Berkley, Jul 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
Due to a head injury on the job three years ago, Chicago police detective sergeant Adam Boedecker remains on the inactive list. Adam is in no rush to return to work where he knows he will sit at a desk rather than do field work. However, everything changes when his peers inform him that his brother Michael killed his wife and then himself. Adam refuses to believe non-violent Michael who loved his wife could commit such atrocities.
Adam sneaks into his sibling's home, violating a crime scene, to find the only odd thing a prescription for Valazine. He learns that the drug is a miracle worker used to battle depression and its creator Dr. Elizabeth “Eli” Barnes just received a prestigious award for her efforts. He soon finds seven other violent deaths in the past year by users of the drug. Desperate to learn the truth, he travels to Roth Pharmaceuticals to talk with Eli. Skeptical, Eli soon becomes a believer that her magic elixir can trigger violent behavior in otherwise calm peaceful individuals. As the two some fall in love, someone kills her mentor and wants them dead too.
THE SHADOW SIDE is an exhilarating romantic suspense that focuses on the action for much of the plot. The story line is fast-paced and never slows down until the final moment of rescue is completed though a key deliberate act (left vague deliberately by this reviewer) by the villain seems too horrific and out of place. Still fans of romantic suspense starring a female scientist with no social life and a male cop with no life will want to read this thriller.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner