Categories
Reviews

‘The Shadow Man’ by Helen Fields

Review by Vic Watson

The Shadow Man – Helen Fields

Looking for an original, compulsive thriller to terrify you during the winter nights? Look no further! The Shadow Man” is a sinister, multi-viewpoint narrative that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until its nail-biting conclusion.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.
 
Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.
 
Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

Helen Fields manages to make a complex psychological complaint accessible to the reader as well as demonstrating the effect it has on innocent victims.

I loved Connie, a brash American sent over to profile the shadow man but my favourite character has to be twelve year old Meggy. She’s fierce, she’s strong and she’s streetwise and I would want her one my side during any confrontation but Helen Fields combines Meggy’s steel core with a vulnerability that made me want to look after her. She’s absolutely pitch perfect as a character.

Although Fields writes shadow man Fergus as utterly deranged and completely terrifying, I did find that there were moments during this story that I felt sorry for him – and that, in itself, is credit to Helen and the nuances she manages to capture in her characters.

As with any Helen Fields novel, there are some beautiful turns of phrase and she juxtaposes this with the horror of the shadow man and his crimes.

I really hope we’ll get to see Connie and Baarda working together again.

For extra creep factor, I recommend listening to the audiobook. Robin Laing’s Fergus is more menacing than anything I could’ve imagined.

My thanks to Avon Books and Helen Fields for the advanced reading copy of this book.

Vic Watson is a writer, Creative Writing tutor and one half of Bay Tales. She reviews books on her blog and can be found on Twitter.

Categories
Author Profile

Louise Mumford Profile

Louise Mumford

Louise Mumford was born and live in South Wales. From a young age, she loved books and dancing but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

In the summer of 2019, Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival.

Books

Sleepless

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/louise_mumford

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/louisemumfordauthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LouiseMumfordAuthor

Categories
Author Profile

Chris McDonald Profile

Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.

He is the author “A Wash of Black“, the first in the DI Erika Piper series, as well as the forthcoming second – “Whispers In The Dark“.

Chris has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, as a remedy for the darkness. The first in the “Stonebridge Mysteries” will be released in early 2021.

He is a full-time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.

Books

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmacwritescrime

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cmacwritescrime

Categories
Author Profile

Margaret Kirk Profile

Margaret Kirk

Margaret Kirk writes ‘Highland Noir’ Scottish crime fiction with a gothic twist, set in and around her home town of Inverness.

Her debut novel, “Shadow Man“, won the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition in 2016. Described as ‘a harrowing and horrific game of consequences’ by Val McDermid, it was published in 2017 by Orion.

Book 2 in the DI Lukas Mahler series, “What Lies Buried“, was published in June 2019, with book 3, “In The Blood“, to be released in April 2021.

Margaret is also the writer of several award-winning short stories, including “The Seal Singers”, which has been published in translation in Germany and Switzerland.

Books

Social Media

Website: https://margaretmortonkirk.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretKirkAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HighlandWriter

Categories
Author Profile

Susi Holliday Profile

Susi Holliday
Susi Holliday

Susi Holliday grew up near Edinburgh and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for many years before she started writing.

A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham Prize.

She is the bestselling author of eight novels and one novella, several of which are written as SJI Holliday.

Books

Social Media

Website: http://sjiholliday.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJIHolliday/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sjiholliday

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susijholliday/

Categories
Author Profile

Neil Broadfoot Profile

Neil Broadfoot

A former journalist, Neil Broadfoot’s debut novel, “Falling Fast“, was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and the Bloody Scotland Book of the Year Award. 

His Stirling-set series, featuring close protection expert Connor Fraser, has been hailed as “tense, fast moving and bloody”. 

No Man’s Land was longlisted for the 2019 McIlvanney Award. 

Books

Social media

Twitter: www.twitter.com/nlbro

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abloodierfont

Praise for Neil Broadfoot

“A true rising star of crime ficton” – Ian Rankin

‘Tense, fast-moving and bloody’ Mason Cross

‘Beautifully crafted . . . There’s no filler, no exposition, just action, dialogue and layering of tension that’ll hold you breathless until the very end’ Helen Fields

‘Broadfoot is here, and he’s ready to sit at the table with some of the finest crime writers Scottish fiction has to offer’ Russel D. McLean

‘Cracking pace, satisfyingly twisty plot. A great read’ James Oswald

‘Crisp dialogue, characters you believe and a prose style that brings you back for more . . . a fine addition to a growing roster of noir titles with a tartan tinge’ Douglas Skelton

‘This is Broadfoot’s best to date, a thriller that delivers the thrills: energetic, breathlessly paceyand keeping you guessing till the end’ Craig Russell

‘Neil Broadfoot hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. With the very beating heart of Scotland at its core, your heart too will race as you reach the jaw dropping conclusion of this brilliant thriller. First class!’ Denzil Meyrick

‘No Man’s Land is a stunning, fast-paced, multi-layered thriller. Disturbing political unrest and psychological horror written with great confidence by Neil Broadfoot, who has one hand on Ian Rankin’s crown as the king of Scottish crime’ Michael Wood

‘[A] gritty and fast-moving tale of shifting loyalties set against the backdrop of Scottish and Irish politics’ Nick Quantrill