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Shadow House (The Sydney Quartet Book 4) Kindle Edition
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This is a noirish underworld thriller, with savage villains and sultry lap-dancers, double-dealing and gunplay. Despite the title, this is a masculine read with strong sailing overtones, as Sam and Heather are sent on a cross-Pacific cruise with a boat full of cocaine. It's an unusual mix, but it works.
Sendall knows his stuff, and his research has been exemplary. The sailing references are written with accuracy and loving care, yet his depiction and dialogue of the drugs barons are also convincing and laced with black humour. It's also very violent in places but considering the subject matter, it has to be. An unusual book in many ways, and hugely enjoyable.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The main characters - Sam and Heather - are effectively portrayed as people who have been for the most part in control of their lives and then find themselves in unfamiliar territory. That makes them a lot like you and me, every new decade of our lives. They're relate-able to many of us even though their current circumstances (hopefully!) are not.
Also, the story moves along at a good pace, with a near-perfect balance of dialogue and narrative description.
Overall, this is a pretty good read!
This was an interesting read for me, though at times I found there was an almost staccato flow that made the reading at times a bit broken. There were paragraph breaks when changing the view to know that it was from a different character viewpoint which was great, but then other times there were breaks simply to show a short space in time had passed. Because of this there were spaces in paragraphs where I personally thought were a break for a change of scene or view, but in actuality only a short space in time. It was because of these multiple reasons behind these breaks that made things to me seem a bit choppy. In my mind the story would have flowed better with a simple sentence to connect the two that were time change and not view change. That being said I did enjoy the idea and story.
I enjoyed the mystery behind the character of Sam in the beginning, and the candidness of Heather, as well I think that the development of the characters in general was well done. The fact that I had a personal dislike for McCutchen early on simply by description I believe was a great job and the back story to Loretto Reed to help build his persona was a marvelous decision. There is but one thing that I wish would have been added, and that is near the ending when Divinski is again playing a part in the story it was so long since I had read his name that I had forgotten he was an associate of Sam’s in the beginning; my thought is that maybe a link to remind readers of that relationship between the pair in some way would have been helpful since there are quite a few different characters.
Now as for story while I did enjoy it I think that it would have gotten a higher rating from me if there had been more parts that were of Sam, or even Heather, doing infiltration or descriptions of actual jobs. What it seemed like to me is that most of the time the story was of just Sam hanging out in strip clubs and sleeping with strippers to get information or to get closer to the goal. It did make sense to get him into the world in the first place and to keep up the façade, but to have more situations like the one with the shootout along with that would have kept my interest more and kept me more invested in the story. It just made the book stay at a moderate level instead of taking me on a ride of climatic outcomes and anticipation. I did however greatly enjoy the ending and how things played out, especially with Mitchell (I’ll keep that limited as to not create a spoiler).
So all in all, I did enjoy the book. In my opinion if you enjoy the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child, give this one a try.
The story line was believable and quite exciting, and the way Sam managed to achieve his objectives without the usual violence and bloodletting was very well imagined and written, as were the passages which described the development of Sam and Heather's relationship. I shall look forward to reading more by A.J.Sendall