What to buy in February? The Shadow Man by Helen Fields

The brand new crime thriller from the bestselling author of the Perfect series – Helen Fields is back with her first stand-alone novel!

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

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.

And he’s watching.

Helen Fields is back with a heart-pounding new book, perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Stuart MacBride

I’ve enjoyed Helen Fields “Perfect” series so when I saw that she had a new standalone novel coming out I knew I had to preorder it! If you’ve read that series then you will know what you’re getting with The Shadow Man-it’s dark (VERY DARK!), disturbing and completely unputdownable! Helen Fields has claimed the city of Edinburgh as her own horrific hunting ground on behalf of her terrifying antagonist here and I don’t think I will ever feel safe walking it’s streets again!

Be prepared for a stomach churning opening as our introduction to The Shadow Man as a woman sleeps soundly in her bed unaware that her worst nightmare is watching over her. And when his plans go awry, his disappointment doesn’t stop him from adding to his “collection”. But who is The Shadow Man and what secrets is he hiding?

From those horrific first few pages, I knew that this was going to be one of those books where I wanted to turn the pages quickly but also not turn them at all as I was terrified of what was going to happen next! Three victims-all different, all snatched for a particular reason and all fighting for their lives. Once the reason behind the abductions started to become clear, I actually felt some sympathy for The Shadow Man! I don’t want to say anymore than that, just that Helen Fields has completely hit the nail on the head with her portrayal of a psychologically and emotionally damaged individual who sees no other way around the life choices he is making. He’s the “bogeyman” that exists in all of us so what has happened to make him real?

I’m actually a bit disappointed that this is being touted as a standalone as the forensic psychologist and the investigating police officer made a fantastic team and worked well together to try and solve the crimes that were taking place. Connie especially was a really likeable character even though (as all good protagonists do) she made some rather questionable decisions that involved her ripping up the rule book in her determination to catch The Shadow Man.

And as always the city of Edinburgh itself stole the show. Helen Fields knows all it’s secrets as she stalks her characters through the well known tourist spots to those little alleys hidden away behind them. The Balmoral Hotel gets a cameo that is well deserved as they do the BEST cocktails in Edinburgh and you don’t have to stagger too far to catch a train after enjoying one or two of them after a day out! Well worth a visit if you ever go!

The Shadow Man was a much anticipated read for me and it didn’t disappoint. Harrowing, spine chilling and a little bit gruesome at times but utterly compelling from start to finish.

An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series has claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. The last book in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ was longlisted for the Crime Writers Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger in 2020, and others have been longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize, Scottish crime novel of the year. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and has released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. In 2020 Perfect Remains was shortlisted for the Bronze Bat, Dutch debut crime novel of the year. Now translated into 16 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ came out in May 2020. Her first standalone thriller – The Shadow Man – from HarperColllins will be published on February 4, 2021. She currently commutes between West Sussex, Scotland and California. She lives with her husband and three children. Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at http://www.helenfields.co.uk.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.