THE SHADOW SIDE
Dr. Elizabeth "Eli" Barnes is skeptical when a police detective suspects that the antidepressant she helped develop is now causing people to commit murder and suicide. Her disbelief turns to anger when she discovers that Detective Adam Boedecker is not currently active with the police force, but is driven to investigate a grisly murder-suicide in his own family.
Although Linda Castillo's THE SHADOW SIDE engages the reader with anticipatory suspense, few of the plot turns are truly surprising. The scenes of tragedy and mayhem are particularly evocative, and the final heroine-in-danger climax is gripping. These strongly drawn scenes contrast with Castillo's bland and cliched descriptive style, which is evident in her dialogue and emotional passages.
Setting the story in a pharmaceutical environment is an interesting choice. Although readers get glimpses into the science and bureaucracy of drug research, this is not one of those novels that plunges you into its subject matter. And it is truly difficult to believe that a forceful, savvy woman in a health-oriented career could repeatedly have sex without giving any thought given to protection. (Jul., 384 pp., $5.99)