The Shadow of Venus Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Shadow of Venus

Signet, Feb 2004, 5.99, 272 pp.
ISBN 0452211340

Claire, a middle aged librarian works at the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico. At a poetry reading she arranged, a young woman she met once before offers her a seat and admires her looks. When a belligerent homeless woman bursts into the room, the campus police escort her out and Claire closes the door. The young lady who saved her a seat bolts from the room because she is claustrophobic.
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Claire is disturbed when the young woman, who saved her a seat, a street person named Maia, is found dead in the basement, the victim of a heroin overdose. Claire feels connected to Maia and starts researching who she is, a journey that takes her to an Anasazi structure known as Special Rocks and to a commune in Taos. She learns that Maia was running from the man who abused her and Claire is determined that Maia's death will be avenged even though it means putting her own life on the line.

The heroine is a warm caring individual who hates to see a crime go unpunished. She starts a bit on her voyage of discovery because Maia could never willing stay in a room that locks from the outside. She also wonders why the victim was on heroin because she was supposedly clean. Judith Van Gieson weaves very ugly social problems into the main storyline yet still manages to entertain her audience with an absolutely enthralling and believable amateur sleuth novel.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Shadow of Venus

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Judith Van Gieson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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