Shadow of Evil
B&H Publishing Group, Mar 1 2011, $15.99
In Eternal Springs, Louisiana, contractor Layla Taylor is stunned when a house she just completed is set on fire. Once the blaze is put out and the remains cooled down, a dead inspector is found inside. Detectives Maddox Bishop and Houston Wallace investigate the homicide-arson with Layla as the only link to both crimes besides the victim.
Maddox and Layla are attracted to one another from their first meeting. However, when more incidents including murder and arson occur, he knows the case comes first. He works diligently to keep Layla safe as she is the seeming focus that ties everything together, he does not want to have happen to her what happened to his mother almost two decades ago, which he still feels overwhelming guilt for not being home on time to protect her.
The latest Eternal Spring inspirational suspense thriller (see Deliver us From Evil and Fear No Evil) is a terrific police procedural with strong relationship bases. The sisters obviously love one another though disagree more than they agree on issues. The police partners provide strong support for each other on and off the job. Maddox with his remorse and guilt over his mom shapes his personality as he and Layla fall in love, but God is in their way as she believes strongly (as does her sibling) while he no longer accepts a deity who allowed a bad thing to happen to his mom. This occurs inside a strong investigation with an unexpected but plausible late twist as a serial killer-arsonist seems to target Layla.