“Lash evolves into an Everyman, seeking the one thing all men want and only a few ever obtain. . . . a bittersweet journey.”
Even supernaturals are hit by the stock market crash of 1929. War looms on the horizon for the world, and another war is beginning for the supernaturals.
In this sequel to Lash, Trystan Valeras, aka Lash, weresnake hitman, is now approaching middle age. He’s 34, he’s weary, and he’s also more introspective, harkening back to all the women he loved who didn’t return that love, all the people he lost who might’ve loved him, and all those he killed—some of whom still demand revenge.
Although there are some bloody fights in The Shadow Man, the story concentrates more on Lash’s desire for someone to love him just for himself and not for the notoriety of his reputation.
Returning from an assignment with a new rank in the hierarchy of assassins, the weresnake discovers a singer named Cassie who sends his current lover running away to Europe—not such a safe place since someone named Hitler is coming into power.
It’s through Cassie that Lash is introduced to drugs and what a woman will do to get them. Then the ultimate betrayal happens, and he loses everything he hold dear: friends, family, his very existence.
The scene in which Lash reveals how deep the hurt left by the one woman he could’ve loved and the ego-slaying blow she dealt him is so devastating it nearly destroys him, while nevertheless evoking the deepest sympathy . . . and the one person to witness it is the last he’d wish.
That person also gives him revenge in the form of an offer he doesn’t know that if he dares refuse . . .
Though the thread of the book is a little more settled than the first, it’s still a good story: of a man forced by circumstance to become a threat to his particular world while wishing for nothing more than a quiet life with a woman who reciprocates his love and a few friends he can trust.
The last comes in an ironic twist at the end of the book. The other appears to exist sometime in the future—if indeed she exists at all.
There’s a sentimental journey to be taken before Lash makes his choice. He’s facing a future not necessarily of his choosing though it appears to be left up to him to accept it. And if he does? Well, he hasn’t been known for having the best judgment, has he?
There are some books that transcend genre. This series is one. Take away the supernatural elements and you still have the story of a man’s struggle to overcome the circumstances of his life.
Lash evolves into an Everyman, seeking the one thing all men want and only a few ever obtain.
It’s a bittersweet journey.