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Book Jacket

320 pages
Mar 2011
B&H Books

In the Shadow of Evil

by Robin Caroll

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


In The Shadow Of Evil by Robin Caroll is a murder mystery with a hint of romance. The book focuses on detective Maddox Bishop and house contractor Layla Taylor, who wind up meeting each other when arson takes place in one of Layla’s houses. But it doesn’t stop there. Someone also breaks into Layla’s office, blows up her sister’s rehabilitation building, and sets fire to their church. From then on, they both are swept up into the investigation to find out who has caused all this chaos.

Caroll’s writing is distinctive. She concentrates mostly on the emotional developments of her characters, which allows the reader to relate easily. The bonding between Maddox and Layla grows throughout the book, and Caroll does an incredible job of slowly but steadily deepening their feelings for each other. This book focuses on forgiveness and how God can turn a tragedy into a faith-strengthening moment. Caroll has written a fast-paced novel that manages to contain lessons about faith as explained by Scripture teachings.

Supporting characters include Maddox’s partner Houston, Layla’s sister Alana, and Maddox’s father. As Maddox and Houston try to figure out who committed all of the crimes, an unknown disease starts to spread in the city, which shifts a third of the book to the local hospital.

Maddox is portrayed as a tough detective who is afraid of heights and struggles to cope with his mom’s death, whereas Layla is a strong, confident woman who can’t forgive her mentally handicapped mom for past wrongs. These two eventually work through their problems and trust God with their lives. One of the Bible verses used in the book is the novel’s overall theme: 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

In The Shadow Of Evil is a great suspense thriller that will have readers rapidly turning the pages. The book contains no plot holes, has great dialogue, and offers valuable lessons about Christian maturity. This is an ideal book for teenagers and adults alike, and I recommend it to anyone who likes romance, action, or mystery. – Jonathan Hausler,

Robin Caroll’s In the Shadow of Evil is a tension-filled story about a hardened homicide detective, a heartbroken contractor, and a building scam that forces this twosome to work together despite their initial mutual dislike. The tangled web of murders, threats, substandard supplies, and disease only becomes worse as Detective Maddox Bishop and Layla Taylor sort out their relationship as well as personal, familial, and spiritual issues.

Layla, a female in the male-dominated world of contracting, is up for a prestigious award until one of her projects is destroyed by an arsonist and a body is found inside the home. Maddox investigates the case, and soon more and more arson-related fires and bombs destroy Layla’s projects until she receives a personal threat. Meanwhile, her attraction toward Maddox is growing, but he isn’t a Christian. When Layla is right in the heart of danger, Maddox has to learn the true meaning of Psalm 18:2, which says, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

In the Shadow of Evil has a well-structured plot, leaving the reader guessing constantly. Each page is suspenseful and the characters really come to life through their actions, words, thoughts, and prayers. Caroll does a wonderful job of weaving in technical jargon of the police force without bogging the reader down. Caroll’s own beliefs about God and prayer are evident throughout the novel and provide a foundation that translates well from the characters into the readers’ lives.

The book, although a somewhat typical romance-filled suspense story, is enjoyable and had me staying up late to read a few more chapters. It’d make a great gift for women of any age, whether retired or entering the workforce, who enjoy fast-moving plots and puzzles to solve. – Caitlin Wilson,

Book Jacket:

Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy and devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil tells a modern day story involving the exposure of a building rebound scam. Amidst the layers of unethical practices, supply shortages, and excess murders, a top Louisiana homicide detective loses his heart to a charitable contractor while uncovering a secret about his tragic past.