Charlie Hall is a thief and a con artist who is trying to go straight. There isn’t a bad decision that Charlie wouldn’t make but she is trying to make the right one. She used to be in the black market of spells and antiques and shadows. Shadows can be altered. They can be used to grab things the person can’t. They can even have a mind of their own. And they can be stolen. As much as Charlie want’s to leave that world behind and just be a normal bartender with a normal boyfriend and a normal sister. She can’t. An old friend wants her to find her boyfriend and it drags her back into her own life and habits. Forces her to face her past and maybe even discover her future.
I liked this book but I wouldn’t say it will be my favorite Holly Black book. I am also not sure what makes this “Adult fiction” compared to her other novels which have all been YA. It’s not anymore explicit then her previous novels. Maybe a little bit more violent and probably more descriptive in that violence but it’s not any spicier. I would say that her Cruel Prince series had more graphic sex scenes than this one. It did make me wonder as I reading it, What’s the difference beyond the marketing of the book? Anyways, Charlie Hall is a mess of a person but she knows it and is trying to make herself better. I really liked her as a character. She is honest. She knows she is not necessarily a good person. She knows when she is making a bad decision and doesn’t try to excuse it or justify it. Just owns and moves on. Victor her boyfriend has a secret but so does she so she doesn’t push it. There is definitely vulnerability there. She knows that she is not an easy person and has done many bad things so if he is okay with that, who is she to question his own past? Things start to get out of hand, when a she is hired to bring a friend’s boyfriend home after he has run off. It turns out this boyfriend may have stolen something valuable. Something that many people want and are willing to kill for it. The smart thing would be just do the job and get out but Charlie can’t help herself and uses as a chance to settle an old score.
As expected, this book is full of twist and turns. For those who like whodunit or noir novels, this one is for you. I think it’s a standalone novel but there is definitely enough story left for more novels and I do kinda want it to be a series. Let’s hope that it becomes one.