Crime Thriller

The Shadow Man – Helen Fields

14 February 2021
The Shadow Man Book Cover The Shadow Man
Helen Fields
HarperCollins UK
4 February 2021

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.

Helen Fields with a heart-pounding new book, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Stuart MacBride.


The Shadow Man is a unique crime thriller, spiced with supernatural undertones and a horror scene waiting to befall those caught in a killer’s path. The hunt for the Shadow Man is a formidable investigative task as his kidnapped victims share no similarities and whose lives have nothing in common.

Even though the Shadow Man is planning to kidnap with meticulously researched precision, it doesn’t stop the death toll mounting with collateral damage. The kidnapped victims include a woman, Elspeth, a man, Xavier, and a young girl, Meggy. His sinister plan for them has a very disturbing purpose, and they start to discover hidden secrets in the building where they are held captive – and they haven’t been the first. The Shadow Man himself is emaciated looking yet has an incredible strength that belies his appearance. Initially, I felt this was a major plot hole, but you must let the supernatural element play out for the truth to be revealed.

The diversity of the kidnapped victims is impressive, how their personalities change and how their relationships evolve due to their ordeal, is extremely well-drawn. The threats on them and the fear of vicious retribution, should they displease him or if he tires of them, keeps the suspense in top gear.

Following the murder of Angela and the kidnap of Elspeth, an American forensic psychologist, Connie Woodwine and DI Brodie Baarda are brought in to assist Police Scotland in the investigation. Connie utilises her profiling skills to get inside the mind of the kidnapper/killer if possible and has a very straight-talking and fearless style to her demeanour. Brodie is reserved, by the book, but has marital issues that Connie jumps on. The male-female police partnership format in police crime thrillers is a standard formula, and one of the major aspects by which the story will stand or fall will be how their relationship and personalities blend. In Helen Fields’ book, she crafts compelling characters with fascinating characteristics and interesting backgrounds, although I would like to see Brodie developed more and commanding more of the storyline. I can see this team working in a series.

The momentum of the story does not waver from the very first page to the last, and the suspense, danger, terror, frustration and pressure to solve the case before the killer gets to his end-game creates an engrossing and entertaining story.

I would recommend this book and I would like to thank Avon Books, Helen Fields and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of the audiobook in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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