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Among the Shadows: A Detective Byron Mystery    by Bruce Robert Coffin Amazon.com order for
Among the Shadows
by Bruce Robert Coffin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In a small, dingy bedroom, one man suffocates another by holding a pillow over his face until the struggling man loses his battle for life. So starts Bruce Robert Coffin's Among the Shadows. Coffin writes from what he knows. He retired from the Portland, Maine Police Department after 27 years in police enforcement. While he has written a number of acclaimed short stories, this is his first venture into mystery novels. He is currently writing a sequel, for which I am very glad. So will you be after finishing Among the Shadows.

Detective Sergeant John Byron works for the Portland Police Department. He sees many murders. The asphyxiation death of the man in the dingy room falls under his jurisdiction. He is not a happy cop because he can't stand his superior officers. He prefers to work on his own or with his partner, Detective Diane Joyner, the first African-American female on the force. Byron's father committed suicide and he was the one to find the body. Not an easy thing to recover from.

When another murder occurs, Byron is sure the two deaths were connected. Seems like both men were part of a police team twenty years before, who killed three members of a gang in the middle of an armored truck robbery and four million dollars disappeared from the scene. As the murders escalate, Byron is determined to stop the killing. He and Joyner investigate, putting their lives in danger.

Among the Shadows brims with great, believable dialogue; suspense to keep you on the edge of your chair; characters that you find easy to like or easy to hate; as well as a look into the behind the scenes of police work. That all adds up to good reading. I want to read more of Sergeant Byron and Detective Joyner. Don't miss Among the Shadows.

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