After serving sixteen years of a life sentence, Katie is released into a world she hardly recognizes. With no family or friends to provide support, Katie struggles to find her way as a semi-free woman. She does succeed in finding a job and a safe place to live but is still under the control of her parole officer, Tim Thorne, a man who both frightens and repels her.
As her memories of her pre-prison life return, Katie must face up to her past and to the men who started her off on her tragic path.
Theme of the Book
Like the previous books in the “Dark Lives” series, Shadows of Regret is a story of guilt, of loneliness, of revenge and of the search for redemption. There is very little love in the story, though the main character, Katie, and her mates from prison want and need love more than anything else.
What I Liked About the Story
The author has a masterful way of establishing and maintaining atmosphere throughout his books. In Shadows of Regret, no matter what happens to Katie, the reader is always surrounded by a fearful tension and a sense of loneliness. From the time she leaves prison to the very end of the book, Katie is always looking over her shoulder never knowing what to expect. At the beginning, this is a result of having been locked away for nearly 16 years. The world has changed and she has not been equipped to handle the changes. Everything is frightening so it takes some time for Katie to be able to cope on the outside.
The book alternates between Katie’s memories and her current life. It is those memories that go a long way to explaining Katie’s character. Readers meet a woman who has had very little stability and even less real love in her life. It is quite easy to understand the choices she makes once out of prison. It is also easy to predict that these choices will not lead to the normal life she dreams of.
Though this is not a happy story, it is one which grabs the reader’s attention from the beginning and keeps it until the very last line.
What I Didn’t Like About the Story
This is the third of the author’s “Dark Lives” books that I have read and I think Shadows of Regret is the best of the three. Having said that, I am not convinced by the ending. It is impossible to give details without giving spoilers so I will simply say that I found Katie’s last decision odd for the strong character that had been described throughout the book. This is a problem that I found with another of the author’s books, Abel’s Revenge. The books are very well written with complex plots and characters and then disappoints in the very last chapter.
Shadows of Regret is a very dark story. Although there are scenes of happiness and pleasure, the overall atmosphere is, as the series tells us, dark. Readers should be aware of scenes of sexual abuse and violence which, though graphic, form an integral part of the plot. For readers looking for a psychologically based story of crime, revenge, and the search for redemption, this would be an excellent choice.
Shadows of Regret is a book we recommend and is the winner of our coveted One Stop Fiction Book Award.