In Bruce Robert Coffin’s Among the Shadows, Portland, Maine’s gritty and dark atmosphere plays a starring role alongside an emotionally conflicted detective sergeant as he investigates the murders of multiple retired Portland police officers. Coffin’s debut novel is written with the type of confidence found in the best examples of police procedural fiction.
The story follows Detective Sergeant John Byron as he investigates a series of murders while also attempting to reconcile his feelings for his dead father, a former Portland police detective who years earlier had tragically committed suicide. As a former detective sergeant with the Portland Police Department, Coffin provides an insider’s glimpse into the politics and daily operations of the Portland Police Department. The novel’s authenticity is what sets it apart from other crime/police procedural fiction. In Detective Sergeant Byron, crime fiction fans will find a protagonist they are familiar with—a detective with a dented view of the world, struggling with alcoholism and personal demons.
With a narrative full of suspense and uncertainty, Coffin has his readers holding firmly to the edge of their seat. Bruce Robert Coffin’s Among the Shadows is a well-told police procedural that will keep you guessing to the very end. It comes highly recommended.