Darkness & Shadows is the second book in the Patrick Bannister series by Andrew E. Kaufman, following The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted. I was lucky to read both books right one after the other, so the plot in the first book as well as the interesting character of Patrick was (and still is) still fresh in my mind.
Some time has passed since Patrick has discovered his true identity following the adventures in the first book. Now he is living in San Diego, without a job, living from one day to another and is going to psychiatric counseling to get over the two main women in his life: his wicked and abusive mother and his first and biggest love, Marybeth, whom he saw perishing in a fire many years ago. His only companion is his Rottweiler called Bullet.
However all this changes when he learns about a wealthy couple that perished recently and sees their photo in the TV: the woman is the spit image of his Marybeth, except several years older, living under another name ass Charlene Clark. Could it be that she faked her own death? But how can that be, afterall he saw her die in the building fire with his own eyes. Or maybe she wanted to escape from him and did it in a memorable way? All these questions that come flooding his mind and won’t let him rest, no matter what.
Being a journalist at heart, he can’t stop from investigating, however before long he has a close encounter with death and is saved by a scarred woman called Tristan, a woman that he regularly sees coming out from the therapist’s office when it’s his time to go in.
From here starts a journey for both of us into unknown territories, down to Mexico, meeting people that one should not meet in regular circumstances, and escaping danger too often for one’s comfort.
Patrick is literally obsessed with Marybeth and wants to get to the bottom of the truth – which he does, of course, when he realizes that he was better not knowing, as now nothing is literally as it seems, and sometimes hidden things should stay hidden forever.
There is a lot more to the story, it’s quite full of action, just like the previous book. I love the flippy character of Tristan, a woman just as abused in the past as Patrick is. After starting on the wrong foot, they soon become good buddies to depend on each other in dire times. And Patrick soon realizes that he needs her to solve the mysterious case of the disappearance of Marybeth.
There is a fun interaction between the two that I enjoyed, except a few times when Tristan was really snappy with him, and I felt a bit uncomfortable reading those few scenes.
Both books in the Patrick Bannister series are psychological thrillers, and I felt that this second book was more so than the first. Patrick was really going through some tough times in the present (while I felt in the first book the pain was more evident in his flashback chapters).
Andrew E. Kaufman has a way of writing that keeps you glued to the pages. He really is an artist with the pen. Having read both books, I’ve already got hold of his very first novel, a standalone supernatural thriller, which I”m reading now and so far loving it to bit. I’ll review it soon as well.
Comparing the two books in the Patrick Banniester series, this second book got deeper under my skin, not even sure why. Maybe because more of the plot takes part in the present, with less flashbacks to the past than in the previous book. Hence a big fat 5 stars from me.
To learn more about Darkness & Shadows by Andrew E. Kaufman or buy yourself a copy, visit Amazon. It’s totally worth it.