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Shadows Still Remain
Shadows Still Remain by Peter De Jonge
by Peter De Jonge

On Thanksgiving eve, beautiful nineteen year old Francesca Pena, a NYU student on a track scholarship, runs through the streets to her destination, a restaurant bar Freeman's.  Detective Darlene O'Hara of the Seventh Precinct investigates a missing persons report. When Francesca Pena's mutilated corpse is found, the case turns high profile.  Detective O'Hara, a woman with a drinking problem and the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude, isn't exactly the kind of woman one would want heading up the investigation of a case likely to be so closely watched by the public.  The case is turned over to Detective Cooney, a respected homicide NYPD detective but O'Hara can't let it go, especially when she has a feeling their chief suspect is not guilty.  Detective Darlene O'Hara has an inside track on some of the clues from the earlier missing persons case.  She cannot let the case go.  As each new clue emerges, the web unravels bit by bit, unmasking a darker and darker side, but nothing can prepare one for the shocking revelation behind Francesca's murder and the person responsible.

In SHADOWS STILL REMAIN, Peter De Jonge, a once James Patterson co-author, steps out on his own with a gripping thriller.  From the first pages, Peter De Jonge creates a keen sense of place with his vivid and sometimes humorous descriptions of the gritty 7th Precinct and the Lower East Side.  Even readers unfamiliar with New York will be able to easily visualize the sites and the unique flavor of the area.  Detective O'Hara's makes for a most refreshing lead-in to the locale and the investigation.  Impertinent and sometimes brash, Detective O'Hara's flaws enable her to see connections others would not. Her persistence and refusal to stick with the proper protocol adds a sense of empathy and emotion that builds as each clue unravels a new dimension to the web of events behind the murder.  In SHADOWS STILL REMAIN, nothing is what it seems.  No one is perfect --- not the detective, not the victim, not the perpetrator and not those who admired the pretty painted picture for reasons of their own. 

On the surface, Francesca Pena and Detective Darlene O'Hara's have somewhat parallel lives.  Each was a kid saved from the streets, but surfaces can deceive.   As Darlene investigates, she unmasks one pretty surface after another, unraveling each intricate connection.  Actually, Darlene could not be more different than Francesca Pena, and yet, Darlene more than anyone is in the perfect position to understand the true impact of the crime. 
The similarities between Darlene and Francesca increase the emotional connection while the divergence in their lives increases the utter nefariousness and sadness of the crime.  SHADOWS STILL REMAIN is full of twists and turns, each darker than the previous, each one more clever until the final startling revelation.  The ending of SHADOWS STILL REMAIN leaves a reader stunned.  Powerful suspense!                      

Publisher:  Harper; Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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