Review of Behind the Shadows by Patricia Potter

In the space of one book Patricia Potter manages two love stories and thrown in a bit of suspense and action to boot. Behind the Shadows is an impressive piece of work with believable romances, good character building, and healthy doses of mystery.

The Story:

Kira Douglas has had better days. Her loving mother Katy is dying of kidney failure and needs a replacement organ. Kira, willing to donate one of her kidneys to save her mother, learns that there's no DNA match between them. This means Kira is not Katy's biological daughter. She also learns, by questioning her mother, that her mother is unaware of this fact. It looks like Kira and another baby were switched at birth.

So where's the real daughter?

Kira, and investigative reporter, team with her buddy Chris to track down the real daughter. Kira wants to find the biological daughter, explain the situation to her, and hopefully persuade her to give a kidney to save Katy. Kira knows this is a long shot because in all likelihood, the real daughter probably won't believe her story.

Kira and Chris determine that the biological daughter is Leigh Westerfield, a very wealthy heiress. Kira arranges a meeting with Leigh to make her request and is instantly seen as a con artist by both Leigh and their family attorney, Max Payton. This is understandable since Leigh has never heard of Kira and Katy. And if what Kira is saying is true it means that Kira, not Leigh, is the true heiress to the family fortune.

It's not until Kira's life is threatened that the Westerfields take her seriously. It appears as if someone will go to great lengths to make sure Kira keeps her mouth shut about her real parentage.

Potter is a gifted writer who manages to bring several subplots with finesse. The issue of organ donation and the list that determines life or death for those waiting is described in great candor, and is done in a manner that does not label her as a crusader for the cause. The book also deals with adoption and the argument of genetic vs. environmental influences is deftly discussed.

The book has beautifully etched characters and it was a delight to watch the attraction between Kira and Max unfold. I was also intrigued with the budding romance between Leigh and Chris.

The plot has just the right amount of red herrings and puzzles to keep the reader interested in the suspense. Overall this is a book that's equally memorable for its characters, its mysteries, and the social issues interwoven into the storyline. If you like mystery books with a fair share of romance, you'll enjoy Behind the Shadows.