I've listened to six audio books so far this year, and Shadow Man, by Cody McFadyen, proved itself to be the best of the lot. Shadow Man is exactly the kind of book I used to read a lot when I worked in the Sahara Desert, one of those crime thrillers that really does focus on giving you a thrill every few pages. It's not the kind of reading that I do much of these days (having been back in Houston for the past five years) but I have learned that books like this one are the best kind to be listening to at 5:30 in the morning when I head to work, and again in the rush hour traffic that I face on the way home. My mind doesn't seem to drift on one of these.
The book concerns a female FBI agent who has had her husband and daughter killed by a serial killer who came into her home specifically because she works for the Bureau. Although she managed to escape death herself, Agent Smoky Barrett ended up being scarred and disfigured by the killer in the process. Understandably, she ends up being suicidal and is unfit to return to work in the early chapters of the book. It's only when a second serial killer commits a crime as horrible as the one that took her family that Barrett feels drawn back to her job. When she finds out that this particular crime was committed specifically to get her attention and to taunt her back to work she has no choice but to lead the hunt for the killer.
I don't want to give away any more of the plot because there are numerous shockers, surprises and twists throughout the book. I will warn any potential readers or listeners that this novel is very graphic in the way that it describes crimes and what happens to the victims, some of them young children. You probably already can tell whether or not you would "enjoy" this one.
Congratulations to Kate Reading who reads this eleven disc audio book (13 hours, 16 minutes long) for making the various characters so alive and memorable. If Shadow Man had not been made available as an audio book I would never have touched it. But as an audio book, it's a damn fine listen.
Rated at: 4.0