by Karen E. Olson
Series:Nicole Jones, #2Hardcover, 220 pg.
Severn House Publishers, 2016
Read: August 19 – 20, 2016
When we last saw Nicole Jones, she was running away from the new life she’d built for herself — the job, home, friends — rattled by the presence of the FBI and the criminals from her past. The idyll was gone, and her life and freedom depended on her making a break for it. So, she headed for the border and the Great White North beyond.
She tried to convince herself that her next home, next identity, would be as long-lasting (at least) as her previous. But she knew better, deep down — and the readers did, too. Not just because it’s a sequel, but now that everyone knows that she’s out there, they’ll look harder. So Nicole has to be ready to run again, and she does so when the time is right. Which leads her to new risks and dangers, as well as to a greater understanding of what happened in her early criminal career to set her on this path.
There were a couple of times I thought Nicole was too trusting, too willing to not be suspicious. She really made some bad moves there. But honestly, I’m not sure she was in a position to do much else. Shadowed was, on the whole, a lot less realistic-feeling than Hidden, but oh well — it may not have been full of verisimilitude, but it followed the rules that Olson laid out before, and it was entertaining enough that you got over that.
I saw a few of the twists coming (or at least something that looked like them), and by a certain point I had 97.3% of the rest of the book worked out to an uncanny accuracy. That other 2.7? Totally blindsided me. More importantly — the stuff that I’d guessed, the stuff that I hadn’t (and couldn’t), and everything else was written in an engaging, entertaining and controlled fashion. I’ve read too many crime novels lately that seemed chaotic from time to time, where things happen because the author wanted them to, whether or not it fit the story — this one wasn’t anything like that. Olson knows what she’s doing, and you can tell that throughout.
This didn’t wow me the way that Hidden did, but I liked the world — I still really like Nicole — it hooked me almost from the get-go, and definitely left me wanting to know what’s next. Olson continues to impress and satisfy.