Reviewer Karen Black:
The Night Shadow is a well written mystery that demanded my attention from the first paragraph, and kept me quickly turning the pages until the satisfying ending. The characters are nicely developed and memorable, and the dialogue is realistic. The storyline is good and has some twists that I didn't expect. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style in this fast moving novel and recommend it to anyone who likes suspense.
Reviewer Clare O'Beara - Fresh Fiction:
I was interested in a crime set around ballet. To start with we see a young dancer who dies when a fire is started in a warehouse where she practises, and she is trapped inside. Nobody but her mother believes that she was locked in the building. The mother engages a pair of ex-cop PIs, a man and woman who have tired of the usual infidelity cases.
I don't know why the setting is a few decades ago, except that this means we do not get overloaded with gadgetry, net searches and cameras; like Sue Grafton's PI, we find every surveillance done the hard way.
A second young dancer is assaulted and dumped on the street but saved, and bravely returns to her art. The peculiarity is that the two crimes occur on the West Coast but the investigation immediately shifts to New York.
Characters are to the fore in this interesting tale and the main persons are the two PIs who come through challenges to learn what they really mean to each other. I hope this is the start of a series.
Reviewer Viviane Crystal:
Esther Charlemagne is a scarred Private Investigator. She’s had a bad history with her ex-husband Freddie and lost her only son, the latter a devastating loss from which no one could recover fully. So she’s learning to live with all that pain and at the same time resisting looking at it too much because she deep down blames herself for all of it. This makes her ambiance pretty much like a brick wall to her long-time friend and partner, Aiden “Mac” McManus, who loves her to bits but holds back because of that obstructive wall Esther has built around herself. Thank God they’ve got enough sarcastic humor and skill to bind them together as investigators!
The story begins where they’re staking out a suburban street, looking for a “peeping Tom” who’s been frightening the neighbors. Next they are staking out another home to find out whether the lady of the house is cheating on her hard-working, very upset husband. The duo investigators have a heart as they realize just how crushed the cheating dame’s husband will be. Their work, they acknowledge, has very serious consequences for those left behind when their work is finished. But now they pick up a case that gives Esther the creeps, really bad feelings that this is going to turn out all wrong for everybody involved.
On warm summer night, a young ballerina who had just been selected to dance for Ballet Master Balanchine in the New York City Ballet Company. Right now, however, that joy is crushed under the fact that she’s just been dumped by her boyfriend. After a short while, she’s trying to muster enough energy to begin practicing her dance routines when she realizes she’s locked into her dressing room closet, a room she’ll never leave alive!
The story then races forward with plots and counter-plots that involve another ballerina under psychoanalytic therapy, two sisters and friends who vie for attention, a history of family madness, fires that bear a similar nature to each other, love-hate relationships that bind and distort reality over time, and much more. During these dynamic events, Esther and Mac are getting closer as Esther very, very slowly learns to trust again; one wonders whether they will ever marry as it seems they go two steps backward for every step they move forward!
The Night Shadow is exciting, thrilling crime fiction that every fan of the genre will love. The conflicts evolve slowly as quick-moving events make the reader fly through the pages. There’s enough psychology in the novel to fascinate fans who love to try to figure out the profile of a killer or killers! All in all, a great read that should be a best seller and would make a terrific movie as well!
Reviewer Carol Piner:
Chéri Vausé's book, The Night Shadow, creates a veritible storm of conflicting emotions that can suck you right up in the maelstrom. In case you aren't sure how to interpret that, let me help… I loved it.
She is a master at characterization and there are parts of her book that show pure genius in her writing. At times, her descriptions are pure poetry and I found myself lost in her prose. She is a writer, make no mistake about that. A very, very good writer and I certainly hope she gets the attention she deserves.
One of the things I liked most about her book is that there are so many different stories being wound together that she really forces you to stay focused. Her style reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth George. You can't do much better than that.
Reviewer Marilyn Fowler:
Hang on to your seat. This book takes you on a journey filled with suspense, intrigue, and a surprise at every turn. Just when you think you've solved the mystery, the author cleverly throws another curve. Each page pulls you deeper into a series of clues leading to dead ends, piquing your need to go on and discover the true identity of the illusive serial killer. Psychological elements cloud character's roles in the scenario, and keep you guessing. Are the characters good? Bad? Innocent? Guilty? Suspense rises. And the story takes on new tones along the way.
Esther and Mac, two private investigators, are driven by any means to expose the killer and stop the senseless murders. They cut corners and surpass accepted methods of pursuit, but each time end up empty handed. As they attempt to unravel the pieces, their romantic relationship struggles to survive, each with their own pain to deal with. Esther's inner turmoil plays an important part in the ongoing turn of events creating an additional obstacle to exposing the killer.
As the story unfolds, the author explores each suspicious character, and guides you from one suspenseful event and emotional experience to another, finally coming to resolution. And the outstanding ending will have you re-living the story before you can put the book down. A read you won't forget.
Reviewer Author John Reinhard Dizon:
The Truth and Nothing but Lies by Cheri Vause is a well-crafted suspense/thriller following the exploits of FBI agent Grant Greene. A bombing of a women's clinic in the sleepy town of Astoria, Oregon results in his father, Governor Porter Greene, pulling strings to get Grant assigned to the high-profile case. CBN reporter Hector Rodriguez is also drawn into the case as famed abortion Dr. Sanji Kumar is suspected of being the target of pro-life activists. Grant's interview of Miriam Elliot provides him an angle in investigating Kumar, who has had connections with the CIA in his previous life as a double agent. What appeared to be a career-enhancing case for Grant becomes a perilous voyage into a storm of conspiracy and murder in Vause's fast-paced tale.
The discussion of pro-choice alternatives provides the moral essence of the plot. Kumar's moral values appear to depreciate as both the direction of his life and his personal choices create greater dissonance in remaining true to his Hippocratic oath. We see how his decision to defect to the CIA has already compromised his sense of loyalty. Committing himself to perform abortions places him on yet another cutting edge as he is faced with the monumental debate between pro and anti-abortion activists. Though far from a tragic figure, we can see how medical professionals can be impacted by life choices in straying from a path that we as a society see as both righteous and unimpeachable.
For suspense/thriller fans and all readers that enjoy a cerebral mystery (with no sexploitation or foul language), The Truth and Nothing but Lies by Cheri Vause is a worthy addition to your collection.
Reviewer Viviane Crystal:
FBI Agent Grant Greene is a disillusioned detective who is on the verge of quitting when he’s assigned, after his father pull strings to get him leverage on a case that could catapult his career beyond its present inertia, to a case involving the bombing of an abortion clinic in Astoria, Oregon. A reporter, Hector Rodriguez, is hot on this case as it might bring him the kind of public recognition to advance his journalistic position as well.
Dr. Sanjay Kumar is supposedly the object of pro-life activists, yet something doesn’t seem quite right about the predictability of such a profile even beyond the fact that he botches more abortions than the ones he performs successfully. Ruined lives are more the norm of what he leaves behind him, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Then the bombing of other clinics and the mysterious disappearance of one of the doctor’s clients, Lara, brings the plaintiff deeper with involvement of the CIA and other nefarious characters into the mix.
Add to that some attempted shootings and the fact that no one seems to be able to provide actual evidence makes Greene realize that something larger than anti-abortion supporters is running these events, as well as the fact that the bombings occur when no one is present in the clinics to be hurt.
No spoilers here! But be assured, not a page turns but something new and intensely dangerous is occurring in this mystery/thriller novel based on actual events. Abortion is a highly charged issue and those who take one side or the other feel very strongly about the strength of position which translates to some deep pockets involved here that have political as well as moral motivations.
Cheri Vause has written a riveting novel about the violence and terror behind an issue that has divided and still divides Americans to this day. Nicely constructed, Ms. Vause!
Reviewer April Sage:
Even better than her first novel. The plot is often gripping, even including a classic chase scene. But the thing I enjoy most about her books is the characters. Cheri Vause writes distinct and engaging characters who are struggling to find their way in a troubled world making them quite sympathetic. The beginning chapters introduce what feels like a multitude of characters, making it a little difficult to know who the protagonist is. But once we are able to identify our hero, the narrative keeps us turning pages.
If you like action, you'll enjoy this book. If you like innocent romance (no sexually explicit scenes), this book will satisfy. Cheri Vause gives you both of these and more. This is a thought provoking book, giving insight into the consequences of modern society's misuse of moral liberties, and the slippery slope that begins with one bad choice.
Reviewer: M. G. Armitrage:
I haven't been a faithful reader in years, probably because I find it very hard to be captivated in the first few pages. If I have to sludge through the first chapter, you lost me. I hated it when people would tell me, "oh just get through the first chapter or so, it gets good." If an author can't grab you into a story up front, I'm not putting my faith into the rest of it. That first taste of a book is what draws you in, what makes you keep coming back for more. A good book is like a gourmet meal...good from the first bite till the last.
This book, this fantastic book, was exactly what I was looking for! I was drawn in by the first page, and I wanted more. It's an incredibly fast read, and a book you frequently have a hard time putting down. I know I was guilty of sneaking peaks of it while at work. I jokingly called this book my time suck. You sit down at 6pm thinking you will read for an hour, and before you know it, it's 1am and you still want more.
This author has a way of writing characters you want to know in person. They are so real on the page you can almost reach out and touch them. The dialogue is fun and snappy, and the lead character is one you actually like and can root for. A lot of books these days have leads with highly questionable character values, like if you met them in person you'd probably hate them, and yet they are the ones you are supposed to be rooting for? But not Grant! This is a lead character you love to love. If you can fall in love with a fictional character, I fell in love with Grant.
The authors side characters are anything but throw away, and actually helped move the story along. And I must mention that I felt like the biggest character in this book was the Pacific Northwest. Having grown up in that area, the attention to details, roads, towns, weather, was impeccable. I felt like I was back there, and made me miss it all the more.
I am incredibly excited for upcoming books from this author. If they are anywhere near as good as this story was, this author has a reader for life.
Reviewer: JoAnne Brown:
As I opened the second book I've read from this author with great expectations ...
About The Book:
Special Agent in Charge, Grantham "Grant" Greene has become disillusioned with his role in the FBI. He's charged with leading the hunt for a bomber, targeting Women's clinics in Oregon and Washington. With pressures from his boss and his ambitious father, Grant becomes even more discouraged as he works his way through the mire of evidence. His discovery of the actions of a beautiful woman, who has supposedly committed suicide, leads him to believe that, alongside the bombings, he may also be investigating a murder. With the potential for a nationwide political scandal, Grant has just one weekend to uncover the identity of the bomber. As he delves deeper, and tragedy strikes, Grant starts to question his views and wonder if it's possible to fall in love with someone you've never even met.
A classic cozy mystery that is both a thriller and a suspense novel with a touch of romance. To make it even more interesting objects become characters, add drama, and romance, and even the art tells a story.