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Shadow of Death: A Laura Nelson Thriller (Laura Nelson Series) by [Gussin, Patricia]
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Shadow of Death: A Laura Nelson Thriller (Laura Nelson Series) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
Book 1 of 4 in Laura Nelson Series (4 Book Series)
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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Ideal for book clubs. Contains an extraordinary reader's guide resplendent with topic suggestions & questions destined to get reader's groups talking like never before

Shadow of Death takes suspense to a deeper human layer. Subject matter and treatment of social issues will undoubtedly generate considerable word-of-mouth awareness.

Release coincides with 40-year anniversary of the Detroit riots. Print and broadcast media coverage anticipated on both a regional (Detroit, surrounding areas) and national level.

Aggressive marketing campaign will target suspense readers, book clubs, as well as readers of general fiction.

Duquesne University's Spiritan Division adopted the book as a vehicle to get students talking about tough issues. Promotion includes exploring additional university affiliations.

Synopsis

Pull a trigger and everything changes. Medical student Laura Nelson had just finished examining her first patient when she is forced to make a split-second decision that will alter the course of her life - forever. One life will end, and one life will never be the same. But keeping her dreadful secret will be one of the toughest challenges Laura will ever face. With a persistent and perceptive detective hot on her trail and a host of eerie incidents suggesting that maybe her secret isn't really a secret, Laura is drawn into an unseemly web of peril, deceit, and treachery and is forced to risk both her freedom and her sanity. Will her deadly secret come to light, or must she live forever in the shadow of death? Set amidst the upheaval and smouldering chaos of the Detroit riots of 1967, this is a haunting tale of unrest, fear, and consequences. Hailed as a stunning debut novel, "Shadow of Death" provides a spine-chilling glimpse of what lurks in the shadows.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (1 April 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YFJ5UO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #418,363 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a " couldn't put it down" book! It takes you from one emotion to another. Very good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 111 reviews
88 of 107 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed 13 Jan. 2008
By Annie M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the reviews by other reviewers, I feel as though I must have read a different book.

The story takes place in 1967-1971, but it has more of a sense of the 90s than the 60s or 70s. The author actually uses the term "politically correct," despite it was a time long before the term was in vogue. In fact, this is the most politically correct novel I've ever read. If somebody had instructed the author to write a story with every conceivable politically correct example possible, well she did that, and the result is that the characters are stereotyped, from the spoiled wife to the misunderstood husband.

The book is also "sloppy" in details, e.g., a crime takes place on Wednesday night and then we go to Thursday but then it's suddenly the weekend. What happened on Friday? A husband hums "happy birthday" to himself, but we don't find out it had been his birthday until the following week. The protagonist has her car parked in the parking lot but wonders if she should call her husband at home to come to pick her up. We get a "clue" about a "yellow-hair[ed]" woman who turns out to be a young intern but we don't even know that until several chapters later. These kind of sloppy mistakes in the details of a story ruin a book for me.

Another huge disappointment for me was that Michael Palmer, an author whose work I have enjoyed and admired, endorsed this book, which is what compelled me to take a chance on Patricia Gussin. Now I remember why I usually hesitate to try new authors without a firm recommendation from a fellow reader.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! 13 July 2006
By Suzanne M. Kulwicki - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Shadow of Death" is one of those rare novels that exceeded my expectations. I purchased it expecting a traditional medical thriller, but the story offered much more depth. The jacket flap quotes Michael Palmer, one of my very favorite authors, who like Patricia Gussin is a physician. All of his books have landed on the New York Times Best-seller List and since he endorsed SHADOW OF DEATH in two different places ("The suspense is riveting and the pacing masterful. This book will leave you gasping for breath." and "Only a physician who is also a great writer could have crafted this novel."), I looked forward to reading about an evil-doctor or a hero-doctor. That would have been fine, but what I found was a personal story of terror. Gussin's protagonist, a compelling and very human young mother and medical student, is attacked and raped. A mistake in the E.R., a mistaken identity, and the violence of the Detroit riots propel the plot as two families, one middle class white and the other urban African American, intertwine amidst violence and threats and deadly secrets. Along the way there's a lot of medicine, an incredibly detailed, gruesome picture of Detroit in 1967, a fascinating `sixies' background, intense career-family challenges, a romantic flair, and most impressive to me, the weaving of multiple social and cultural and racial and moral layers into a seamless, believable and terrifying suspense novel. SHADOW OF DEATH is a page-turner, but one with deep texture.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read! 12 July 2006
By Linda Flexon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a history teacher I seem to gravitate to historical fiction novels but also love medical thrillers. I picked up "Shadow of Death" because it seemed to be a combination of both. I was not disappointed, the story begins with an accurate depiction of the Detroit during the riots in 1967. Throughout the story you are reminded of the political unrest that occurred during the 1960s & 1970s. In addition to the historical perspective, I was equally impressed with the story line of Gussin's main character Laura Nelson. The story was so realistic that many times I thought, What would I do in this situation? How would I respond to such terrible events as being attacked and raped? Gussin's plot and connections make the novel a page turner and difficult to put down. Gussin masterfully intertwines the story of two families, one middle class white and the other urban African American is terryifying and suspenseful story. It is a great read!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little on the fence about this book... 29 Feb. 2012
By Jennifer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book very quickly, in about 2 evenings. There were some things I really liked about the book, especially the medical aspects of it. While I wanted to get into the characters, I felt they were somewhat, hmmm...stereotypical, for lack of a better word. I was really annoyed with the idea that Laura was targeted and attacked simply because she resembled that "yellow haired bitch" doctor who had screwed up royally in the ER. Seriously? So there couldnt have been another "yellow-haired" doctor who had worked on Anthony? SIGH...Perhaps the author was just trying to show the irrational behavior of an emotionally distraught person. I guess I should also concede the generalizations people make against the races; Laura may have just been a symbol of that hate and that's why the focus of the rage was directed at her...

I never really bought the whole David loves Laura. Laura loves David subplot. It seemed really forced to me for some reason. I didn't really understand how the David's love for Laura blossomed by having her write an extra report, seeing her all messed up in the parking lot, and seeing her in the cafeteria with her children? Then it sounded like he just kinda stalked her til that fateful night in the ER involving the crazy man. I get that they bonded while Laura was in the hospital and she told him her "secret" or part of it anyways. I really wanted to believe in their love but just felt it lacked somehow.

I agree with another reviewer who felt the story all ended too neatly. I was left s little empty with the idea that the book ended and I didn't get any feelings of redemption for the protagonist, Laura. Essentially, by default, she is "let off the hook" as the events around her unfold; yet she still evades having to tell her clueless hubby anything. I would have loved an ending where Laura gets to relieve some of her emotional burden. She never really rises ABOVE her circumstances, but rather AVOIDS them.

On a super-picky note, simple editing should have caught that in the initial pages describing Laura's cadaver buddies, Vicky's name is changed to Vickie at least once. Of course this didn't affect my rating, but errors like that drive me bonkers....Then again, who knows just how many errors are in THIS review?

In summary, I didn't HATE the book, but I didn't LOVE it either.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars decisions and consequences 19 Jan. 2012
By Matthew Schiariti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Admittedly this is a book I probably never would have read if it didn't pop up on the kindle top 100 free list. Also, admittedly, I found myself having a lukewarm response to the first several chapters. I stuck with it and I'm glad I did because it soon picked up and ended up being a very good story.

Set in Detroit at the time of the historical riots, Laura Nelson is attending the local medical school, her dreams to become a doctor well underway as a first year medical student. The ongoing strife and violence of the city however doesn't seem to care about her dreams when she's assaulted coming out of class late one night in the dead of winter. Laura survives..the assaulter doesn't. Her dreams of being a doctor threatened, the dark cloud of possibly loosing her family also threatened, Laura makes a snap decision. She's not going to tell anybody. Not the police, not her friends, not her husband or family. What follows is a pretty intricate story about the consequences of the decision to keep this dark secret to herself no matter what.

It's not a story about the Detroit riots although the times and the violence in the area during them serve as a backdrop. It's a story about making what you think is the best possible decision at the time and watching the dominoes that are your life fall one after the other, after the other.

There were a few moments where you may be able to see what's coming and there were, quite honestly, some melodramatic 'mushy' moments, but overall this is a well told story that will have you turning the pages one after the other. I liked this so much I just downloaded Twisted Justice to my kindle because it follows the same characters. What's more is sometimes books written by MD's about fictional MDs can get bogged down in overly long passages about medical procedures and nomenclature. This book has just enough to get you involved in what the character's doing but not enough that you feel you need to skip page after page of medical jargon.

Very good story!
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