Saturday 30 January 2021

Guest Review: The Shadow Man By Helen Fields

The brand new crime thriller from the bestselling author of the Perfect series – Helen Fields is back with her first stand-alone novel!

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.
Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.
Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.
And he’s watching.

Review: Helen Fields is the author of the series of D.I. Luc Callanach detective novels. Having read a number of the books in the series, I was keen to read this latest book by the author. Like the Luc Callanach series, this book is set in Edinburgh and follows an investigation by Police Scotland's Major Investigation Team (MIT). Some of the MIT’s minor characters from previous books feature in this story, but two new characters are the main protagonists in this book, which therefore can be read as a standalone. Detective Inspector Brodie Baarda, an Eton-educated detective from London has been drafted into Edinburgh’s MIT due to staff shortages. Also seconded to the investigation is Dr Connie Woolwine, a forensic psychologist from Massachusetts in the USA. The story revolves around these two main characters, both outsiders to Edinburgh.

At the outset of the book, a woman has been abducted. Connie Woolwine has been brought in to provide a profile of the offender. Later on, another woman’s dead body is discovered and more abductions occur. There develops a race against time as Connie Woolwine and D.I. Baarda attempt to track down the missing persons. As in the author’s previous books, the tension is maintained throughout and there was plenty of action and drama, resulted in my wanting to keep reading and find out what happened next. I should add a care warning that some of the descriptions in the book are very graphic.

As a fan of the the D.I. Callanach series, I enjoyed this book and found it to be to be an interesting spinoff. Indeed, the premise bears some similarities to “Perfect Remains”, one of the early D.I. Callanach books. I found the main characters well drawn, both of them coming to the investigation with personal issues. It was also an interesting, and different, perspective to have a story featuring a criminal profiler, and I enjoyed reading about some of the unconventional methods she employed. The city of Edinburgh also features strongly in the narrative and it was fun to track the movements of the various characters around the city. Overall, I found the book to be a thrilling and interesting account of a major police investigation into a bizarre series of crimes.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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