THE SHAPE OF DESIRE
A departure from Shinn’s past novels, this is a superbly constructed book about what it is like to be the partner of a secretive shapeshifter. The first-person present POV provides a level of intimacy with the narrator as well as a certain degree of unreliability — which is integral to the strength of this novel.
For the past 15 years, Maria Devane has been involved with Dante Romano — the only man she believes she will ever be able to love, despite his unwillingness to give himself completely. He is a shapeshifter, changing into a different animal each month and, with each month, spending more and more time in animal form. Despite the limited amount of time Maria can spend with Dante she is mostly happy, although she does worry about him getting injured or killed. That changes when a string of brutal attacks in local parks make her suspect that Dante may not be everything she believes him to be. (ACE, Apr., 336 pp., $25.95)