: Shadows still remain (9780061373541) : Peter De Jonge : Books
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Shadows Still Remain

by Peter De Jonge
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publishing date: 01/05/2009
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780061373541
  • ISBN: 0061373540


Book Description

Edgy, electrifying and dark—a riveting debut

A Beautiful Woman, Missing

New York City, 2005. Thanksgiving weekend. A topless Kate Moss peers down from a billboard over rain-spattered Houston Street. Escaping a troubled past, Francesca Pena came to the city and reinvented herself. At New York University, her beauty and charisma are the envy of her privileged pals, yet none knows the real Francesca—who, after a night of drinking, is now missing.

A High-Stakes Gamble

Detective Darlene O'Hara of the Seventh Precinct and her partner, Serge "K." Krekorian, set out to find Pena. But when the case turns high-profile and Homicide is called in, O'Hara—who has an eighteen-year-old son she saddled with the name Axl Rose O'Hara, and whose binge drinking exacerbates the massive chip on her shoulder—refuses to let go. Risking both her and K.'s careers, she defies NYPD brass and Homicide legend Patrick Lowry to secretly pursue her own investigation.

A Desperate Chase—and a Chilling Twist

Following a deadly trail that leads from NYU's ivory towers to Brooklyn tattoo parlors, from a skanky strip club to a whitewashed boutique run by a Korean madam, O'Hara closes in on her prey. But she has to move fast, because Lowry and the NYPD are about to make a devastating mistake that will leave the real killer free.

The Story Behind Shadows Still Remain by Peter de Jonge

Before I conceived any aspect of Shadows Still Remain, I sat and rode around with NYPD detectives. Both the story and cast were shaped by the men and women, I was lucky enough to spend time with. This is also true of the setting. I recalled that a former colleague had married a cop who had worked out of the 7, the Lower East Side precinct just south of the East Village between Houston and Chinatown. One afternoon he brought me down to the station house at 19 ½ Pitt Street and escorted up the stairs to the second floor detective room, where Darlene O’Hara in the opening pages of Shadows Still Remain is enjoying a solitary Thanksgiving. When I arrived, the three man detective team was, like her, finishing their lunch at the filthy table at the back of the room. The retired cop explained what I had in mind, and to my surprise, no one objected.

For the next couple months, I often joined them on their shifts, passing myself off as the passive taciturn member of the team. When they went into the projects to talk to victims or witnesses or make an arrest, I stood beside, or better yet behind them, my only responsibility not to say or do anything that exposed me as an imposter and coward. On house calls, I pretended not to be scared. When we went to bars, I pretended I could drink.

Some of the book’s locations, like NYU’s Bobst Library, where O’Hara reads the victim’s transcripts and quickly comes to feel proprietary about the peace and quiet, were as new to me as O’Hara. Others were deeply personal. For example, 251 Fort Washington Avenue, at the top of Manhattan in Washington Heights, where Consuela Entonces lives with her daughters, is the building my father lived in as a teenager. Now it’s a Dominican neighborhood. Then it was filled with recently arrived German Jews like him. Location-wise, I only took a couple liberties. I invented a condo in progress on the west side of Rivington Park, called “Atelier," and a tiny boutique offering an absurdly minimal selection of merchandise called “eeL,” and as far as I know there is no Brooklyn tattoo parlor named “Bad Idea Tattoos.”

One reason I opened Shadows Still Remain at the end of 2005 rather than the fictional present, was to show the merciless dispatch with which New York’s Darwinian economy makes over the face of the city and at the same time try to protect the book from seeming obsolete before it got in your hands. On Thanksgiving Eve, 2005 when Francesca Pena climbs out of the subway onto Bleeker Street, Tower Records loomed over the neighborhood, running from Broadway to the far side of Lafayette. Now of course, along with many other retailers Pena passes that night, it’s long gone. Washington Square Park, whose grubbiness stood out in contrast to the affluence of the NYU campus that surrounds it is in the midst of a multi-million dollar makeover and the anomalous little Howard Johnson Express Inn where Darlene O’Hara spends a couple highly productive days and nights, has a new façade and name The Gem Hotel. The rooms haven’t changed however, and if you’re eager to spend a couple nights in the Lower East Side, you might want to consider it. I gave them a call and their prices are still the cheapest in the neighborhood.

Photographs from Shadows Still Remain (Click to Enlarge)

Pitt Street, 7th Precinct:
Detective Darlene O’Hara, the heroine of Shadows Still Remain is a 34-year-old detective who works out of the 7th Precinct. The station house, located in the shadow of the ramp to the Williamsburg Bridge, looks out the bleakest corridor of the Lower East Side and has the curiously exact address of 19 1/2 Pitt Street.

Lower East Side Bar:
In the course of verifying an alibi for a murder suspect, O’Hara discovers her new favorite dive bar in a basement off First Avenue and 5th Street. O’Hara instantly likes way the place looks, but mainly likes what she hears--Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Zeppelin--the shimmering metal of her misspent youth.
Orchard Street:
My wife took these pictures one afternoon this winter. This shot, looking north up Orchard, somehow captures the old ghosts of the Lower East Side. If it wasn’t for the sign for the ATM, you could be looking at a photo from the early 1900s.
Rivington Street:
This is the view from the second floor bar of the Rivington Hotel, where, in a critical juncture, O’Hara meets her partner Serge “K” Krekorian. K chooses the location because he’s quite sure no cops would ever set foot in such a trendy spot.
Stanton Street:
This is the window of a tattoo parlor on Stanton Street, just east of Essex. One night O’Hara discovers just how many tattoo parlors there are in lower Manhattan, and can’t believe there’s enough empty downtown skin left to go around.

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  • Gritty NYC
    From Amazon

    Thirty-four-year old, NYC Detective Darlene O'Hara is every bit the "Brooklyn Irish" she claims to be. With a chip on her shoulder the size of Ireland, her combative attitude and hard-drinking make for an explosive combination. It's Thanksgiving Day and O'Hara is on her way home after a long tour, when she sees David McLain waiting to make a report--his ex-girlfriend, Francesca Pena, 19 and star student at NYU is missing. What seems like a routine case turns into a career-maker, when hours later Pena's tortured and mutilated body is found in an abandoned restroom of East River Park. O'Hara and her partner have 72 hours to work the case before homicide is brought in. Despite the rule, Homicide Det. Patrick Lowry, 6'5" 360 pounds, arrives at the scene. Lowry is somewhat of a legend--both in fact and in his own mind--and he will shadow O'Hara until her time on the case is up. Determined to find the killer and prove herself, O'Hara must fight the huge ego and voluminous physical presence of Det. Lowry, as well as her own personal demons. While Lowry mistakenly focuses on David McLain, O'Hara unravels the bright and sunny fabric of Francesca Pena's life and finds a very dark and evil truth. One bad decision leads to another and rather than making her career, O'Hara will have to fight to keep it. An excellent solo-debut effort, DeJonge succeeds in rendering a sympathetic, yet hard-nosed, feisty and self-destructive character in Darlene O'Hara. DeJonge also does a good job of portraying the seedy underbelly of New York City that seems to have all but disappeared. Tattoo parlors, strip clubs and dive bars. Ah, the good ol' days.

  • Good start, but ultimately disappointing
    From Amazon

    This book wasn't bad per se, but the author tried a little too hard to express the gritty, rough-edged life of NYPD detectives. Too many cliches. The story line was good enough, but the ending really disappointed. In two pages, they go from not knowing who the killer is to knowing with absolute certainty; unfortunately, the author gives no indication at all of how the characters figured this out. To me, that's the most interesting part of a detective story -- the reasoning, clues, etc. But in this book, nothing.

  • full of twists and turns, each darker than the previous
    From Amazon

    On Thanksgiving eve, beautiful nineteen year old Francesca Pena, a NYU student on a track scholarship, runs through the streets to her destination, a restaurant bar Freeman's. Detective Darlene O'Hara of the Seventh Precinct investigates a missing persons report. When Francesca Pena's mutilated corpse is found, the case turns high profile. Detective O'Hara, a woman with a drinking problem and the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude, isn't exactly the kind of woman one would want heading up the investigation of a case likely to be so closely watched by the public. The case is turned over to Detective Cooney, a respected homicide NYPD detective but O'Hara can't let it go, especially when she has a feeling their chief suspect is not guilty. Detective Darlene O'Hara has an inside track on some of the clues from the earlier missing persons case. She cannot let the case go. As each new clue emerges, the web unravels bit by bit, unmasking a darker and darker side, but nothing can prepare one for the shocking revelation behind Francesca's murder and the person responsible. In SHADOWS STILL REMAIN, Peter De Jonge, a once James Patterson co-author, steps out on his own with a gripping thriller. From the first pages, Peter De Jonge creates a keen sense of place with his vivid and sometimes humorous descriptions of the gritty 7th Precinct and the Lower East Side. Even readers unfamiliar with New York will be able to easily visualize the sites and the unique flavor of the area. Detective O'Hara's makes for a most refreshing lead-in to the locale and the investigation. Impertinent and sometimes brash, Detective O'Hara's flaws enable her to see connections others would not. Her persistence and refusal to stick with the proper protocol adds a sense of empathy and emotion that builds as each clue unravels a new dimension to the web of events behind the murder. In SHADOWS STILL REMAIN, nothing is what it seems. No one is perfect --- not the detective, not the victim, not the perpetrator and not those who admired the pretty painted picture for reasons of their own. On the surface, Francesca Pena and Detective Darlene O'Hara's have somewhat parallel lives. Each was a kid saved from the streets, but surfaces can deceive. As Darlene investigates, she unmasks one pretty surface after another, unraveling each intricate connection. Actually, Darlene could not be more different than Francesca Pena, and yet, Darlene more than anyone is in the perfect position to understand the true impact of the crime. The similarities between Darlene and Francesca increase the emotional connection while the divergence in their lives increases the utter nefariousness and sadness of the crime. SHADOWS STILL REMAIN is full of twists and turns, each darker than the previous, each one more clever until the final startling revelation. The ending of SHADOWS STILL REMAIN leaves a reader stunned. Powerful suspense! Courtesy of Book Illuminations

  • A find
    From Amazon

    This is a wonderful cop book. I hope De Jonge writes some more on his own. This guy can write and that makes him unique among popular cop writers today.

  • A Decent Police Procedural, but a Spark is Missing
    From Amazon

    SHADOWS STILL REMAIN is a well written crime novel, but it lacks a quality that makes for a truly effective page turner. De Jonge obviously has creative talent, but there was very little in this novel that I found original or compelling. The plot, involving a NYPD police detective's quest to solve the murder of a young college student, is pretty standard stuff, the kind of shopworn material you might find in a LAW AND ORDER rerun. I personally found a lot of the dialogue to be surprisingly flat. This novel is also relatively slow paced, which I found surprising from an author who co-wrote several books with James Patterson. None of the characters struck me as particularly original, with the possible exception of the central character Detective Darlene O'Hara. Still, even O'Hara struck me as something of a cliche -- a highly competent, yet rebellious Irishwoman who constantly clashes with her superiors. Will O'Hara disobey her doltish commander and launch her own investigation of the crime? I think you already know the answer to that one. Michael Connelly treaded this type of territory many times before with his Harry Bosch novels, and he did a far better job of getting inside his main character's head. Still, De Jonge is a skilled writer, and I enjoyed his vivid descriptions of New York City, as well as his social commentary on the people who live there (all done through the O'Hara character). I also found the novel's ending to have a rather surprising twist. SHADOWS STILL REMAIN is entertaining to read, even if its story doesn't seem to add up to very much. Overall, this novel's okay, but others have done this type of thing better -- Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, and Dennis Lehane readily come to mind. If your reading time is limited, go with one of them instead.

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