Book review: Shadow Flicker

Shadow Flicker

Melissa A Volker

Karavan Press

Review: Karen Watkins

This engaging, topical novel combines renewable energy and love in a beautiful setting.

Melissa Volker has taken a handful of lonely, messed-up characters and a plan to build a wind farm, thrown in a dash of intrigue and a jug of some of the best waves in the world, to write a heart-warming, enjoyable, easy read.

The story begins with eco-spokeswoman, Kate Petersen, suffering an anxiety attack. The gradual reveal is a trauma in her past.

Her very unsympathetic boss does not care and sends her on a renewable energy assignment in the surfing village of St Francis Bay.

Here Kate is faced with fears as the pressure builds for her to deliver or lose her job. She is determined to put her past behind her despite the locals protesting the project.

Kate meets Matthew Sykes who she initially tries to ignore. This handsome vet and surfer is still grieving the death of his wife while caring for his adorable daughter.

Other well-cast characters include a shady farmer, a troublesome man-grabber and supportive in-laws.

Local residents begin their protest peacefully but soon this develops into something more sinister as other agendas surface.

Kate is forced to face her worst fears and her secret is about to be exposed to the one person she’s come to care about. Her unexpected strength lifts this novel into a heroine’s journey.

Shadow flicker is the effect of the sun shining through the rotating blades of a wind turbine, casting a “flicker” moving shadow.

With a slow build-up of suspense it’s an engaging, well-written page-turner that had me racing through to the end.

Volker is a pioneer in the eco-romance genre. Thorough research, well-rounded characters and a nail-biting plot, the reader is nudged into sitting up and taking note as they are taken on an unexpected roller-coaster ride.

Volker also has the impressive ability to describe the environment, transporting the reader to where she wants you to be. You can feel the sea breeze and smell the old farm house.