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The Shadow of the Evening

The Shadow of the Evening (L’Ombra Della Sera) is a novel that starts with a bucolic summer in rural Virginia for two cousins and ends with a suspicious death in Italy of one of the boys, Alexander, now a man and authority on the Etruscians. His cousin David must find what happened.

Early on, the author described a pond at Ashland where the boys swam and I saw an example of rich, textural prose that allowed the reader to feel the ooze between his toes and the cool flow of the stream over his body on a hot summer day. That imagery carries forward into the book.

I consider the novel three books: A bucolic summer spent by two boys. The decent into madness of a brilliant man. A mystery to validate a suicide. The second, Alexander’s succumbing to his sickness, I found interesting in that I knew before the chapter started he was schizophrenic. So I questioned what was real as the chapter progressed. The book becomes a page-turning with the unfolding investigation of Alexander’s death.

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Jackson Coppley

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