Shadow of the Gypsy
BQB Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by Leigh Kimberly Zoby for Reader Views (01/2023)
“Shadow of the Gypsy” by Shelly Frome is an amusingly entertaining crime mystery following the main character Sonny Korda, a.k.a. Josh Barlett, as he tries to elude Zarko, an Eastern European mafia figure from his past.
On the run for his life, Sonny Korda has disassociated himself from anything that resembles his past life. He changed his name to Josh Barlett and moved to a small town in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The only people that know of Josh’s whereabouts are his mother and childhood sweetheart, Molly, yet somehow, his nightmare has returned. Despite all his efforts, his past has caught up with him. With memories of a traumatic event Josh witnessed as a child haunting his every thought, he must face his fears and protect the women he loves. The only way to ensure their safety is to go to work for Russian mobsters and pay off some debts.
“Shadow of the Gypsy” is a fast-paced Mafia-themed crime mystery with enough twists and turns to keep your head spinning. Thugs enforcing dirty deals and perilous events are a constant. A foreboding sense of gloom runs rampant as the reader digs deep into Josh’s childhood. Zharko is a villain you will love to hate. His menacing behavior taunts the reader, asking them to look deeper for the true evil in the story. The Mafia bad guy leaves an impression from page one, foreshadowing dread as the boundaries of good and evil become blurred. Both Josh and Zharko will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they navigate the labyrinth full of endless dangers the characters face.
Shelly Frome’s writing style has the innate ability to lead the reader in one direction and then create a whirlwind of unexpected events, shifting the focus to turn once more. “Shadow of the Gypsy” is an incredible read that had me guessing wrong constantly. The world-building is ominous and creepy enough to keep me up all night wanting more. The characters are well-developed with realistic traits and personalities. Some I adored; some I could not stand.
“Shadow of the Gypsy” has all the best traits of a dark mystery with a true crime vibe. If you enjoy books full of intrigue and suspense, this will not disappoint. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes thrillers that will keep you guessing till the very end.