Clementine’s Shadow: My review


Clementine’s Shadow

Author: Peggy Rothschild

 

The California desert provides part of the backdrop for this novel. The desert town of Ardon holds many secrets that its residents hope will remain buried under the hot sand and never revealed. A dark cloud hangs over the sun and blocks the harsh truths from coming out. Each person holding within him or her something they hope others will never learn.

 

Experiences can play a major part in what choices you make in life. Some choices are well thought out and will reap better benefits while others will bring you down and cause your life to take a downward spiral. Casey Lang was a good cop who worked for the LAPD. But, like most cops with a heart and conscious, killing a young child left her with a feeling that she could not really cope with. This traumatic experience almost equal to a traumatic brain injury but in a different way caused to shift gears and request a job in this small town.

 

 

Sometimes women are not given the chance to show their true potential and Casey finds herself doing traffic duty, writing up reports and doing what you might say is grunt work. Hoping to stay way below the radar and not step on anyone’s toes she realizes that she will have to tread the waters carefully.

 

Winston’s marriage went south when he caught his wife cheating on him at a party. Clarabelle loves men and although they share a young child that never stops her from trying to snag a date or anything else for her personal enjoyment. Winston is an alcoholic who cannot stay on the wagon and falls off at regular intervals at the same time every year. Working for a man that is hardnosed and demands perfection he has a hard time keeping his life and his drinking habits straight. When dealing with his sponsor they discuss his issues and hopefully he will repent. But, Winston is angry, unhappy and has made some bad choices in his life and the only reason he is trying to keep it together is for his young daughter Tiny. Money is all is ex-wife wants and unless he pays her support he won’t see his daughter.

 

 

Brady loves to smoke weed and his main squeeze Maisie supplies him with it. Well, she did until he forgot their 6- month anniversary. Justifying his actions and explaining his rationale for his behavior you realize that he too is headed for a slippery ride down an icy road.

 

Teens often mouth off and are sometimes sorry for their words and actions. Jane is rebellious. She has a fierce temper and when she and her grandfather spar the end result surprised her. Dressing inappropriately, not accepting her grandfather’s assessment of her clothes she becomes violent and the end result she no longer has a place to live. But, even worse, she never stopped to find out if he was okay after their violent encounter. Calling her brother to bail her out was her first line of recourse but as we hear her voice and get to know her better we realize that this will not be the last bad choice she made.

 

There is someone out there watching young children as we hear this person’s voice as one little girl named Dolly wants her candy and her mother wants her to wait until she completes her shopping. The voice is loud and clear and the end result will be a kidnapping at a concert that Casey, Winston and many others attend. Here is where the real story begins. Choices: You make them and have to live with the consequences.

There is much more as a connection is made where they found something belonging to the missing child and three men who never made it to the concert to join Brady. All were headed for Clementine Ridge and the young child’s headband was found there too.

So she has to tread carefully when her fellow officers look to her to take the lead in finding six year old Brittany Reid when the girl vanishes in the middle of a local fair. Casey sees Winston, Brittany’s father talking her another deputy and comes over to see if she can be of assistance. Having an understanding of having to run this type of investigation she is frustrated when forced to deal with someone that decided to streak during the concert. As we learn more about the child’s parents we realize that the mother sent Tiny to find her father in this huge crowd and she never made it. Clarabelle is only concerned with her needs and wants and does not hesitate to lay blame on Winston and much more.

 

While Brady, the streaker, is questioned a secret about Jane’s past is revealed as she shows more than just concern for the missing child. With her friend Earl, she attends the concert and on the way back to Bobbie Faye’s she explains what happened that she feels caused her parent’s death. Choices are made and often those can cause others to feel guilty and this young girl asked for her parents to rescue her from sleep away camp and the end result turned her whole life around.

 

 

A town divided with secrets that they kept hidden for so long. As they all ban together to find one little girl and the three men that disappeared. The location is found; the characters in place and the end result will send shockwaves down your spine. Hear the voice of the killer, learn his secrets and find out the rationale behind his actions and you will shiver. As Casey decides to take matters into her own hands and follows her instincts others follow and one dangerous pedophile needs their brand of justice. The story does not end there and the connection between the killer and one person will definitely create a twist in this intricate plot so well crafted and developed by author Peggy Rothschild that it will keep you in suspense until you turn the last page. As Casey continues her investigation we learn the hidden truth behind the killer and someone else that will turn one small town upside down and a hidden secret when unveiled will unearth more than just the bones beneath the ground.

Allowing readers to enter the desert, feel the heat, climb the mountains and become part of the plot you can see the backdrop of the scenery within you mind as you create your own mental image of the action described. But, nothing quite compares to each characters own account of their fears, choices and regrets when the author titles each chapter with each of the primary players within this novel.

 

Just when you think you have it all figured out you won’t believe what happens when someone else is about to be confronted and an explosive ending will leave the reader hoping that the author will bring Casey back again real so we can learn more about what is in store for this great deputy. Will the shadow be lifted or will the black cloud remain?

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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