In Her Father's Shadow


When 11-year-old Sienna Rivers' call to 9-1-1 results in her father's arrest and conviction as the Spider Lily Strangler, and her mother's dive into drug and alcohol abuse; her world is forever changed. She goes to live in Blue Bay with her "Aunt" Taylor. She changes her appearance, and changes her name to Rowan Brooks. Growing up as the daughter of a serial killer leads to night terrors, paranoia, depression, and therapy. She meets an intriguing young man on a California beach when between her junior and senior years in high school, as she takes a cross-country road trip to visit the gravesites of her father's victims and to meet her grandparents. Riggs Forrester has never forgotten the young woman he met on the beach a few years ago. Happy but conflicted when they meet again at his new Hawaiian resort, he puts plans in motion to keep her in his life and to get to know her better, but Rowan has a stalker who's becoming more of a danger to her as the years pass.

"In Her Father's Shadow" is an intriguing mixture of women's fiction, romance, and suspense. Readers may find Rowan's story of being an outsider looking in a sometimes self-involved yet complex journey of self-discovery that will run the gamut of annoyance to inspiration. Experiencing the character's life from childhood to adulthood means romance and suspense arrive close to the end of the tale, which causes the story's pace to be drawn out in places, and then it rushes through to the end. Nothing to complain about and nothing to rave about, Ms. Avery's tale will leave readers wondering about the lives of a killer's family and how they overcome the aftermath of being related to society's monsters.

Tonya Mathenia