Shadow is the second novel in a series of four projected books, each reflecting a separate social community indirectly linked to the next. The quartet takes place in California, with characters drawn from the world of art, motorcycle racing, surfing, and feature film production. The lifestyle locations include the northern fishing harbor of Bodega Bay, the Angeles Crest Highway, the South Bay surfing from Marina Del Rey to Palos Verdes and, most conclusively, the Hollywood motion picture studios. The point of view of each sequential reference comes from personal experience, with Shadow at the midpoint, reflecting an individual journey of self discovery.
Walker Ellison is known within his community of friends as Shadow. He is an ex-motorcycle road racer, who finds himself returning to his origins in Los Angeles for a funeral. Riding his bike at speed, traveling south on Highway 1 from Monterey to Los Angeles, Walker sifts through his past, driven by loss and love of the life.
This novel was inspired by my mentor Max Kelly, who made his living as a world class automotive competition mechanic and crew chief, having won races at Daytona International Speedway, Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Le mans. Max Kelly is in the Mechanics Hall of Fame and spent thirty years at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, independently setting up racecars for Bear Alignment. Max was the best friend I ever had. He was also the most instinctively astute, competitive racer I have ever known. His formidable personality demanded respect, as did his knowledge and passion for motorcycles. His insight took me to the racetrack, where I learned from his experience how to channel anger into self awareness and maturity. His passing in 2002, moments after the conclusion of the Indy 500, was, for me, the very definition of loss.
Shadow is dedicated to Max and his wife Wanda first, then to my brothers Tim, Mike, Gordy, Chuck, Vic, Cliff, Charlie, John and Glen, as well as all the rest who rode with us and loved the life. Godspeed.