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Publisher's Summary

Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best, until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead, but her life was shattered forever.

Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who's lost everything, what is there left to lose?

She's about to find out.

In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him, a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers' attempts to understand him. And he's issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live.

The killer videotaped his latest crime, an act of horror that left a child motherless, then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever.

Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again, and she's about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother, and a merciless killer's next victim.

©2006 Cody McFadyen (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"First-time novelist McFadyen writes like an old pro." (Booklist)
"McFadyen's writing is crisp and smart, and his scenes pack a visceral punch without being cheap or exploitative." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jesse
  • Creston, NC USA
  • 07-20-06

Good, but...

This old Marine was almost moved to tears by some of the passages in this story. And even I, no stranger to gruesome scenes on the battlefields of Vietnam, was shocked at the violence and depravity displayed by the villian. And I must admit that I usually don't care for female readers of mystery and detective fare but Carolyn McCormick does a fantastic job.

The story moves fast and the characters are engaging but there's a problem, especially with this abridged version. The transition from discovery, evidence gathering and interaction with the antagonist to the final climax is too sudden and seems to leave a lot of details out. As well, the developing relationship with Smokey's ex-secret service pal is given short shrift as is his role in the drama. He really contributes little to the plot other than sex.

My overall recommendation is if you want a quick listen and a fast paced and engaging story this is it. There seem to be many missing details that call out loudly for an unabridged version and I would hope they produce one. A great first novel. I subtract one star for the abridgement and a few silly but minor plot elements. Excellent reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • Fort Gratiot, MI, USA
  • 04-29-07

Gruesome

Shadow Man was by far one of the most needlessly gruesome books I have read - violence for the sake of violence involving women and children!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Williamsport, PA, United States
  • 07-11-06

Hard to turn off!!

As a long time audio book user some books are just hard to stop listening to. This was one!!!!! You wanted to find out what was going to happen next!!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Not for dog lovers

If you love dogs, don't even consider this book. You will be sorry for the rest of your life. The violence against humans is especially gruesome, but hey, it's just a book, right? But when she got to the violence against the dog, it was the worst thing I ever read. I had all I could do not to pull the car over and be sick. Stopped listening and deleted this horrible book as soon as I could. I still think about this AWFUL scene occasionally, and it takes awhile to forget it. I can't tell you how many serial killer books I've read with no after affects, but not this one. Reader BEWARE. I wish I had read this review so I didn't have to carry this scene around in my head forever.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful