Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn’t recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.
Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.
Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.
Much better than her previous novel, Prey.
While Shadow Woman has many of the things I love about Linda Howard books, I did miss the clever dialogue between the female and male leads. Lizette and Xavier are good apart but together they were wonderful. The problem, they were apart for almost 75% of the novel.
Having said that, Lizette/Lizzy almost carries the whole novel, which I enjoyed. It’s hard to find authors who can write a female lead as well as Ms Howard. (Some authors are getting close but not quite). Lizzy is resourceful and smart. It’s hard to write that kind of character without it feeling false. Lizzy is anything but false. Xavier just melts my socks. He’s tough, intelligent and knows how to play the end game. Best of all, he wasn’t giving up on Lizzy, even if she doesn’t know it.
Having Lizzy and Xavier get together so late and fast in the end of Shadow Woman might be a detraction for some readers; it didn’t bother me. I can actually understand why Lizzy’s psyche was disturbed by what happens in the beginning (that’s all you get). No one gave her a chance to come to grips with the situation. With time and the “memory loss”, she is able to deal with her feelings. Get your interest there? I hope so.
I’m a die hard Linda Howard fan. The last book was a bit of a disappointment and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Shadow Woman. There was much apprehension in my heart before I started it. No worries.
Most of Ms Howard’s novels are 4.25 Stars or above in my humble rating system. The review I did for Prey just about killed me. But I’m happy again.
My rating: 4 Stars (solid)