In the Shadow of Lies by M.A. Adler
The first novel of a planned series following homicide detective Oliver Wright, In the Shadow of Lies by M.A. Adler is a mystery novel set before, during, and after WWII. As the cover of the book suggests, the majority of the novel takes place in the San Francisco Bay area, in the town of Richmond. We follow detective Oliver Wright and his trusted sidekick, the German Shepherd, Harley, as he aims to solve the murder of an Italian Prisoner of War which occurs right after Wright himself returns home from active duty. With black soldiers suspected of the crime, Wright joins forces with people on both sides of the case, an Italian POW captain and a black MP, both of whom are enraged for different reasons. With the unsolved cases of disappearances, rapes, and beatings still lingering in his mind from the time before the war, Oliver Wright is determined to serve justice in this new case that we follow him on for much of the book. With his unlikely team at his side, Wright uncovers layers of deception and corruption that stretches back even further than he could have imagined, connecting with the earlier crimes in a way he never dreamed possible.
Combining the harsh realities of racism, war, murder, violence, and cultural differences amongst men, M.A. Adler has constructed a novel that is both fast paced, exciting, and beautifully written. More than just a mystery novel, In the Shadow of Lies, forces the reader to contemplate how they themselves treat others based on preconceived notions. While often times dark in its tone, Oliver Wright is a plucky protagonist who lifts the reader up, bringing hope that he will solve the crimes committed, and bring justice to those who have done wrong. There are many novels out there about WWII and its related topics, but we found this book to feel wholly original in its outlook, tackling certain subjects that are not often discussed when reviewing this portion of our nation’s history. Skillfully weaving together multiple cases and mysteries, offering clues and setbacks along the way, In the Shadow of Lies is a well written and engrossing book that will have you begging for another riveting tale from author M.A. Adler.
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