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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Masked Man and the Orphan Girl by Jeff Shannon is a work of fiction in the suspense, thriller, and mystery subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience. In this riveting tale set in recent times, we find ourselves in small-town Mississippi in the 1980s. As the title suggests, our central protagonist is teenage orphan Cranberry Farmer, whose fight for survival is on when she flees her adopted home but finds her life's path crosses with that of the Masked Man, a dangerous killer on the hunt for his next prey. So begins an intense mystery with surprises at every turn.
Author Jeff Shannon has a particular knack for creating characters, especially their emotional and psychological profiling. I found it enjoyable and engrossing to explore what went on in the heads of both the criminal and the victim in this tale and the various guesses and theories surrounding the macabre habits of the dark central figure. The dialogue was highly effective, serving to move the plot forward whilst also adding to the unique flavor of the different characters involved while differentiating their ages, attitudes, and backgrounds. This made me highly invested in the fate of the cast, especially the young female lead, and had me turning pages to see what else would happen right through to the novel’s startling but very satisfying conclusion. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Masked Man and the Orphan Girl to suspenseful murder mystery fans.