The Water’s Shadow – Karl Holton

*I received a free copy of this ebook, with thanks to the author.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*


Far beneath in the sickly light,
dark secrets sleep in the depths.
Do you stay in the shallows
or seek answers in the water’s shadows?
Where you know,
deep down, we lose the light.

Benedict and the team discover more as they go deeper.

It’s day fourteen.

The gripping crime thriller series goes into the third instalment.

This is the third book in Karl Holton’s ‘Shadow’ series, and I definitely recommend reading them in order as the characters and plot of each story build on the foundations of what went before. That said, the author has very helpfully included a list of character descriptions and a recap of events so far, for new readers or those who need a quick reminder.

Hanson, Benedict and the rest of the team are back and still doing what they do best: using information technology, cyber resources and their nifty combat/espionage skills to track down and take out everything from money-laundering, hacking and weapon-/drug-dealing to child abductions, murders and international assassins.

As action-packed as the previous books in this series, we follow Hanson’s team as they attempt to unravel the abduction of a young boy from the complex web of white collar crime, crime syndicate activity and cross-assassinations. Benedict and Wallace handle the police procedural side of things, while Pip focuses more on the information gathering and Paddy frets perpetually about Hanson’s safety, like an oversized mother hen!

The overarching plot here is the long-standing rivalry between Hanson and the nefarious, shadowy Jasper, and the stakes grow increasingly high for the team as Hanson finally reveals his big secret to them, setting the clock ticking on their investigations and ratcheting the tension as the advantage seems to pass back and forth between the two powerful players. I have seen this series compared to watching a complex game of chess between two masters, and the analogy is certainly apt.

That is not to say that the story is sedate though. On the contrary, there is plenty of action – violence, guns, murders – throughout the storyline, as you would expect from a story which sets assassins to take down their colleagues in the trade. Fans of big-and-small-screen action thrillers (Mission Impossible, Taken, Die Hard, 24 or Oceans Eleven) will enjoy the mixture of modern espionage and good, old-fashioned violent revenge that is playing out across the span of these books. No one is safe, no one is trustworthy and no one knows how the end game will eventually play out.

As before, this story ends on a cliffhanger and with all of the individual plotlines slowly pulling together towards what promises to be a spectacular crescendo of a final showdown, you’ll be on the edge of your seat waiting for the next instalment!

The floating spirits on the ceiling cavorted as the raging pride of lions in his chest calmed. It won’t be long. Moros let them all come to rest as his shallow breaths moved through his nose in silence. He remembered the first time he’d read the source of his name. The hacker he’d employed to get into the police records had sent him copies of various files. When Benedict’s notes for him came up on the screen, he’d smiled. The name ‘Moros’ seemed to fit.
The house and everyone in it came to a stillness. His fingers pressed the cupboard door controlling the pace it opened. A few noiseless steps later, he looked down at the peaceful face.
The boy’s eyes opened.

– Karl Holton, The Water’s Shadow

Find more from Karl Holton at his website here, or follow him on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

The Water’s Shadow is available on Amazon right now, and do pop and check out my reviews of The Weight of Shadows (Book 1) and The Wait For Shadows (Book 2).

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