Shares the Darkness by J.R. Lindermuth

Shares the Darkness by J.R. Lindermuth
Publisher: Torid Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (225 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Stargazer

Jan Kepler and Swatara Creek Police Office Flora Vastine were neighbors and schoolmates, but never close.

When Jan, a school teacher, avid birder and niece of a fellow officer, goes missing and is found dead in a nearby tract of woods, Flora finds herself thrust into the middle of an examination of the other woman’s life, as she searches for clues.

As usual, the police have more than one crime to deal with. There’s illegal timbering and a series of vehicle thefts taking up their time.And there are other issues to deal with. Flora is concerned there’s some shakiness in her relationship with Cpl. Harry Minnich, who seems to be making a lot of secretive phone calls.

Still, Flora maintains focus on the murder, and despite evidence implicating other suspects, the odd behavior of another former classmate rouses Flora’s suspicion. Flora’s probing opens personal wounds, as she observes the cost of obsessive love and tracks down the killer.

Everyone has their secrets, and secrets have a way of being found out.

When Jan Kepler doesn’t return home from a birding excursion the day before, a search reveals that she is dead. This is huge news for a small town and Officer Flora Vastine and the Swatara Creek Police Department have their hands more than full with illegal timbering and a rash of car thefts in the area. When an old classmate that has his own skeletons in the closet reappears, Flora struggles to keep her past from influencing her job.

J.R. Lindermuth does a great job at weaving the private and professional lives of the citizens of Swatara Creek together. Each character has a deep back story and it seems that everyone has something to hide. From Peg, Jan’s only close friend, to Flora’s boyfriend Harry, who seems to be acting a little more secretive than he should be, each character makes the reader re-evaluate what is happening within the story. The depth of emotions and the interconnectedness of each individual shows the complex diversity that J.R. Lindermuth has struggled to incorporate within the story.

The multiple events that occur pull the police officers in different directions and the reader is easily caught up in the small town life and various focuses of the Swatara Creek Police Department. J.R. Lindermuth uses great foreshadowing and strong dialogue to promote a strong story line. Some notable editing errors take away slightly from the flow of the read. Overall the various interwoven plots and strong character backgrounds drive home the depth of the story and draw the reader into the lives of those in Swatara Creek.

If you are a fan of a good mystery, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Shares the Darkness!

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