Shadow Investigation

Fiction - Thriller - General
298 Pages
Reviewed on 03/01/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite

I’ve been lucky enough to spend my reading time with Christopher Amato’s Shadow Investigation, an espionage thriller that follows DEA agent Sam Dahl as he takes a break from his mundane role at LAX to help a friend find their missing parents. Sam is an excellent lead character in this book. He is nuanced and grounded in reality in a way that underscores the entire work with a plausibility that quickly elevates it above standard thriller fare. As Sam launches an off-the-books investigation into the missing people, it quickly becomes apparent that his experience as a DEA agent will be key when a powerful drug kingpin is implicated.

There’s a nail-biting thrill ride that positively prickles with danger and intrigue lying wait for you in the pages of this novel, with author Christopher Amato utilizing his years of real-world experience in law enforcement well to breathe a refreshing level of realism into a genre that too often relies on the suspension of disbelief to work. The way the characters behave, talk, and even the way they dress felt different from almost every other thriller I’ve read. This is due to both the deep understanding of how this world works that the author brings to the table, and also their deft sense of prose that leads to the world feeling dynamic and within our reach. Shadow Investigation is a thrill ride that has everything fans of the genre will love and more, with expertly mixed intrigue, action, and even romance packaged together in one unforgettable narrative.

K.C. Finn

Shadow Investigation is a work of fiction in the thriller, suspense, and mystery subgenres. It is best suited to a mature reading audience owing to some scenes of violence and sexual references. In this riveting work by Christopher Amato, we follow our central protagonist Sam as his contented life seizing drug money and busting couriers is suddenly turned upside down by a peculiar missing person case. Out of his depth and out of his remittance, love and murder collide to bring Sam one of the biggest challenges of his crimefighting career, putting to the test everything he knows and stands for in the process.

Christopher Amato knows how to keep an audience hooked, and every moment of this novel had me flipping pages to find out more about the central mystery and the deadly consequences that awaited our hero and his new acquaintances. I enjoyed Sam as a central figure as he was realistic and relatable; he is a capable yet fundamentally lazy guy who had settled into his ways, only to have everything shaken up again to test his mettle. This dynamic gave the work a fresh feel and a palpable sense of danger, and the cinematic description of the action scenes adds to the drama and makes it easy to visualize the tense goings-on. The plot construction left it for the reader to guess the mystery, and there were a lot of surprises but it all made logical sense by the conclusion, which was satisfying. I recommend Shadow Investigation as an accomplished thriller for fans of the genre to enjoy.

Alma Boucher

Shadow Investigation is a thriller by Christopher Amato. Ben and Carol Jansen went missing while boating in the Gulf of Mexico. Their daughter Chloe asks Sam to investigate their disappearance. Sam has no experience in missing person cases but agrees to look into it. In the meantime, Sam and his partner confiscate drug money from Hector Rojas, known as Angel Martinez, at the LAX airport. All the evidence points to Tampa and a drug syndicate. Sam decides it is time for a vacation in Tampa, which will enable him to investigate the disappearance of Chloe’s parents and look into the leads he has on Hector Rojas. Sam soon realizes that the two cases are related, and his path crosses that of a drug lord. This almost leads to Sam's death, and now the drug lord has his sights on Sam and his loved ones. No one is safe.

Shadow Investigation is fast-paced with never a dull moment. Christopher Amato executed an excellent plot, and I was intrigued from the first page. It had my attention until the end and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a page-turner, and I could not put it down for a minute, as I had to know what was going to happen. The characters were brilliant and relatable. They could be anyone I know. The growing romance between Sam and Natalie added to the success of the story. Their relationship was natural and they were comfortable with each other. Nothing was forced. This story was brilliantly written, and it is a must-read. The ending left me wondering what would happen next.

Keith Mbuya

DEA agent Sam Dhal had just nabbed yet another courier with five hundred thousand dollars in drug money at a Los Angeles airport. However, he was bored with always helping confiscate the drug money and never being allowed to pursue investigations on the drug cases. Knowing his boss would not allow him to pursue the leads he had on his most recent case, agent Sam asks for vacation time and plans to investigate in secret. To add to this, his sister’s friend Chloe had begged him to help her find her missing parents. Chloe’s parents had been on their boat headed to Sanibel islands before being reported missing. Sam travels to his hometown of Clearwater to secretly begin his double investigation. Will he succeed? Find out more in Christopher Amato’s Shadow Investigation.

Christopher Amato’s Shadow Investigation is just what you should be looking for if you love fast-paced crime thrillers with a touch of hot, spicy romance. Amato weaves an intriguing plot featuring ingenious twists and an exciting cast. The storyline is based on a gripping tale of drugs, money, business fronts, guns, boats, cops, drug dealers, love, and friendship. Amato kept me on edge with suspense, adventure, thrills, and action. The vivid depictions of the scenes had me feeling as if I was in the middle of all the action in California and Florida in the late 1980s. I loved how Amato uses intelligent conversations to describe the qualities and emotions of the wonderfully crafted cast. It gets even better with the humor added to the narration. Sam is the type of sharp, intuitive, ambitious, bold, and risk-taking character you can’t get enough of.

Essien Asian

Sam Dahl's numbers are going up at LAX as he helps his DEA unit in its push toward breaking annual productivity records before the year runs out. He receives a call from his sister, pleading with him to reach out to a childhood crush whose parents seem to have fallen off the face of the Earth. Sam has no idea that helping Chloe locate her missing family members will lead to him to developing a new appreciation for the dark underbelly of Tampa's illegal drug culture and its enforcers. He will need to use all the resources at his disposal if he intends to come out of this case unscathed but will that be enough when the people he is up against have no issues with going after those he loves? Read Christopher Amato's Shadow Investigation for more.

Christopher Amato's latest offering takes us back to the years that characterized the international illegal drugs war. Amato uses a graphic style of storytelling as he fleshes out his story's characters, giving Sam the multifaceted depth of a man that is married to his profession but not by his making which is as authentic as it comes in that dangerous line of business. The romantic subplot with Natalie looks like an angle that is capable of developing while lovers of the action genre will be glued to the pages as they follow the game of cat and mouse between Sam and Francisco. Shadow Investigation takes the best elements of suspense, action, and romance and blends them into a story dripping with the kind of mystery that not only echoes the nostalgia of a bygone era but is also guaranteed to hold a reader's attention from the start to the finish.