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Crescent Blues Book ViewsBerkley Publishing (Paperback), ISBN 0425191028

Valazine helps depressed people get their lives back and people with schizophrenia find peace from their torment. For Elizabeth Barnes, a young and brilliant researcher, life revolves around perfecting this wonder drug. Her personal experience with mental illness drives her to work hard, even though it robs her of a romantic or personal life. Winning a prestigious award fulfills all her dreams of success, and the rest of her life seems mapped out for her.

Book: linda castillo, the shadow side
Her certainty in the course of her life changes when Chicago cop Adam Boedecker shows her that a devastating series of murder/suicides may have been precipitated by the use of Valazine. Though at first she doesn't believe Adam, her inquisitive nature forces her to turn up some alarming facts about the drug's clinical trials. As those around her begin to look sinister and deceptive, Elizabeth realizes how little she knows about her own life.

Adam holds no delusions about his life or his work. Those he loved betrayed him long ago. He can't even trust his own mind, due to a devastating traumatic brain injury he sustained in the line of duty. A near-permanent leave of absence from the force and the brutality of his brother's death give Adam the time and motivation to investigate the connection between Valazine and the suspicious deaths. Angry, bitter and more than a little attracted to the drug researcher, Adam struggles with conflicting desires. Should he protect himself by driving Eli away or keep her close to him forever?

Suspense and romance balance each other well in The Shadow Side, as Castillo never allows one element to overbalance the other. As Adam and Eli work together to discover the secrets surrounding Valazine, they also create a few steamy love scenes thanks to their warring feelings of animosity and lust. The plot moves quickly, and while Castillo employs many of the old standbys (fires, break-ins) none are gratuitous. Each event serves to dig the reader deeper and deeper into the suspenseful plot.

Ceridwen Lewin

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