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Killing the Shadows | [Val McDermid]

Killing the Shadows

A killer is on the loose, blurring the line between fact and fiction. His prey - the writers of crime novels who have turned psychological profilers into the heroes of the nineties. But this killer is like no other. His bloodlust shatters all the conventional wisdom surrounding the motives and mechanics of how serial killers operate. And for one woman, the desperate hunt to uncover his identity becomes a matter of life and death.
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Publisher's Summary

A killer is on the loose, blurring the line between fact and fiction. His prey - the writers of crime novels who have turned psychological profilers into the heroes of the nineties. But this killer is like no other. His bloodlust shatters all the conventional wisdom surrounding the motives and mechanics of how serial killers operate. And for one woman, the desperate hunt to uncover his identity becomes a matter of life and death.

Professor Fiona Cameron is an academic psychologist who uses computer technology to help police forces track serial offenders. She used to help the Met, but vowed never to work for them again when they went against her advice and badly screwed up an investigation as a consequence. Still smarting from the experience, she's working a case in Toledo when her lover, thriller writer Kit Martin, tells her a fellow crime novelist has been murdered. It's not her case, but Fiona can't help taking an interest.

Which is just as well, because before too long the killer strikes again. And again. And Fiona is caught up in a race against time, not only to save a life, but to bring herself redemption, both personal and professional.

Rich in atmosphere, Killing the Shadows uses the backdrops of city and country to create an air of threatening menace, culminating in a tense confrontation between hunter and hunted, a confrontation that can have only one outcome.

©2002 Val McDermid; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (81 )
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4.0 (43 )
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3.9 (43 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rita Berkeley, CA, United States 04-02-10
    Rita Berkeley, CA, United States 04-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    563
    5
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    Overall
    "Too much"

    I read a lot of mysteries containing explicit violence. But there is a point at which mutilations and killings become too gruesome and take up so much of the book that skipping over the extreme violence leaves you with hardly anything to read. I suspect that publishers require their authors to top the level of "gruesomeness" in each new book. That is regrettable.

    I doubt I'm alone in my growing avoidance of books like "Killing the Shadow". Only so much prolonged, repetitive, excruciatingly graphic and detailed descriptions of mutilations/murders can be tolerated. I only wish there was a violence rating scale so that I didn't accidentally buy books like this one.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott waban, MA, United States 04-18-10
    scott waban, MA, United States 04-18-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    31
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    3
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    Overall
    "Disappointing, creaky plot"

    What better subject could there be for a mystery writer than a serial killer targetting mystery writers? Yet this book suffers from significant plot weaknesses--basically, characters must display incredible stupidity or stubborness for the plot to advance. The underlining motive of the villain was, in my view, ridiculous. That said, there were moments of suspense, and some interesting characterizations. The narration was fine. This was the first book I've read by McDermid. I had high hopes because of her Diamond Dagger win (lifetime achievement from the British Crime Writers Assoc.), but I was disappointed. I'll probably give another book a chance, but I won't rush to do so.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wimd 04-27-14
    wimd 04-27-14 Member Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Atrocious reader!!!!"
    How could the performance have been better?

    The timbre of the reader's voice is nice but the teeth whistle and continuously changing sound quality (or total lack thereof) is ridiculous. This kills the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Kingston, WA, United States 04-30-11
    Scott Kingston, WA, United States 04-30-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Chick flick police procedural"

    Light on story, heavy on emotion. Predictable. Narrator makes this worse. Her voice for the guys makes them sound like drag queen parodies.

    I have read other Val McDermoid and enjoyed them. This one was nauseating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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