Shadow of the Moon

A Fantasy of Love, Murder and Werewolves

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
326 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Stefan Vucak for Readers' Favorite

In Shadow of the Moon, FBI Special Agent Adeline Trakes is assisting in an NYPD investigation of a Central Park murder. Young, competent, the case puzzles her. The cops used sniffer dogs to find clues as to how the body came to be in the park, but the dogs wouldn’t go near it. Adding to the mystery is that the victim was killed by a silver bullet. The idea that this was a ritual killing of a werewolf sprang to mind, something she found fanciful. She is told by her supervisor to consult with an expert on werewolves to help solve the case. When she meets Professor Alwyn Lloyd, she thinks he is the most desirable man in the world, and her heart turns to mush. He briefs her on werewolf history, although she is incredulous that these creatures could still exist in this day and age. An incident in Lloyd’s office made her realize he is more than an ordinary man. In New York, another killing occurs, and a witness said it was done by a huge wolf. More killings follow as Trakes wrestles with her duty and turbulent relationship with Lloyd, especially when he reveals he is also a werewolf, but she is beyond his reach as he must mate with another werewolf. A final confrontation with the killer leads to a startling conclusion.

Shadow of the Moon is a beautifully written story that churns with emotion; a smoldering love between two people who know it can never be consummated, set against a background of werewolf history which Kwen D Griffeth unveils with chilling skill. Trakes cannot help loving Lloyd, even when he reveals what he is, and he cannot stop loving her, knowing that what he is puts her beyond his reach. The conflict of forbidden love and werewolf lore pushes this book into unexpected directions, forcing the reader to turn to the next page, hoping that Trakes will somehow overcome rigid tradition and Lloyd will be hers. Kwen D Griffeth has crafted an intriguing story that is a quantum leap in the werewolf genre.

Kimberlee J Benart

If you like multiple murder mysteries, surprise plot and character twists, and an engaging and fast-paced narrative that blends seemingly fated yet frustrated romance into the secret world of werewolves in America, Shadow of the Moon: A Fantasy of Love, Murder, and Werewolves by Kwen D. Griffeth is for you. Twenty-seven-year-old FBI Special Agent Adaline “Andee” Trakes consults Professor Alwyn Lloyd, a werewolf expert, about two murders in New York City. Although they bear evidence of a werewolf culling and a violent attack, Andee is skeptical at best. Werewolves are only a myth, after all. Aren’t they? When more murders and attacks occur in the same brutal way, Andee turns again to the Professor for help. But is it possible that the Professor is himself somehow connected to these violent acts? And can her attraction to the handsome, athletic historian affect her ability to remain professional as she tries to help the NYPD solve these gruesome crimes; crimes which don’t just involve strangers, but also touch Andee close to home?

Shadow of the Moon is a complex murder mystery focused on the werewolf culture in the modern world. This is the second book that I’ve read by this author, and once again Griffeth proves to be a consummate storyteller who excels at making the settings, the characters, and the emotions real for the reader. I like both Andee and Alwyn as the main protagonists, though for very different reasons. Andee is smart, tough, and courageous, but also loyal, affectionate, and funny. Alwyn is mysterious at first, as he should be. He hides a lot of secrets behind his small-town college professor exterior, after all. But as he reveals more of himself to Andee, his “warrior monk” attitude towards life comes through; and his devotion to his family and loved ones takes him unhesitatingly into the jaws of death. That said, I didn’t find the quick leap from “attraction at first sight” to deep love between Andee and Alwyn as convincing. But, I was fascinated by the werewolf culture which Griffeth describes in detail, as well as his ability to keep the reader turning the pages to see what happens next. Even if you aren’t a fan of werewolf fiction, give this one a go.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D Griffith is A Fantasy of Love, Murder, and Werewolves. A body is found in Central Park; a vicious murderer is on the loose. FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes is assigned to help NYPD Detective Meeker track down the murderer, but there are some confusing things about the body. It doesn’t take long for the murder to look like a werewolf execution, so Andee goes to speak with Professor Alwyn Lloyd, an expert who also claims to be a werewolf himself. Andee is floored by the depth of feeling she has for the man, and so begins a tug of war between them as the bodies pile up and they hunt down a murderer straight out of folklore. Are werewolves really all that bad? Can Andee and Alwyn catch a killer before it's too late for one or both of them?

Shadow of the Moon: A Tale of Love, Murder, and Werewolves by Kwen D Griffith is an amazing story. I am a fan of the genre anyway and this one blew me away. It’s an action all the way story, with gruesome murders, werewolves, and romance all rolled up in a fast-paced story that takes you on a ride you won’t want to ever end. There are lots of interesting characters in the story, some only for a short while, but each one has a well-developed story of their own. Kwen uses descriptive writing to its best, pulling a reader right into the story as if they belonged there. There are lots of twists and turns, some that I really never saw coming, and the ending is a neat twist in itself. A thoroughly enjoyable story, and I read it in one sitting. Please tell me there will be a sequel!

Liz Konkel

Shadow of the Moon by Kwen D. Griffeth is a thrilling crime novel with a werewolf twist. FBI Special Agent Andee Trakes and NYPD Detective Gerald Meeker are brought in to investigate the murder of a diplomat's son. When the case takes an unusual turn, Andee turns to Professor Alwyn Lloyd for information about werewolves. He's nothing like she expected. She's immediately drawn to him, but she's not here for romance, she's here to catch a killer. He tells her an origin story that can't possibly be true, but when another body shows up, she's no longer sure what to believe. One thing's clear: the killer is just getting started.

Andee is driven and constantly seems like she has to prove herself, to assert her dominance as an agent. She's surrounded by “alpha” type males, from Meeker who acts as a father figure to her boss to Alwyn. They have a certain dominant personality about them that often clashes with her as she pushes back. As Andee grows closer to Alwyn's family, she encounters several strong female characters she forms bonds with while also often clashing with them. Alwyn's mother is a very powerful presence with an important role in their wolf society and is set as an antagonist to her, but they also have a lot of respect between them. Alwyn's niece, Miranda, has an optimistic outlook on life and is a romantic soul while also being a strong and brave woman who is willful and entirely outspoken. She's a quick friend for Andee and a fun confidant.

Kwen D. Griffeth plays with the well-known trope of werewolves and flips everything on its head, breathing new life into the mythology. Werewolves have their own society within our own, with their own justice system, politics, and honor code. They have a strict system that's ruled by the idea of a pack, which is deeply rooted in family. Though it's a whole other society, the wolf family is still human in a lot of ways as Griffeth strikes a balance between humanity and wolf instinct, creating a captivating new take on werewolves. The romance between Alwyn and Andee is full of chemistry as they constantly bicker with their different points of view, but they also find a connection that challenges both of them and makes them open their eyes to creating their own future. Griffeth tackles serious topics, including rape and assault, in a respectful manner and with an emotional voice. Shadow of the Moon is a thrilling mystery about family with danger, romance, and werewolves.

Melinda Hills

Special Agent Andee Trakes joins NYPD detective Jerry Meeker on a particularly challenging homicide investigation that seems to have ties to werewolves in Shadow of the Moon: A Fantasy of Love, Murder and Werewolves by Kwen Griffeth. In order to get to the bottom of the mysterious appearance of the body and the ritualistic nature of the execution of a diplomat’s son, Andee travels to upstate New York to consult with an expert on folklore and legends, Professor Alwyn Lloyd. Something about Lloyd captivates the usually aloof Andee, but she has a hard time believing what he has to say about the existence of werewolves, especially in modern day New York. Unfortunately, the killings continue and Lloyd’s expertise is the only thing that stands between Andee and her own possible death. With the help of Lloyd’s niece, Miranda, Andee navigates the currents that flow between herself and Lloyd, as well as the increasingly complex case that is unfolding in NYC. The clock is ticking as more and more people are dragged into this madman’s quest for revenge and Andee is forced to confront things she never expected.

Excitement and mystery combine with tremendous characters in Shadow of the Moon: A Fantasy of Love, Murder and Werewolves. Author Kwen Griffeth takes you through a well-planned story with marvelous ‘background’ about the lives and social structure of werewolves, who are portrayed as being strongly bound by family, honor and tradition. Dialogue is realistic and relationships are strongly developed so that you feel as if you are part of the story. The effect is quite gripping and leaves you holding your breath as you reach the climax that doesn’t disappoint. Great story! I hope there will be more to come to see what happens with Andee and Alwyn, as well as Miranda and the rest of the Lloyd clan. This is certainly a fantasy/horror read that will get your heart pumping.