A mystery that had potential – PAINTING IN THE SHADOWS REVIEW


enjoyment – 3
Characters – 3
Plot – 3
Pacing – 5
Writing quality – 3
Final rating: 3

perfect pacing
Snappy and to the point
Some good characters

the forced romance at the end
The ‘evil wife’ trope
There was no real drama


This story had a lot of potential, but t felt like the first draft of a first novel. We followed our main character as she tries to navigate the artistic world, and as she comes across a cursed painting.

If you’re looking for a decent, quick to read mystery that is drenched in art, this is the one for you, no need to read further.

However it wasn’t for me. I found the writing was too basic, there was no flare that made it stand out or feel unique. It felt like she had got the basics sorted, plotted out what she wanted the novel to include, and then left it as the first draft.

Plot wise this felt like everything was easy. The main character happened to know a lot about the artist who’s work might have been forged, and she knew that this other painting was cursed. Sure, you’d know a lot in your field of work, but it just felt like everything was falling in their laps. From the detective ignoring them, to all the information working for them.

But I can ignore a too easy plot when there are good characters, but this was lacking that. The main character was stiff and plain. Her friend turned love interest at the end of the book (for no reason at all) felt like your classic male sidekick. Don’t even get me started on his wife, she was some evil twisted woman who apparently was no good for the guy. And of course she hated the MC, of course no female characters could get along.

This was full of lots of little issues like the ones I’ve mentioned, but overall it was okay and I think if you were interested in Australian art, you’d probably like this a lot more than I did.


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