A Game of Shadows

Jason Reynolds #3

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
333 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2020
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Author Biography

James Boyle grew up on Whidbey Island in Washington’s Puget Sound before moving at sixteen to the Oregon coast. He has learned to love the rain, the forests, and waters of the Pacific Northwest, which provides the backdrop and mood for most of his fiction. He has published short fiction and poetry in various journals and is the author of six other novels, including Deception Island and To Hemlock Run, the prequels to A Game of Shadows. He lives in Gold Beach, Oregon, about a hundred yards from the Rogue River and two miles from the beach.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

When you’re confined to barracks, as most of us are right now thanks to COVID-19, it sure is nice to have a good book to take your mind off all the bad news...even if that book is a thriller conspiracy with some nasty stuff going on. So don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of A Game of Shadows by James Boyle. This is Boyle’s third novel starring journalist Jason Reynolds, and going by the many positive reviews Boyle has received for the Reynolds’ novels and Boyle’s other 5 books, after you read A Game of Shadows you will have several more to enjoy. In A Game of Shadows, protagonist Reynolds finds himself and his current love, Detective Dani Hayden, accused of raping an under-age teen. They know they are innocent but how do they prove it? Then, to make matters worse, two more women come forward accusing Jason of having raped them during their university years. When this scandal hits the newspapers and other media, how can Jason and Dani defend themselves when any attempt to contact the alleged victims would be seen as witness tampering?

While the book starts out slowly...on purpose I’d say to give readers time to get to know the key characters...once we’re tuned into who’s who, the plotline really takes off and you find yourself unable to put the book down. Not only does the plot take unexpected turns, but characters emerge whose identities and intentions don’t come clear till nearly the end. What a way to keep us reading! And when we finally set A Game of Shadows aside, we are filled with the satisfaction that comes after being held in suspense for over 300 pages. Boyle’s style leaves little to be desired. Descriptions are concise and interesting, the dialogue is plentiful and true to life, and despite the evils depicted, we come away still believing that good will always overcome evil. Need to stay isolated? Isolate yourself with an engaging read: A Game of Shadows by James Boyle.

K.C. Finn

A Game of Shadows is a work of thriller fiction in the conspiracy and conjecture sub-genre and was penned for adults by author James Boyle. In the third book following central character Jason Reynolds through his tense adventures, we find our protagonist in dire straits once again. False accusation is the central theme, and both Jason and his partner Dani find themselves accused of sexual assault, with all the sordid details leaking to the press and social media. What follows is an unlikely alliance in the hope that Jason can clear both their names, and recover the reputation he once had while the whole world is enjoying the hate campaign against him.

Author James Boyle has crafted a fascinating thriller that encompasses all of the usual elements of suspense, tragedy, and intrigue, but does it with a concept that is so little used in fiction. The refreshing nature of looking at a scandal from the inside, especially one in which the parties are innocent, marries well with the author’s keen sense of timing for plot twists and new revelations. I liked the tense relationship between Jason and Taylor, and the dialogue was slick and inventive to really characterize the attitudes at play. The sexual content regarding the allegations is also smoothly written so as not to upset readers, making this an accessible read for one and all. Overall, A Game of Shadows is definitely a recommended read for any fan of conspiracy and scandal thriller novels, who is also looking for a new and unique experience in that genre.

Edith Wairimu

In the third book of the Jason Reynolds Series, A Game of Shadows by James Boyle, Jason’s life is beginning to slow down after his last story that rocked the small town of Port Salish. Just when he starts to make plans for his career, Jason is hit with a scandal that threatens to destroy his reputation and possibly earn him years behind bars. He and his partner, Danielle “Dani” Hayden, are implicated in a child rape case. Other convincing victims emerge and the case quickly spirals out of Jason and Dani’s control. But someone is out to help them, even willing to put his life on the line to prove their innocence. Jason and Dani struggle to catch up with their accusers, but their efforts are minuscule compared to the professional schemes woven by their opponents.

From the opening pages of A Game of Shadows, things quickly escalate into unanticipated turns as Jason and Dani grapple with the accusations hurled at them. The work includes a powerful set of antagonists that will do anything they can to destroy Jason and Dani. The story’s conflict builds as the reporter and detective struggle to defeat the formidable bigwigs that they are up against. Surprises occur along the way as tables turn and each side fights to get ahead of the other. Supportive characters make the work even more compelling by adding to the conflict and enhancing the main characters’ roles. Accentuated by riveting scenes, A Game of Shadows offers a gripping story that fans of mystery will love.