Words By Ross | 24 September 2012 |

Are we ever truly free of our past, from ourselves?

That question seems to be an underlying theme in this novel.

Ed Sieveking is an author of the supernatural, the macabre. And his is haunted by ghosts. Or are they merely manifestations of his own subconscious? He doesn't know. But he is haunted by them all the same and Ed rightfully wonders about his own sanity.

In London, Ed is researching material for another book. And he meets a girl, beginning a relationship with her that son becomes complex, not exactly helped by Ed's own past and the secrets he carries with him.

The eventual revelation of Ed's past is a little abrupt but Shan has still made it work within the context of this particular story.

As the story progresses, the macabre touches become a little more pronounced. While I was able to eventually guess somewhat where things were leading, I was still caught out by the macabre depth of the ultimate twist in the plot.

As for Ed's ghosts, will we ever learn whether they are real or not?

This in an easy novel to get into. The flaws in Ed's character make him strangely interesting. I found Lady of the Shades to be a strangely satisfying and engaging read – definitely worth checking out.

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