The only woman Patrick Bannister ever loved has died…again.
Struggling professionally and reeling from the psychological wounds left by a horribly abusive mother, Patrick is driven over the edge by a news report. A wealthy socialite couple has been murdered, and while the wife’s name isn’t familiar, her face certainly is. It’s his first and only love, Marybeth, the woman he lost to a horrific fire years ago.
Bannister reveals part of his story through conversations with his therapist. Among other things, Bannister suffers from guilt that he was unable to save Marybeth. Years after her death, Bannister is still dealing with this problem as well as his having lost his job after losing his cool and attacking a child abuser. He comes across as pitiful.
On a couple of occasions, he encounters a young woman during his visits to his therapist. Tristan, the young woman, is a thief with her own background of trauma. Of course, these two damaged individuals are bound to form a team after Tristan saves Bannister from an attack by a man with a box cutter.
Bannister's willingness to risk Tristan's life and her future (after they team up--she has already risked her life once) made his character less than sympathetic. At any rate, after a bit of breaking and entering, the two follow the trail to Mexico where Charlene/Marybeth's body was discovered.
Who was Marybeth? Why the first faked death? Could the villain be more evil?
I didn't find Darkness & Shadows a compelling read, but it was a quick one.
Mystery. Oct. 22, 2013. Print version: 374 pages.