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.