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Other titles in the St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries series:
Killing the Shadows (St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries)by Val Mcdermid
Synopses & Reviews
A killer is on the loose, blurring the line between fact and fiction. His prey — the writers of crime novels who have turned psychological profilers into the heroes of the nineties. But this killer is like no other. His bloodlust shatters all the conventional wisdom surrounding the motives and mechanics of how serial killers operate. And for one woman, the desperate hunt to uncover his identity becomes a matter of life and death.
Professor Fiona Cameron is an academic psychologist who uses computer technology to help police forces track serial offenders. She used to help the Met, but vowed never to work for them again when they went against her advice and subsequently botched an investigation. Still smarting from the experience, she's working a case in Toledo when her lover, thriller writer Kit Martin, tells her a fellow crime novelist has been murdered. It's not her case, but Fiona can't help taking an interest. When the killer strikes again Fiona finds herself caught in a race against time — not only to save a life but also to find redemption, both personal and professional.
Rich in atmosphere, Killing the Shadows uses the backdrops of city and country to create an air of threatening menace, culminating in a tense confrontation between hunter and hunted, a confrontation that can have only one outcome.
"Though McDermid skillfully alternates point of view and creates memorable scenes and complex characters, her latest falls short of the high standard set by her previous novel, A Place of Execution, which was an Edgar finalist. Psychology professor Fiona Campbell, a consultant with London's Metropolitan Police, specializes in crime linkage and geographical profiling using sophisticated computer technology. The competitive, self-confident Fiona was recently replaced on a case by another expert, who ended up misleading the police; their suspect, whom Fiona had thought innocent, was eventually released. While Fiona is working with the Spanish police to catch a vicious murderer, a new situation comes to light back in the U.K.: the serial killings of successful thriller writers who are threatened, then murdered following details from their most popular novel. Fiona lives with Kit Martin, author of you guessed it popular thrillers about serial killers. Their best friend, Det. Superintendent Steve Preston, needs Fiona's help in yet another investigation. Initially, she refuses to resume working with the police, but the personal dimensions draw her in. After much misdirection, the cases mesh, with a Spanish connection. McDermid builds suspense by inserting passages from the thriller novels, e-mails, crime Web sites and the killer's journal. Unfortunately, the killer's motive is somewhat unconvincing, while the reader can anticipate most of the plot twists." Publishers Weekly
"There is no one in contemporary crime fiction who has managed to combine the visceral and the humane as well..." The New York Times Book Review
"Smart...skillfully executed...nasty and delicious. McDermid tells this wicked tale with style, intelligence and the blackest of humor." Washington Post Book World
"Nerve-jangling...a gripping read...heart-stopping suspense." Booklist
"[McDermid] is the real mistress of psychological gripping thrillers; no-one can plot or tell a story like she can. The hairs on my neck literally stood up." Jenni Murray, Daily Express
"McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil...The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful." The Guardian
"Dark, clever and timely." Scotland on Sunday
"McDermid takes a great premise and turns it into a thoroughly engaging psychological thriller: the writers of serial murder fiction become the victims of a copycat killer who models his crimes on their work." Library Journal
About the Author
Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community and then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years and is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester. In 1995, she won the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year. Her novel, A Place of Execution, won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel, and named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
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