Item description for Shadow of Death: A Novel by Patricia Gussin...
Overview Shadow of Death is the frightening story of Laura Nelson - medical student, wife, mother, victim and murderer. In the heat of the Detroit riots of 1967, Laura shoots and kills the attacker who dragged her into a deserted lot near the medical school where he raped and threatened to kill her. Her cries for help went unheeded. Laura leaves the scene - assuming the attack was unwitnessed - keeping this terrible secret to herself. But was there a witness? Will her husband know? Will the police find out? Will her life collapse?
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Patricia Gussin is a physician who grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, practiced in Philadelphia and now lives on Longboat Key, FL. She is also the author of Shadow of Death, Thriller Award nominee for Best First Novel, Twisted Justice, The Test, and And Then There Was One. She and her husband, Robert, are the authors of What's Next For ... You.
Reviews - What do customers think about Shadow of Death: A Novel?
Very Disappointed Jan 13, 2008
After reading the reviews by other reviewers, I feel as though I must have read a different book.
The story takes place in 1967-1971, but it has more of a sense of the 90s than the 60s or 70s. The author actually uses the term "politically correct," despite it was a time long before the term was in vogue. In fact, this is the most politically correct novel I've ever read. If somebody had instructed the author to write a story with every conceivable politically correct example possible, well she did that, and the result is that the characters are stereotyped, from the spoiled wife to the misunderstood husband.
The book is also "sloppy" in details, e.g., a crime takes place on Wednesday night and then we go to Thursday but then it's suddenly the weekend. What happened on Friday? A husband hums "happy birthday" to himself, but we don't find out it had been his birthday until the following week. The protagonist has her car parked in the parking lot but wonders if she should call her husband at home to come to pick her up. We get a "clue" about a "yellow-hair[ed]" woman who turns out to be a young intern but we don't even know that until several chapters later. These kind of sloppy mistakes in the details of a story ruin a book for me.
Another huge disappointment for me was that Michael Palmer, an author whose work I have enjoyed and admired, endorsed this book, which is what compelled me to take a chance on Patricia Gussin. Now I remember why I usually hesitate to try new authors without a firm recommendation from a fellow reader.
REVIEW BY MIKE SLIOZIS Jul 25, 2007
Shadow of Death was truly a good read. Gussin had me from beginning to end. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen next, Patricia twisted the story just enough to surprise me and keep me reading. Even the very end. I was sure I had it figured out and "bang" another twist. I'm ready for her second book.
A great mystery thriller Feb 15, 2007
Well written and exciting. This is a book that can't be put down until it is finished. I can't wait for another from this author.
Thought-provoking and Deeply Moving Nov 9, 2006
Shadow of Death takes its title from the Bible but the title also refers to the fact that every death casts a shadow over the survivors, particularly when violence is involved. More AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY than a conventional thriller, this well-paced novel is in a category with Thomas Cook's award-winning RED LEAVES. It deals with the repurcussions of a violent event on the lives of ordinary, good people. It emphasizes the ripple effect of acts of violence and our reactions to them throughout our lives and those close to us. A truely thought-provoking book. Excellent for discussion groups. I recommend it very highly.
Great read! Jul 13, 2006
"Shadow of Death" is one of those rare novels that exceeded my expectations. I purchased it expecting a traditional medical thriller, but the story offered much more depth. The jacket flap quotes Michael Palmer, one of my very favorite authors, who like Patricia Gussin is a physician. All of his books have landed on the New York Times Best-seller List and since he endorsed SHADOW OF DEATH in two different places ("The suspense is riveting and the pacing masterful. This book will leave you gasping for breath." and "Only a physician who is also a great writer could have crafted this novel."), I looked forward to reading about an evil-doctor or a hero-doctor. That would have been fine, but what I found was a personal story of terror. Gussin's protagonist, a compelling and very human young mother and medical student, is attacked and raped. A mistake in the E.R., a mistaken identity, and the violence of the Detroit riots propel the plot as two families, one middle class white and the other urban African American, intertwine amidst violence and threats and deadly secrets. Along the way there's a lot of medicine, an incredibly detailed, gruesome picture of Detroit in 1967, a fascinating `sixies' background, intense career-family challenges, a romantic flair, and most impressive to me, the weaving of multiple social and cultural and racial and moral layers into a seamless, believable and terrifying suspense novel. SHADOW OF DEATH is a page-turner, but one with deep texture.