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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Racing Shadows is a contemporary paranormal novel written by James K. Dill. Fourteen years of dedicated running and training had paid off. The U.S. Olympic Trials were the shining goal any serious runner aspired to be competing in, and Jeff still couldn’t quite believe he was there. Jeff started strong and then began to falter at just about the 10-mile remaining mark. Jeff’s body simply gave out. Not only had he not run a good race; but he came in last, trailed by the ambulance who traditionally followed the last runner to the finish line. A seasoned athlete, Jeff accepted the poor results, but the thought that it would be another four years before another chance at the Trials was heartbreaking, especially after the challenges and heartache of the last year.
James K. Dill’s Racing Shadows is a well-written and enthralling look at competitive running and the impact it has on runners’ lives. Dill’s own experiences as a runner impart to this novel an undeniable authenticity, and his pairing of the troubled young runner, Jeff Dillon, with the former Olympian, Bill Atlee, is outstanding. Following their relationship, which puts Jeff’s standing in his university in some jeopardy and has his therapist considering calling in her adviser, keeps this book moving almost as rapidly as Jeff’s training runs do. The paranormal aspect of the plot is handled beautifully, and each of the characters the reader meets is deftly sculpted and credible. I particularly loved the insights into what it takes to be a marathon runner and the training regimens necessary for long-distance running. I found this book to be an inspiration and a joy to read. Racing Shadows is most highly recommended.