I’m a genre person drawn to fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, but I had the opportunity to pick up a free download of Shadow of the Knight. On a whim, I got it and discovered it was a nice break from my usual routine. A solidly written, fast-paced psychological thriller, it explores the dark descent of a woman trying to improve her life after surviving an abusive relationship.
Mickey Lenz is a website designer and part-time comic book writer and artist who is recovering from an attempted suicide. The man who drove her to such despair is long gone, but the literal and figurative scars remain. What she has left is a supportive boss, her best friend Patty, and a comforting sense that her favorite superhero, Batman, will always protect her. Life is okay and even a crush on a coworker named Rick appears like it will work out. But after a comic book convention, Mickey is attacked and she swears Batman saved her. The only problem is she believes Rick is the masked crusader.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers here, but let’s just say that her relationship with Batman, Rick, and her whole belief system is so fragile that it leads her down an ominous path, and there’s no way she can come back from it; however, it is her journey which is so fascinating.
Overall, the novella is tightly written, but I do have a few quibbles. It is primarily written in Mickey’s point of view, but every once in a while, and quite abruptly, it switches POV – like for a line or two. Then, it’s back to Mickey again. It’s jarring and having a good editor on board would catch that. My other nitpick is the ending. I don’t want to give it away, but it feels like a cheat, especially after the exhausting and terrifying journey we just went on with Mickey.
Don’t get me wrong: I think the story is a page turner, and I was engaged enough to want to know how it ended. (Considering my schedule these days, I only keep reading if I care and I did.) Kudos to author Susan Lee for pulling me in and making me want to stay.