(NOTE: For the next few days ForeignCorrespondent will be hosting the second annual RRBC “TREAT’ Reads Blog Hop. #RRBC #RRBCTreatReads)
“Greetings! Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop! These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent. Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members! Way to go RWISA!
We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review. There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.
Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”
Book: IN THE SHADOW OF LIES – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7WYTSU/
Book Blurb: Richmond, California. World War II. Marine Lieutenant Oliver Wright comes home from the war in the Pacific injured and afraid his career as a homicide detective is over. But when an Italian Prisoner of War is murdered the night the Port Chicago Mutiny verdicts are announced, and black soldiers are suspected of the crime, the Army asks Oliver to find out the truth.
He and his canine partner Harley join forces with an Italian POW captain and with a black MP embittered by a segregated military. During their investigation, these unlikely allies expose layers of deceit and violence that stretch back to World War I and uncover a common thread that connects the murder to earlier crimes.
In the Shadow of Lies reveals the darkness and turmoil of the Bay Area during World War II, while celebrating the spirit of the everyday people who made up the home front. Its intriguing characters will resonate with the reader long after its deftly intertwined mysteries are solved.
My Review of In “The Shadow of Lies”
In the Shadow of Lies—A menacing mystery
When I began reading M.A. Adler’s “In the Shadow of Lies” I couldn’t help but think of the day I spent with Joe DiMaggio at his restaurant near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. He had just turned 65, and I was there to do a profile on the Yankee Clipper for my newspaper, the Chicago Tribune.
Joe wasn’t much of a talker, but on that day he talked about a lot of things. One of the things he talked about was what it was like growing up as an Italian-American kid in San Francisco in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Then, the topic turned to the 1940s and World War II. Joe told me about how during the war, the U.S. government seized the fishing boats of Italian-Americans who docked at the wharf—including the one operated by Joe’s father Giuseppe DiMaggio—an immigrant from Italy.
He told me how thousands of Italian-Americans lived under nightly house arrest, with a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. His parents could not travel more than 5 miles from home without a permit. And here was “Joltin’ Joe,” who was not only a super-star center fielder with the New York Yankees but who was serving with the U.S. Army Air Force during the war.
That rather long preamble is my way of introducing you to this marvelous debut novel about the Italian-Americans and the Italian POW’s who shape much of the plot of this book. The San Francisco that Tony Bennett sings about is NOT the San Francisco that Ms. Adler depicts in this book—not by a long shot. Her San Francisco may be a “City on a Hill,” but it’s also a dark place rife with intrigue, racial tension, bigotry, and murder.
Oliver Wright is Adler’s chief protagonist. He’s a city detective, and the setting is the city of Richmond, located in the East Bay region of San Francisco Bay. The story begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor—an event that propels the U.S. into World War II. There are multiple threads and subplots as the story progresses, in some cases, almost too many. You will need to pay attention to the twists and the plethora of new characters.
In fact, there are so many characters that Adler has a page at the beginning that lists the families portrayed in the book—the Flemings, the Wrights, the Fioris, the Slaters, the Buonarottis, and the Hermits. But fear not. Oliver’s character is well-developed, and he is the thread that binds this complex narrative together.
Adler is an excellent wordsmith as evidenced by this delightful bit of descriptive prose:
“The wily old fox had timed it perfectly: the rainy September day, the cemetery, the weeping mother huddled with her son under a black umbrella, a clichéd study in grays and blacks that evoked a memory of another coffin’s descent into the earth, a memory that stirred Oliver Wright’s guilt and made him so deeply tired that he slid into the thankless habit of trying to please his father. They had barely returned from the Fleming children’s funeral when Oliver’s father summoned him to the study.”
Adler’s prose is supported by the prodigious amount of research she clearly did to reconstruct the San Francisco area of the 1940s. She reveals the kind of overt prejudice that existed for African-Americans in the military as well as the hysteria that gripped both the public and the government that resulted in rampant discrimination against Japanese-Americans, Italian-Americans, and others. She does a masterful job of capturing the widespread unbridled fear that many on the West Coast felt in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a palpable dread and panic. Would San Francisco be the next target for Japanese planes? Would Japanese troops land in Marin County and sweep south into San Francisco? It may sound absurd today, but in 1941 these were genuine apprehensions.
Adler also does a splendid job of reconstructing the battle for Guam where Oliver serves with the U.S. Marines. The scenes are short and crisp, and we come to respect Oliver for the concern he shows for Harley, his K-9 German Shepherd partner, even after he is wounded in battle.
I won’t go any further into the plot. Suffice it to say that the plot is multifaceted and involved as it covers several years. Be patient as this intricate story unfolds.
So, you might ask, is this a novel worth your time and money? You bet it is. It will keep you busy and profoundly engaged. What more can you want from a book?
JOIN ME FOR ALL OF THE BOOKS IN THE “TREAT” READS BLOG HOP
(Just type #RRBCTreatReads in your Twitter search box.)
Tuesday, 9/18/18: “THE IMPROBABLE JOURNEYS OF BILLY BATTLES” by Ronald Yates
Wednesday, 9/19/18: “IN THE SHADOW OF LIES” by Mary Adler
Thursday, 9/20/18: “LETTING GO INTO PERFECT LOVE” by Gwen Plano
Friday, 9/21/18: “SON OF MY FATHER” by Peggy Hattendorf
Saturday, 9/22/18: “EXCLUSIVE PEDIGREE” by Robert Fear
Sunday, 9/23/18: “ONE DYKE COZY” by Rhani D’Chae
Monday, 9/24/18: “OUTSHINE” by Karen Ingalls
Tuesday, 9/25/18: “TURPITUDE” by Bernard Foong
Wednesday, 9/26/18: “DOG BONE SOUP” by Bette A. Stevens
Thursday, 9/27/18: “HIEROGLYPH” by Wendy Scott
Friday, 9/28/18: “THE WAY TO HER HEART” by Amy Reece
Saturday, 9/29/18: “ELEMENTS” by Nia Markos
Sunday, 9/30/18: “DESTINY’S PLAN” by Victoria Saccenti