Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 24, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery
Page Count: 162
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Jamie Matthews goes to Cornwall to find his missing brother. The police are convinced Michael drowned, but Jamie knows better. No way would Michael swim to his death, especially on a beach with a wicked rip tide. Finding a stranger in his brother’s cottage only deepens his misgivings.
Felix Bergstrom is recently discharged from the British Army. Unable to put the past behind him, he takes an unhealthy interest in old acquaintance and millionaire businessman Karl Weston, hoping to catch him up to no good. Michael’s disappearance adds fuel to Felix’s suspicions. Weston’s clifftop home overlooks the beach where Michael supposedly walked into the sea, but Weston has an alibi for that day.
When Jamie and Felix meet, the physical attraction is instant. Mistrust keeps them from acting on it until finally all their secrets are laid bare. But time isn’t on their side. Before they’re able to work out whether they have a future, danger catches up with them and threatens to put an end to everything.
Freelance media relations / journalist Jamie arrives in Cornwall to search for his missing / presumed dead brother Michael, but finds a mystery instead, coupled with an enigma named Felix Bergstrom. Felix is convinced that his ex-Army buddy Karl Weston is responsible for the murder of their mutual friend Jason, and believes Weston is also responsible for Michael’s disappearance. Jamie’s investigation of his brother’s disappearance keeps bringing him back to Felix and the two begrudgingly start sharing information. While Jamie and Felix may question each other’s motives, they cannot deny the sexual tension that sizzles between them from their first meeting.
The sexual chemistry between Felix and Jamie is hot with several smokin’ scenes (starting at about 55%), and their relationship is probably my favorite part of “Chasing Shadows.” However, without giving away too much, the murder / mystery plot felt a bit thin, and not enough to sustain the story. For example, the plot centers firmly around Karl Weston who may or may not have had something to do with Michael’s disappearance, but yet at the end of the book, there’s a “Wait, what? Never mind ….” moment about Karl, and when we learn what happened to Michael, the answer seems very brief and hurried. Also the middle of the book seemed to drag a bit when Felix’s friends (and former army buddies) Adam and Nick appear and basically rehash the mystery without drawing any conclusions.
The strength of the book is Felix and Jamie’s relationship, but I felt the plot needed a few more tangents to keep interest throughout the book. If you read this book mainly for the mystery component, you may be disappointed. This is my first Annabelle Jacob’s book, and I do look forward to reading more of her work.
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