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Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett)


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About the Author

Cody McFadyen lives with his family in California. Shadow Man is his first novel.


After a tense auction and multiple foreign sales, this thriller has earned the right to be called Bantam's big book for late spring. Heroine Smoky Barrett used to hunt serial killers for the FBI, but with her husband and daughter dead she's about to blow herself away. Then the Shadow Man comes on the scene. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

McFadyen's debut novel has an intriguing premise-FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett and her team are targeted by a serial killer who believes he's a descendant of Jack the Ripper-but it poses a few problems for reader McCormick. Barrett begins by describing the "cigar-sized" scars on her face and body, which resulted from an attack by a madman a year before that also took the lives of her husband and child. This unpleasantly precise beginning is a harbinger of the ever-increasing, lavishly described incidents of physical and mental violence that propel the novel, which is much less wince-inducing on the page than it is in your ear. McCormick, an intelligent actress who effectively portrays a sympathetic therapist on TV's Law and Order, elects to deliver this off-putting material in a brusque, almost sardonic manner. If the intent was to undercut the disturbing effect of the prose, it doesn't work. Smoky's best friend and fellow agent, Callie, has a penchant for calling everyone "honey-love," an affectation that even the director of the FBI finds annoying. Thanks to McCormick's exaggerated delivery of the incessantly used phrase, listeners will know exactly how he feels. Simultaneous release with the Bantam hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 17). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Few men who write serial-killer novels have created a woman of such depth [as heroine Smoky Barrett].... a powerful mixture of strength and vulnerability, courage and fear. In a strange way, Barrett's mingled roles as woman, victim and avenger make the novel as humane as it is violent..... If you can handle the violence, it will be among the best crime fiction you will read this year."-Washington Post

"Terrifically good, terrifically scary.... McFadyen seems to have done ample research on the mind-set of serial killers to give his characters more believability.... This one's very hard to put down."-San Francisco Chronicle Books

"A thriller that mixes Michael Connelly-style procedural details with gore that's Thomas Harris ornate."-Entertainment Weekly

"Disturbing ... a promising debut for McFadyen, who combines many conventions of hte genre by with far more exquisite, intricate results than the norm.... Pack[s] a visceral punch."-Publishers Weekly

"Coldly, stunningly brilliant. Move over Thomas Harris, Mcfadyen has brought a new game to town."-Lisa Gardner

'Shadow Man is one of the most powerful and authentic portrayals of a serial killer and the people who hunt them I have ever read. It kept me riveted right to the last page. Cody Mcfadyen is the real thing."- John E. Douglas, author Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit

"First-time novelist McFadyen writes like an old pro ... A series to watch."-Booklist

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