The lead actor of a famous TV show is suddenly killed on set. His best friend mourns him, his fiancée is devastated, and revelations come rolling like thunder and pouring rain. The Long Shadow on the Stage is a cleverly crafted story about the secrets we keep and how they can lead us to kill or be killed.
When I started the story, I knew I was going to like it. The characters are presented very well. We know their personalities, their drives, their ambitions. Jackson’s character had his quality and flaws and sort of lived his life day by day with his girlfriend, Clara, who lived the dream of being engaged to a famous man like him. Things quickly take a dark turn when Jackson is killed, and Clara uncovers things about him she would have wished she never found.
A few scary events, one may even say traumatic, happened to some of the characters in this book. Sometimes, I felt like their reactions where disproportionate to the event itself and lacked the emotional amplitude they deserved. They didn’t quite fit the personality presented. Nevertheless, the author quickly compensates by keeping you hooked to the story and eager to read more.
The writing itself is simple and flows really well. Except for a few typos here and there, it was an easy read that can be binged in one afternoon. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, which is one of the weaknesses of this book, but it seemed to fit the distanced narrative style. It’s like we’re a camera following the shadows on the stage of this book.
I think the biggest weakness of this book is that we never actually get to know the killer’s motives. We understand the killer to an extent and get to know them better along the way, but their reason to kill Jackson still eludes me. There were a few scenes being retold in the killer’s perspective, where you can see them twist reality. Though, because these scenes were scarce and stopped about halfway, I felt like that psychological aspect of the book got left behind. That’s too bad, because that’s something that really got me enthusiastic about the story, and I kept on waiting for another occurrence of such scene.
I give The Long Shadow on the Stage 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a captivating story that keeps you hooked from page one with a clever mystery. I’m actually very excited about the second part The Long Shadow of Memory and hope it will answer my remaining questions.
About the author
Nichole Heydenburg is a thriller author, freelance editor, and beta reader. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English with an emphasis in writing and a minor in theatre from Adrian College in 2014. When she isn’t writing, Nichole enjoys going on adventures with her husband, reading, hiking, researching serial killers, and drinking tequila and lemonade.