***** - The Shadow Man
THE SHADOW MAN
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.
Helen Fields is back with a heart-pounding new book, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Stuart MacBride.
Helen Fields has fast become one of my favourite authors and whenever I see a new book of hers, whether it’s part of the DI Callanach series or not, I jump at the chance to read it. The Shadow Man is described as a stand-alone thriller and is certainly a great introduction to anyone who has not read her work before.
The key thing that I love about Helen’s writing is that she manages to achieve the perfect balance between a gory and interesting crime with a twisted villain and a human police force with well-drawn characteristics. The Shadow Man is no different, Fergus is a scary villain, described by eyewitnesses as ‘Skellington’ and rotting from the inside out. It’s perhaps even scarier that we are given his name from the offset – there’s no mistaking who the villain is in this case. We also get a good insight into our victims, particularly Elspeth and 12-year-old Meggy. I liked Meggy in particular, she is feisty but she feels realistic for her age, something that I have seen other authors fail at when choosing the tricky lower teenage years to portray.
That moves us on to the police department, in this case American psychologist Connie Woolwine and London DI Baarda. Connie is a fascinating character who is not afraid to be brunt and psychologically profile everyone she comes across. She also has a fascinating backstory which is slowly revealed and has resulted in her having Achromatopsia (complete colour-blindness or inability to see colour). I loved Connie and think she is a fantastic main character, although I felt DI Baarda was a little less fleshed out as a result. Although this book is billed as a standalone I hope we get to see more of them working together in future.
There are some really scary moments in this book particularly towards the end with a terrifying standoff. The descriptions of both the villain, his fantasy and his house really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and will stay with me for a long time after putting the book down.
Overall, The Shadow Man is a terrifying read which hooked me from the outset and stayed with me long after I put the book down – another triumph for Helen Fields! Thank you to NetGalley & Avon Books UK for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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