Every family has secrets, but in Luanne Rice’s clever thriller, The Shadow Box, the truth won’t set you free―it will put you in a shallow grave…particularly if you live in the posh Connecticut enclave of Catamount Bluffs, where corruption, kidnapping, and murder are only a few of the community’s hidden sins.” ―Lee Goldberg, #1 New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-five novels that have been translated into twenty-four languages. In 2002, Connecticut College awarded Rice an honorary degree, and she also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Saint Joseph. In June 2014, she received the 2014 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence as a literary artist.
Several of Rice’s novels have been adapted for television, including Crazy in Love, for TNT; Blue Moon, for CBS; Follow the Stars Home and Silver Bells, for the Hallmark Hall of Fame; and Beach Girls, for Lifetime.
Rice is a creative affiliate of the Safina Center, an organization that brings together scientists, artists, and writers to inspire a deeper connection with nature―especially the sea. Rice is an avid environmentalist and advocate for families affected by domestic violence. She lives on the Connecticut Shoreline.
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (February 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542025184
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542025188
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #196,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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Luanne Rice is not a newbie so it was strange to see her being offered for a First Reads title; that alone had me intrigued. After reading “The Shadow Box”, I can see why her book is here - it’s like a breakout title from the tired few she’s written in the recent past, (altho’ “Last Day” was somewhat better, also a 1st Reads offering).
Rice begins this book with a BANG and battle as husband tries to kill wife and hangs her from the garage rafters, leaving her for dead. The rafters are old, save her life and we’re off and limping into the psychological thrilling future as Claire scrambles to uncover the 5 W’s and 1 H of things.
There are 50 chapters most of which are told from alternating POV’s of the main characters, (Claire, Sallie, Tom, Conor), and a few interspersed chapters marking the passage of specific time (3 days earlier, 5 days...). Early on the book is a balance of prose and dialogue while the bulk of the characters are being developed and the intricacies of the plot are being laid out. It is a fine balance as there are 2 mysteries, from 2 different time periods woven thru the pages. That they come together is not a big spoiler but the how and who of things is a head shaking, twisty, psycho,
mess of literary crazy; in a good way, if you like this genre, and I do!
As the story progresses, it becomes more dialogue driven and the psychological aspects reach their peak. There are many social and economic issues tied up in this story, if you choose to put them there. Or, you can suspend the “deep reading” and just allow that these rich folks have their own entitled brand of crazy and read for the joy of reading, either way, there are issues and you can deal with them, or not. Other themes include family, friendship, politics, community, loyalty, truth & honesty.
Rice’s writing is descriptive but not so much that the violence or sexual content becomes gratuitous. Language has rough patches, including a few f-bombs, but these are few and used in the heat of the moment, nothing absurd or used as literary fodder.
Professionally published and edited, “The Shadow Box” is a well written psychological, suspense, mystery, genre crossing novel that made me thankful for MY family📚
I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.
Unfortunately did not realize I had ordered this a second time but too late. Wasted $4.99
The time lines were confusing and took away from any suspense as did the chapters skipping from character to character. I felt the author would have had a much better book if she went into the depth of the characters and left out some of the excess verbiage that i finally skipped.
Lauanne Rice writes so expertly well. Pick this book up when you have time. You won't want to put it down.
Overall I liked it- there were a couple of instances of ‘yeah right’ but overall, it was interesting- who knew CT was so dark!
Top reviews from other countries
In this novel, Claire is pretty certain who it is that attacked her. Whilst the story opens with this attack, the rest of the narrative is how Claire intends to reveal her husband as her assailant. However, believing that most of the police force and important figures in the area are affiliated with her husband, Claire decides she needs to bide her time and collect information. At the same time, the police are investigating the fateful boating accident, leaving one woman dead, the husband badly injured and two missing children. Surely the fact that Claire's attack and this accident happened on the same day can only be coincidence?
Despite Claire's attack being rather brutal, I was surprised that she healed pretty well and with limited access to any medicines. It's described as quite violent and Claire loses a large amount of blood. However, it seems that hiding out in a forest cabin is enough of a cure for Claire's wounds as she plans how to reveal her husband's crime. I thought this was quite disappointing and unbelievable, especially as only a few days after the attack, Claire is up and about, literally running around to prove herself as the victim.
The narrative is told from several perspectives and detail the events leading up to Claire's attack and what happens afterwards. The varied character leads meant I struggled to really connect with any of the characters. At times, I found it difficult to differentiate who was who; in particular, the corrupt connections started to get lost on me. Although the cast list wasn't overly broad, I did feel that they were quite samey, so it was tricky to see the characters as unique individuals.
Griffin, Claire's husband, has many helpful connections, particularly as he appears to have a strong role in the community. It seems that he cannot be tainted with any bad reputation and his close circle of friends keeps this clear for him. Regardless of how he behaves towards Claire and other characters, I did not get a sense of his threatening behaviour and this didn't really add to the suspense, even when Claire makes Griffin aware of how much she knows about him.
I liked the premise of key figures having sway and influence over the police force; it made for an interesting read and I was keen to see how Griffin and his sons were going to remain in their position of power. The corrupt men's club that is referred to could have been explored in more detail, such as readers being given an insight into one of the meetings. This seems to be one of the causes to the corruption and I think would have added another dimension to the narrative.
Overall, this was an average read but I was disappointed by the lack of suspense and ambiguities. I think this is because it is so obvious who is behind the crimes that I could not grasp a sense of urgency with the truth being revealed. Claire's character felt rather bland and I think it was only the children from the boating accident that I truly felt sorry for.
Long, drawn out and the plot was all over the place. Far fetched to the point of being boring as were most of the characters. The only saving grace was the fact it was free.
Basically everything was wrong, the first 50% was painfully slow. The switching between before and after was just plain confusing. Too many characters I cared nothing about. The political background was weak, he might as well have been the local ice cream salesman.. The overall plot was non existent.
It was obvious from the start "who dun it". The amount of descriptive padding that added nothing to it was tiring and dull.
I'm actually embarrassed with myself that I completed it. I will definitely not be seeking any more from this author.
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down!
It is well written and keeps you guessing. Despite revealing certain details early on this only serves to grow your feelings of empathy with the main characters. The story does jump around the timeline quite a bit to keep you guessing, but this did not inhibit my enjoyment at all. Sometimes characters were referred to by first names and then surnames which meant there were moments near the beginning when I wasn't initially sure who we were hearing about. However, this book was an excellent read with steady action, emotion and good plot twists all the way through.
This is quite a long book, but the short chapters make for a story with real pace. I liked Claire. She was gentle, trusting yet had real inner strength that shone through. Griffin was horrible and I enjoyed disliking him. There are plenty of twists and turns in this book, secret society, corruption and bribery which keeps you guessing right to the end.