Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield @Bookouture #BookReview #DetectiveMadisonHarper #NetGalleyCountdown #Book573

Posted February 20, 2021 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 10 Comments

Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield
Series: Detective Madison Harper #1
Published by Bookouture on January 25, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: Net Galley
Pages: 391
Also by this author: Who Cares If They Die, Where the Snow Bleeds, Won't You Save Me, Where the Snow Bleeds, The Girl Who Died, Who Cares If They Die, Cry for Help, Little Girl Taken, Gone to Her Grave

You thought your little girl was safe at summer camp. You were wrong…

The little girl drags her eyes open, realizing she’s starting to fade. She tries calling out—“Daddy?”—using all her remaining strength. But she’s too late and her voice just isn’t loud enough…

When Detective Madison Harper arrives at a remote summer camp in Shadow Falls, northern California, her heart breaks for Jenny, the sweet little girl last seen splashing in the lake with her friends before she vanished. Peering into the silent cabins filled with rows of neatly made beds, Madison knows this idyllic place is hiding a terrible secret.

The girl’s parents are distraught, and the local police have no leads—they desperately need Madison’s help. She’ll do whatever it takes to crack this case, because it’s the only way back to the son she lost to the care system years ago when she was framed for a crime she didn’t commit.

But with the camp staff keeping tight-lipped and her new partner on the edge of a breakdown, Madison can’t find any truth to her instinct that there is more to Jenny’s perfect parents than meets the eye. Until she discovers a disturbing family portrait Jenny drew at the local library. Was this angelic girl more troubled than anybody knew? Was she in danger from those she trusted most?

One thing is certain, if Madison doesn't find the answers soon, the lives of more innocent children will be at risk…

OMG Wendy what have you done to me. This was dark and twisty and just something else!! Frigging hell my mind and emotions are all over the place. What a powerhouse start to a new series. I need to catch my breath!!

Wendy is one of my favourite authors and I don’t even need to read the blurb. She knows I am the biggest fan of Dean in her other series, well a close first behind her of course. But I think that I will be clawing my way to the top with this series. Nate and Madison are an entirely new ball game.

Nate, sentenced to death row but got released after 17 years. But with one woman dead and another missing how long until his past catches up to him.

We then have Madison, who was a Detective but framed for a murder she didn’t commit. She lost her son and ex-girlfriend and she is out seeking the truth. Although, I think that we might get some answers in the next book.

These explosive characters are so flawed. Flawed in a way that I am enamoured with them but also slightly wary of the darkness that is within them. Nate has a dark side that I reckon we will see one day and that day all hell will rain down.

Back to the story, it has left me speechless. Boy, I didn’t expect it. It was such a terrifying look at what could go wrong. Past, present are intertwined. Nates past to being incarcerated, the case of the missing girl at Camp Fearless and a psychiatrist reading an unknown diary. A woman is struggling big time.

What I love is that this book focuses on one case, one disappearance. Just one. There is no senseless murder spree, we have a missing girl and we need to find her because things are dire. I mean they really were. Of course, we have our red herrings and I still liked one of them for it. However, when you learn the truth, I felt cold inside, I felt my eyes well up at the complete misjustice of it all. No one should have to suffer like this. It was dark and harrowing and it had me flicking the pages on the kindle so quickly as I needed to know how it would all end.

The dynamic of Nate and Madison is fascinating to watch. One who has had his faith rocked, his world is about to combust but he is still there trying to do what is right. The other, not use to being on the wrong side of the law, struggling to find her place as she struggles with whom to trust. From the opening pages, I was hooked as I craved to learn more about what makes them tick. What happened in this case and in their past and where they would go from here.

The short answer well its a dark and shadowy path, one I think both might miss the line completely, you know that one you should never cross.

As I said I am a huge fan of Wendy’s and I have always loved her writing. It is easy to lose yourself in, it’s conversational and it’s inclusive. We can see the scene through the other characters, we see what they see when they see it and sometimes being blinkered we are missing what was right in front of us!!!

It was shocking and riveting and nothing less than pure adrenaline and excitement. Not sure how I will cope with book 2!!!

Until next time xxx

Thank you to the Publisher for the approval of this book in return for my honest and unbiased review

About Wendy Dranfield

Wendy is the bestselling author of the Detective Madison Harper crime series.

She is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who writes a mixture of standalone thrillers, crime series and short stories. Some of her books have been shortlisted for various writing competitions and awards, including the Mslexia novel writing competition and the International Thriller Writer Awards.

You can find more information on her website:

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10 responses to “Shadow Falls by Wendy Dranfield @WendyDranfield @Bookouture #BookReview #DetectiveMadisonHarper #NetGalleyCountdown #Book573