Oh. My. God. This is one amazing and exciting crime thriller. I always know I will get a fantastic read when I pick up a Helen Fields book but The Shadow Man absolutely blew me away.

Fans of the author’s Perfect series will know that she created an ideal partnership with Luc Callanach and Ava Turner. I didn’t think they could be beaten but along came Dr Connie Woolwine and DI Brodie Baarda and they’re absolutely on a par with them in terms of a perfectly written dynamic.

Connie is a fascinating character. Brought over from the US to help profile the person who has kidnapped Elspeth Dunwoody, she’s a maverick but highly intelligent forensic psychologist, and she’s incredibly well-drawn by the author who has clearly done a lot of research and investigation of her own into the kind of work Connie would do. Put her with the handsome and gallant Baarda and they’re a dream team.

Let’s not forget the story itself though. It’s a masterpiece in originality and plotting, providing numerous heart-pumping experiences. This is a book I really and truly didn’t want to put down. Who is this man who steals people in plain sight without a care for who sees him? The reader knows from the beginning but his full story only becomes clear as the book progresses and what an astounding, complex and intense story it is and what an imagination the author has.

The Shadow Man is easily one of my books of the year. It has characters I want to see more of, a jaw-droppingly thrilling storyline, and a setting that jumps off the page. You might have guessed that I absolutely LOVED this book! And Helen Fields……please can we have more Woolwine/Baarda collaborations?

Reviewed by Nicola Smith (Short Book and Scribes)

Avon, paperback,
ISBN 978-0008379308, Feb 2021.