wish I could tell you more about Cody Mcfadyen. He is married, has
a family, lives in California, and is involved in some capacity
with a software company. That is about all I know, besides the fact
that his first novel is the wildest night ride I have been on for
quite a while.
SHADOW MAN is soul-numbing, a stiff-legged march through a
five-mile-long frozen food locker with bouncing betties
intermittently placed beneath the ice. It has a convincing, badly
damaged heroine named Smoky Barrett and a brilliant serial murderer
who calls himself "Jack Jr." after Jack The Ripper. Jack Jr. knows
everything about Barrett. He is intimately familiar with the
incident that caused Barrett, an FBI Special Agent, to take a leave
of absence, that left Barrett physically and emotionally scarred
and her husband and daughter dead. And he's privy to more details
than even Barrett is.
Jack Jr. commits an unspeakable act to get her out of the house and
back on the job, and then proceeds to go after her FBI team members
in the same manner. Everyone on Barrett's team is very highly
motivated to catch this guy, but they can't. He might just be too
smart. At first blush, the team members are stereotypical: a nerdy
brainiac with an anti-social personality, a gentle black giant with
a heart of gold and a terrifying façade, and a gorgeous
redhead who is almost, but not quite, Barrett's equal on the team.
Forget about the first blush, however, and wait for the
Remember those bouncing betties I mentioned earlier? Those are the
revelations about Barrett, et al. that will jump off the page and
explode in your face. Whether Barrett and company catch Jack Jr.
almost takes a back seat to the next hidden truth, past and
present, about each team member whom Jack Jr. reveals in dribs and
drabs. By the time you finish reading this book you'll be running
on adrenalin you never knew you had.
If you're sick of books about serial killers, SHADOW MAN is the
cure. Mcfadyen's writing and characterization run long, deep and
true. And, by the way, he is beyond scary. Not to be missed.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011