In the Shadow of Evil by Robin Caroll is the third book in the Evil romantic suspense series. Maddox Bishop is investigating an arson/murder at a brand new house that brings him to question Layla Taylor, the contractor for the building. Sparks quickly fly between the two, but Maddox keeps finding connections between Layla and the crimes that are popping up all over town: three mysterious deaths that seem to be tied to her church, her office is robbed, and the rehabilitation center her sister, Alana, runs is bombed. But the crimes are all tied to Layla because the culprit is desperate to keep her from discovering his identity. Meanwhile Maddox is dealing with his prickly relationship with his father that stems from his mother's murder years earlier, and Layla hasn't seen her mother in eight years since her drug overdose left her with a permanent brain injury. The couple must deal with their pasts before they can build a future together, and that is threatened by a killer who will stop at nothing to hide his sins. Each book in this series is essentially a stand-alone with minimal reference to the characters from the previous book. Maddox was a cop in Fear No Evil, but you don't need to have read that to enjoy this novel. Caroll is very good at creating nail-biting suspense, and the scene where Layla faces the murderer is a heart-stopper. One flaw in the book is that by naming Maddox' partner Houston, a dramatic scene becomes unintentionally funny by the inclusion of the phrase, "Houston, we have a problem," This is a solid series sure to please fans of Christian fiction with plenty of romance and suspense.
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Christy Lockstein (ChristysBookBlog1)
I'm a happily married mother of three. I review books daily on my blog Christy's Book Blog. I love to read, and I love the Lord. Those four things really define my life.
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Romantic suspense writer Caroll (Fear No Evil) combines detective work ethics with construction site surroundings to build suspense and tension between two unlikely love interests. Homicide detective Maddox Bishop is an emotionally scarred man after entering a crime scene in his own home some 18 years earlier and finding his mother's dead body. Set on never opening his heart to a woman, Maddox can't seem to fight the growing bond developing between himself and a potential wrongdoer, Layla Taylor, a contractor and recent victim of heartbreak. Strong wills clash as the two discover they have to work together to unravel the escalating crimes of violence involving every one of Layla's personal and professional contacts. It takes loss of lives and relinquishment of everything, including significant past grievances toward parents, to move Maddox and Layla beyond bitterness before either can embrace a hopeful future. Caroll's work unfortunately does more telling than showing, and the result is a rather clumsily done wannabe love story that gives readers the facts but no feelings for the characters' plights. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.