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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Tale of Shadows is a mystery/thriller written by Barry W. Litherland. Guy’s heart just wasn’t into being with the others as his friends sat around the campfire and listened to Matt pontificate. They had been best mates at one time, but ever since his sister died, Guy and Matt’s friendship had been strained at best. Guy left the others and gingerly stepped across the causeway to the island to do a bit of exploring. The walk there was treacherous with slippery seaweed and ill-placed rocks threatening to dump him headlong into the rising tidal waters. He knew he couldn’t stay long before the causeway became impassible, and he didn’t want to spend the night amongst the spooky remnants of dwellings that still remained on the island. But then he realized that he had put it off too long, and finally he settled in for an uneasy sleep on the hillside. At first, his fitful sleep was broken by the minute sounds of the voles and other nocturnal dwellers he was sharing his quarters with, but then he heard the distinctly disquieting sound of footsteps. Overcoming his instinctual fear, he looked up and saw Matt striding towards the high cliff overhead.
Barry W. Litherland’s mystery/thriller, A Tale of Shadows, is one of those rare and special books that make you want to tell everyone you know how much you’re enjoying a book you’re reading. I began having that most wonderful feeling after the first few pages, and, if anything, it intensified as I raptly read on. Litherland’s writing is sumptuous and lovely; throughout his work, there’s the sound of the birds that inhabit the Scottish Highlands and the ever-present boom and crash of the sea. His characters are meticulously and finely drawn, particularly Guy; Andrea, the quietly perceptive one of the group who befriends the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Aaron Marks; and Marks, himself, whose own introspective curiosity and tutelage under his demanding boss and mentor, Jack Munro, has made him a prodigious detective indeed. A Tale of Shadows is a marvelous and unforgettable tale. My first reaction after finishing it was to start looking for more works by this author. Anyone who delights in atmospheric mysteries, psychological thrillers or police procedurals will have a field day reading this book. A Tale of Shadows is most highly recommended.