Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: Killing the Shadows by Val McDermid

Book Info:
Killing the Shadows by Val McDermid
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
Narrated by Vari Sylvester
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 3.5/5

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 badly screwed up an investigation as a consequence. 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.

Which is just as well, because before too long the killer strikes again. And again. And Fiona is caught up in a race against time, not only to save a life, but to bring herself redemption, both personal and professional.

The plot in this book was wonderful. There were 3 intertwining story lines but they were all so well done that I didn't have any problem keeping them all straight. The characters were very well developed and likeable. The ending was also great. It was a surprise, but nothing too far fetched either.

The narrator did a fabulous job. The slight Scottish accent was great and it could even make the F word sound charming. The Scots was a little broader for some of the characters, but nothing that I ever had a hard time understanding. The only time the narration fell a little short for me was when she was trying for a Spanish accent. The mix of Scottish and Spanish didn't really work, but it wasn't awful either.

For me, 16 hours of audiobook is a lot. Yes, I've listened to Outlander, which is much longer, but Outlander is a story I already know. It took me almost 2 months to finish the audio of Killing the Shadows as I don't usually have much time to listen. I will read another Val McDermid book but won't do another audio unless I know I'll have time to finish it quicker. The lower rating is more my fault than the book's fault...after 2 months I was just ready for it to be over. However, if you enjoy a good mystery and have time for a longer audio, give this one a try. 3.5 stars


Cindy said...

Sounds pretty interesting, great review :)

Cathy said...

Val McDermid is one of my favorite authors. I'd suggest A Place of Execution--it's EXCELLENT!

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love books like this, and the Scottish accents on audio work for me! I do know how you feel, having survived (short of a few discs) four Outlander audios. The story couldn't be any better, but holy Toledo, I need nice long breaks after each one. They just wear my butt out! The good thing is that nothing intimidates me any more, after this book, which is 39, and the next one which is around 47.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I really enjoy audio book thrillers. This one sounds good; thanks

ANovelMenagerie said...

Totally off the topic, but I love your shoes logo. Very cute!

I'm not into thrillers... so, I just avoid them entirely. Although "The Prosecution Rests" was a semi-thriller book and I liked that. I also liked "Cradle and All" by Patterson. So, I guess I'm a semi-liker!

I love how you have your challenges update on your sidebar.


Melissa said...

Cathy: Thanks for the recommend. I want to read or listen to another one of so I'll give that one a try.

Sheri: If I didn't have my challenge updates on the side bar I would be completely lost!