First Line: Mom Chao Cherry hunched forward in a broken wicker chair and stared anxiously across the Mississippi River toward the University of Minnesota campus.
A millionaire who made his fortune launching a home shopping network sees all his hopes dashed when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky. Family liaison officer Afton Tangler and her partner find themselves investigating family members and business associates-- anyone who could want the man dead. They discover that he wasn't as squeaky clean as he was portrayed. He crossed the wrong person-- and revenge will be carried out until the killer is completely satisfied. If Afton isn't careful, she's going to wind up as collateral damage.
I found Gerry Schmitt's first Afton Tangler thriller (Little Girl Gone) to be quite good-- and much more to my liking than the cozy mysteries she writes as Laura Childs. I was eager to read this second book in the series, and I was not disappointed. Shadow Girl is a tense, fast-paced mystery with an appealing main character.
Afton Tangler wants with all her heart to be a detective, but her superiors keep making excuses even though they keep assigning her to work with Max, a seasoned homicide detective. Excuses or not, Afton's family liaison skills come in handy during investigations: she has a knack for calming distraught people and getting them to open up to her.
This case takes us all over the Minneapolis - St. Paul area. We know the identities of the bad guys, the trick is in apprehending them all. Shadow Girl is filled with good action sequences, and although there is violence, it is never graphic. Schmitt knows how to let readers' imaginations do most of the work.
I enjoy the rapport Afton has with Max. It's an important relationship, since Max has a lot to teach this wannabe detective. The investigation may be deadly serious, but there are flashes of humor throughout, and Bonaparte the dog has is a moment or two in the spotlight.
Something that's said at the end of Shadow Girl lets readers know that things will be changing for Afton in the next book. Afton is a strong, intelligent woman who deserves to be a detective. I'm looking forward to finding out what's in store for her in book number three.
Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt
Berkley © 2017
Hardcover, 320 pages
Police Procedural, #2 Afton Tangler mystery
Source: the publisher