“Once, Special Agent Smoky Barrett hunted serial killers for the FBI. She was one of the best until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead but her life was shattered forever. Now Smoky dreams about picking up her weapon again. She dreams about placing the cold steel between her lips and pulling the trigger one last time. Because for a woman who’s lost everything, what is there left to lose? She’s about to find out.
In all her years at the Bureau, Smoky has never encountered anyone like him a new and fascinating kind of monster, a twisted genius who defies profilers attempts to understand him. And he’s issued Smoky a direct challenge, coaxing her back from the brink with the only thing that could convince her to live. The killer videotaped his latest crime an act of horror that left a child motherless then sent a message addressed to Agent Smoky Barrett. The message is enough to shock Smoky back to work, back to her FBI team. And that child awakens something in Smoky she thought was gone forever. Suddenly the stakes are raised. The game has changed. For as this deranged monster embarks on an unspeakable spree of perversion and murder, Smoky is coming alive again and she’s about to face her greatest fears as a cop, a woman, a mother and a merciless killers next victim.” –Excerpt from Goodreads.com
While I normally prefer fantasy novels, sometimes you just can’t beat a fictional crime thriller. I love crime shows and movies (*cough, cough* Criminal Minds and Silence of the Lambs) because I am fascinated by the motivations, inner workings, and minds of the criminals, especially those of murderers. I like to know what makes them tick. Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the best of the best, makes the choice whether or not to hunt a serial killer, Jack Jr., who is targeting not only herself, but also the rest of her team. The characters are very three-dimensional and quite easy to become attached to as the reader experiences their suffering, and the writing is mature and entertaining. My inner crime-fighter embraces the darkness, gore, and rawness of Shadow Man in a sort of horrified fascination. This book exposes the buried monstrosities not only in the world as a whole, but those within each of us. Aside from the graphic descriptions of the murders and various other crimes, Shadow Man also includes sexual content and foul language, but it does not detract from the story. *semi-spoiler* Shadow Man has an absolutely fantastic twist!
While I enjoy this series, if you have a weak stomach, do NOT read this book or any other of the ones in this series as I find Shadow Man to be the least disturbing of them all.
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– Whimsical Whit