Shadow Girl brings a Strong Female Lead

Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt
Genre: Crime drama
Publisher: Berkley
Date: August 1, 2017
Reviewed by: Brit Yancey
Fiction Addict Scorecard: B

Afton Tangler is the Family Liaison Officer of the Minneapolis Police Department.  Her job is to be bridge between victims of crimes and the police force during the investigation. However, Tangler has bigger and better goals in mind: to be a detective on the police force. Her partner in not-quite crime, Max Montgomery, encourages this goal regularly.  He bends the rules and takes Tangler to investigations alongside him. This is much to the chagrin of the chief of police.


In what seems to be the start of a tradition for the series, Gerry Schmitt starts us out right in the middle of the action. Readers meet the antagonist on page one. It should be noted here that these crime dramas are not mysteries. The reader knows the players from the first paragraph. To me, that is a refreshing change of pace from most novels in the crime genre.


I will say that I had a hard time getting through this novel at first because the writing style and story structure are extremely similar to the first book. (It does work as a stand-alone novel if you have not read the first Afton Tangler book: Little Girl Gone.)   I ended up putting it down and reading a book in between and that helped me take a break from the storyline. After doing that, I was able to enjoy the book more.


This is my biggest criticism of the book and author at this point in her career with the Afton Tangler series. The plot structure is very formulated. This can lead to the story and characters lacking natural growth and progression within a series.  Following a strict structure can sometimes hinder the muses.


Do not mistake me, however. I really enjoyed this novel. Shadow Girl is a book that you should check out if you enjoy a good crime drama with a strong female lead. In this series, Tangler shows how much of a bad-ass she can be while being a single mom with two daughters.  If you enjoyed Little Girl Gone this is an absolute must read. I am looking forward to more of Schmitt’s work in the future!


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