Review of SHADOW SIDE by Linda Castillo (see her website)
Berkley Sensation, July 2003
When Adam Boedecker's brother is involved in a murder suicide, the disabled cop can't believe it. Michael had been happy, anxiously awaiting the birth of his child. There was no way he would kill his beloved wife and then take his own life. Adam can't return to the streets where he wants to be, but he can certainly investigate this--and he knows that the cops are all to willing to believe that Michael simply turned bad. When he finds a perscription drug in his brother's clothing, Adam wonders whether the death could have been the result of a defective drug. But is his certainty proof of anything other than his own denial and Adam's inability to return to the real world of practical policing.
Elizabeth Barnes has spent the past decade working for the release of Valazine--the powerful antidepressent pharmacutical that avoids many of the problems other drugs have and has been used to treat resistant patients--like her mother had been before her own suicide. When Adam arrives at her lab with his story about the drug causing psychotic episodes, she dismisses it--the lab results and clinical trials were complete--and Eli had personally prepared the tests and procedures. There is no way that such a major flaw could have slipped through the cracks. Only a concerted effort by clinics, multiple scientists, and the firm's management could have created such a problem. Still, Adam won't give up and Eli begins to wonder if some further investigation might make sense.
Author Linda Castillo (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Castillo) has created two powerfully real characters. Adam is so damaged that he seems almost beyond redemption--but Eli is a powerful force herself with her own problems, fears, and goals that conflict with and support Adam's. In their shared search for the truth, both must put their souls on to the test and forge the love that neither can admit to wanting. Castillo's rich description complements the strong action that propells the story forward. It is the emotional depth of the two primary characters, however, that makes SHADOW SIDE such a moving story.
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