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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Shadow Over Lone Oak is a work of fiction in the thriller, horror, and crime subgenres. It is aimed at the adult reading audience owing to scenes of violence and gore as well as moderate explicit language throughout and was penned by author C J Sears. Written as the first novel in This Fallen World book series, we find ourselves in the titular town of Lone Oak. Whilst the town, historically at least, has always been a hotspot for bloody legends and dangerous criminal types, local sheriff Willow Donahue is still shocked and horrified when a young woman’s body is left on display for all to see. Though she is skeptical at first, an intrusion from the enigmatic Special Agent Llewyn Finch might be just what Willow needs to solve this horrifying murder case.
Readers seeking a highly accomplished multi-genre work need look no further than this stunning and immersive blend of horror, mystery, and suspense with just a little tinge of the speculative laced over it for good measure. Author C J Sears knows how to craft a scene that leaves readers devastated, but also desperate to know more, and it didn’t take me long to rocket through this enthralling novel and wish that there was another case to move straight onto. I especially enjoyed the dynamic between Willow and Llewyn as they blended their skills to produce fresh and exciting approaches to the different mystery elements. For me personally, the balance of horror versus thriller was spot on, with violence and gory accents only when necessary, and never glorified or gratuitous. Overall, I would highly recommend The Shadow Over Lone Oak as a promising start to a thrilling new crime horror series that I, for one, don’t want to miss out on.