The Shadow of Seth by Tom Llewellyn

The Shadow of Seth by Tom Llewellyn

The Shadow of Seth by Tom Llewellyn
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (174 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Aloe

Sixteen-year-old Seth Anomundy is a product of his environment: in this case, Tacoma, Washington. What L.A. was to Chandler, Tacoma—a working-class port city now undergoing urban renewal—is to author Tom Llewellyn.

Seth has grown up in Tacoma’s tough neighborhoods, where he’s perfectly at home in Choo-Choo’s boxing gym and Miss Irene’s soul food palace, the Shotgun Shack. With his mom working nights as a cleaner, Seth goes to high school, gets decent grades, and makes money where he can: filling in as cook at the Shotgun Shack, working as a sparring partner, and running errands for Nadel, the clock repairman. Life is hand-to-mouth, but okay—until he gets the news that his mother has been killed.

The police don’t care about the death of just another drug addict, so a bewildered Seth takes it upon himself to find the killer. On a clock delivery run, he meets a beautiful rich girl named Azura Lear, who encourages Seth and tries to help track down the killer. But instead of finding answers, Seth finds only trouble. He faces down a gang of baseball-bat-wielding high school jocks and deals with the contempt of Azura’s suspicious father. And then there’s King George—a teenage thug Seth has previously managed to avoid—who has for some reason let it be known that he wants Seth dead. Right now.

Seth’s mother was a cleaning lady. She worked at night and she worked at four different places. She didn’t make a lot of money but they were doing okay. At least they were until the night she came home dead…

Mr. Llewellyn has written a good murder mystery for young adults. It also discusses bullying, beginning romances, youth and adult relationships and growing up. It’s a full bodied book that has a lot of background coming to light as well as showing off portions of Tacoma. As is usual, there’s a good side of town and a bad. Seth is from the bad side.

The cops tell him to leave the murder alone; they’ll investigate if they have time. He’s not content with that but then he ends up getting beat up by other side. He also meets a real pretty girl from the right side of town and gets beat up by her supposed boyfriend and his friends. Seth isn’t having real good luck here.

As he keeps asking questions, he’s not finding any answers. He finds more things to worry about. What happened to the lady who worked at the diner? She was his mother’s friend as well as employer, and the cops think she’s good for the crime. Seth knows she isn’t.

Even more impressive than the mystery, the story of Seth’s friends closing in around him and helping him is impressive. Now that his mother is dead, he has no one. But then he finds out he does. The old prize fighter saves him from death. But another friend was no real friend; that person’s friend was money.

The story is well paced, the story sounds real, and the action keeps you turning the pages. I’d read another in this series. After all, Seth hasn’t grown up yet and his girlfriend in now in California. There’s more to his story.

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