The Shadow by Melanie Raabe

Published by Text Publishing

Synopsis:

‘On February 11 you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm. Of your own free will. And for a good reason.’

Norah has just moved from Berlin to Vienna in order to leave her old life behind her for good when a homeless woman spits these words at her. Norah is unnerved- many years earlier, something terrible happened to her on February 11. She shrugs this off as a mere coincidence, however, until shortly afterwards she meets a man called Arthur Grimm.

Soon Norah begins to have a dreadful suspicion- does she have a good reason to take revenge on Grimm? What really happened in the worst night of her life all those years ago? And can Norah make sure that justice is done without herself committing murder?

This book really set the autumn mood for me, with its chilly and bleak mood. Norah has moved to Vienna following some kind of incident in Berlin, to be revealed later in the book, she brings with her a few boxes and a sense of general depression which really resonated.

For me, the pacing of this novel was a bit off as the suspense didn’t quite have the boldness needed to complement the wonderfully dramatic ending. It felt a little like two books squished into one, a psychological drama of Norah overcoming her past and a thriller mystery. The latter not reaching the same standard as the former.

Despite the suspense not quite hitting the mark for me, I really enjoyed the atmospheric nature of the book – I really got a sense of the city and Norah’s loneliness, which kept me turning pages til the end.

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