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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.
CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday).
Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers’ prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Readers’ Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.
Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net
on Aug. 26, 2010 :
I found this a very enjoyable book by a talented author. I recently read Nerves of Steel by C.J. Lyons and found that book equally engrossing. Chasing Shadows: Shadow Ops Book #1 has a fast pace and well-drawn characters. Romantic suspense fans will enjoy the chemistry between the lead characters set against tense action scenes and high stakes. If you haven't discovered C.J. Lyons yet, start with this book.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Susan Helene Gottfried
on May 29, 2010 :
I was shocked -- but not more than a little bit pleased -- when best-selling author CJ Lyons dropped me an e-mail. We'd recently been at a conference together and while we hadn't spent time hanging and chatting, we'd connected enough that CJ felt she could ask me a pressing question.
It seems some of her books are getting pounded by some online reviewers, and she was wondering if I'd take a look at her books and see what was going on. She was kind enough to send me some coupon codes so I could download the books from Smashwords, and I was off and reading.
I started with Chasing Shadows: Shadow Ops Book 1. I loved this book; it's a totally fun read from start to finish. Yes, the reviewers are right in that the plot does follow a formula. They don't think it's okay.
I'd like to disagree. What makes Chasing Shadows such a strong read is the way CJ takes the formula and bends it to the story she's telling. For instance, usually when I read thrillers of this sort, the cast of characters is so large, I can't keep them all straight. I confuse the bad guys, the good guys, the guys in the shadows… everyone but our main hero -- and even then, I sometimes still have problems, especially if the guy's name is similar to someone else's.
CJ introduced her cast slowly. I never got lost or confused, even as loyalties are revealed and shades of grey within the characters and the situation are revealed. This one's running guns. This one controls the small town. This one is the middle guy but hey, look, he's also one of the good guys, trying to take down the one but not the other, and that's fine because here's our other hero, trying to take down the other but not the one…
Trust me. It makes WAY more sense in CJ's hands.
The woman knows how to plot. That's all there is to it. Chasing Shadows never bogs down in too much backstory, too much exposition, or even too much in the way of characterizations. This is a story that's destined for the big screen, and in a big way. Lethal Weapon, look out.
But maybe that's the problem these reviewers had. There's no deep message here, no subtext. Yes, it's true the characters aren't terribly fully developed, but so what? While we're with them, they're alive and vibrant, KC in particular. It's been awhile since I put down a book and wondered what the characters were up to while I wasn't reading. It's been even longer since I wished for more from them.
In other words, there's something more going on than first meets the eye. Add in the skill with the plot, the way the tension keeps increasing, making me slide to the edge of my seat and lick my lips (once even spattering the screen of my e-reader. Oops), and the utter fun of this book and, really.
CJ, don't let a few sentences at one book vendor trip you up. You're on to something with this book. I'm now eager to read Nerves of Steel and you bet I'll be picking up Lost in Shadows, the Special Ops #2 featuring Lucky, the dude who takes a big one for the team in Chasing Shadows.
I walked into this a fan who wondered how an MD could take herself out of the hospital setting she's known for. I closed the back cover convinced that CJ Lyons is much, much more than simply a writer of hospital books. If it's got CJ's name on it, I'll be first in line from now on.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)