Shadows on the Sand is a mystery set in Seaside, New Jersey, a small island just off the coast. The dishwasher from Carrie’s Café has been murdered. No one seems to know why. When a waitress disappears, everyone becomes concerned to find her before she meets the same fate.
This novel has a unique style. The author changes voices from chapter to chapter. In the first, Carrie is telling the story. Next the narrator talks. Then we hear from the mystery villain. And so on throughout the book. It took some getting used to, but it reminded me of a game of popcorn where one person tells part of the story, then another and another until the whole tale is told. But, as I couldn’t see their faces, I had to figure out who was talking at the start of each chapter. Author Gayle Roper quickly made this clear.
Though the story is a mystery, its focus is more on the developing characters than on the suspense. Each has a tragic past to overcome. They must learn to forgive, to trust, to live. Roper skillfully weaves subtle messages about relying on God and obeying His voice throughout the story. She also slips in some beautiful thoughts on what a great marriage looks like.
I enjoyed this story and hope there will be more set in this fun, little tourist town. Thank you, Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, for sending a complimentary copy of Shadows on the Sand for my honest review.