Cover Image: The Shadow Man

The Shadow Man

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The Shadow Man is the first stand alone novel by Helen Fields. Narrated  by Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron, The Shadow Man is a fantastic blend of suspense, police investigation and psychiatric profiling.  In Edinburgh women are being abducted and women are dying, then a child is abducted and finally a wheelchair bound man. But who is taking these people and why?

This is real edge of the seat stuff, absolutely addictive and once started, almost impossible to put down before the end. I found it exciting, gruesome at times and  I enjoyed it so much that I will be looking forward to Helen Fields' next novel with bated breath.
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My thanks to Netgalley for my audio copy of The Shadow Man. This was one of the most psychologically chilling and creepy book ever. I think this effect was maximised by the brilliant narrator.
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Helen Fields has created a real monster of a serial killer in this novel.  This was the first book that I have read by Helen Fields. But I enjoyed it and her writing style. I will have to get another book by this author.
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My favourite book so far this year! It ticked all the strong female lead boxes for me with a forensic psychologist named Connie who's personality has been forged through personal loss and another strong female is brought to the fore with one of the kidnap victims who is young but believably fierce for a long time. Connie is teamed up with Detective Barda which is an uneasy alliance for much of the book but the tension is perfectly worked throughout. I listened to an audio version and my audio books usually keep me company while I bake so I kept looking for excuses to make things so I could listen to more of this novel. The narration is splendid and helps the book come alive in a way that made me want to look over my shoulder more than once....just in case the Shadow Man was watching and had decided I was a perfect specimen for his needs.
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Honestly, I don't know if I liked this book or not. The storyline itself was good. Where it really fell flat for me was the dialogue. Connie was every American cliche rolled into one dysfunctional human being. "Get this rushed through the police labs. And I mean rushed like fast food, not rushed like new legislation." Good grief, does anyone talk like this? Combine this with the way the narrator chose to perform her voice grated on my nerves from the moment Connie was introduced. It had the feel of the "Matchup" stories where two writers come together to write a story that pairs up the authors' famous protagonists. Sometimes it works and sometimes if feels forced. This pairing felt forced. I have a feeling that the narration really soured me on Connie, so I am giving this book the benefit of the doubt. So I'm giving this book 3 stars, my average rating, because the story was well-written and held my interest even though I had a hard time getting past the dialogue and narration of Connie.
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I originally started reading this and was hooked, I then switched to audio (probably not my best move) because I did not enjoy the narrator’s very much and I believe that has affected my enjoyment of this book. 

However, this was an interesting thriller and being set in Edinburgh is just great! My home town. This is my first read/listen by this author and I’m excited to explore more from her... just not in audio. 

Perfect for readers who enjoy thriller, crime and mystery

Also,  issues always seem to occur with audio books on NetGalley. They just randomly stop for no reason at all and it happens quite a few times!
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EXCERPT: A sleeping woman watched over by the stranger who had hidden for hours in the shadowed bay of her bedroom curtains. That's all there was to the scene. He was a spider, patient and unmoving, poised to drop and stun his prey. There was no malice to it, only need.

ABOUT 'THE SHADOW MAN': He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

And he’s watching.

MY THOUGHTS: Chilling and creepy! I did a read/listen of The Shadow Man and even the voice of the Shadow Man gave me goosebumps!

I had never heard of Cotard's Syndrome or Walking Corpse Syndrome which is a rare mental disorder in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs. One of the consequences of Cotard's syndrome is self-starvation because if you're dead, you don't need to eat. And this is what our 'Shadow Man' suffers from.

Fields has written a gripping story which is told from the perspective of The Shadow Man, his abductees, and American Forensic Psychologist Connie Woolwine who is working with Detective Baarda to find Elspeth. Even though we know from the outset who the Shadow Man is, Fields keeps the tension ramped up and the pace frantic as Baarda and Connie try to piece together what is happening, often clashing in their views.

There's a lot of really crazy stuff going on in this book, but nothing that is going to require the reader to suspend belief.

If you are looking for a fast paced, exciting chiller-thriller, this is it!


#TheShadowMan #NetGalley #helenfields @Helen_Fields
#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #psychologicalthriller #suspense

THE AUTHOR: Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. She currently commutes between West Sussex, Scotland and California. She lives with her husband and three children.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books UK for providing me with both a digital ARC and an audiobook of The Shadow Man written by Helen Fields, narrated by Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron, for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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WoW, ...........WoW...........what a Book The Shadow Man by Helen Fields was.......I had the book from netgalley, then
I was lucky to get the audioBook to listen to......This was just brilliant.. 
The Narrators were: Robin Laing, Cathleen McCarron and they were perfect for this new book by Helen. I was hooked from the very beginning and till the end. Helen Fields has created a great serial killer in this novel who was a true monster in every part and this book is not for the faint hearted, So be warned!.

I highly recommend this book a dn was a cracking read and great to listen to as well. I can't recommend it enough! Just Brilliant!!! 

I loved the cover to this book and was perfect...........

Big thank you to HarperCollins UK Audio, Avon books  UK and NetGalley for my copy to read and review.
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Connie is an American forensic psychologist who only sees things in black and white (literally!)  She is partnered with DS Brodie Baarda to look into the disappearance of a young woman in Edinburgh.  

This is a very dark book with a fair bit of gore, and as I listened my blood ran cold.  The Shadow Man is so scary .  His sick both mentally and physically and Ms Field's descriptions of his made my flesh creep.  The book starts fairly slowly and I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it, but about 25% in it really took off and I couldn't stop listening.  The climax was truly intense and scary.

Connie is a brilliant, interesting character.  She is a brash American with a unique way of working, and is the perfect foil to Baarda who is more restrained.  I loved Connie's back story which helped me to understand her.  At the moment this book is a standalone, but I'd love to meet Connie and Baarda again.

The narration by Cathleen McCarron and Robin Laing was superb.
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Rating: 3 🍷 🍷 🍷
Book 🎧: The Shadow Man 
Author: Helen Fields
Genre: General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers
Release Date: Available Now!!! Released on February 4, 2021

Sipping Synopsis: Skinny, skeletal, and weird looking are just some ways people describe him. But one thing they don’t know is that this man is abducting people. It seems as there is no rhyme or reason as to why he is taking these people but in his deranged mine he has a plan. Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier all hope that they can figure out why they were taken and better yet how to escape. 

Final sipping thoughts: I enjoyed this book well enough. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. I thought the plot was pretty original and different enough that it would be a great read. It fell a little short for me and was too wordy in a lot of places. I listened to the audio version of it and when the female character read, I tuned out on certain parts no matter how hard I tried. The Shadow Man’s voice was so creepy and really made me feel how sick he was. I did love the psychology aspect behind it and actually learned a lot too. I think I will try another Helen Fields book after this. 

Cheers and thank you to @NetGalley, @HarperCollinsUkAudio and @Avon for an advanced copy of @TheShadowWife

#TheShadowBook #HarperCollinsUkAudio #Avon #NetGalley #advancedreadercopy #ARC #Kindle #Booksofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookstagram #nicoles_bookcellar #bookworm #bookdragon #booknerd #booklover #bookstagrammer #bookaholic #bookreview #bookreviewer #IHaveNoShelfControl #ReadingBetweenTheWines #fiction #thriller #suspense #mystery #MysteryAndThrillers #AdultFiction
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4.58 Stars

Thank you, HarperCollins UK Audio, Helen Fields and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of “The Shadow Man”, narrated by Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron in exchange for an honest review.
The Shadow Man’s release date is today, February 9, 2021 and I am so excited for everyone to read or listen to this book! 

Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron narration was amazing, they were easy to follow, well paced, did a great job distinguishing characters with their voices. I was able to follow the story from beginning to end without getting lost. I can still hear our “serial killer’s” voice – it was more haunting than I could have ever pictured in just my head and I am so thankful to this audiobook for that!

A woman is kidnapped and an FBI profiler is called in to help the local police. Once the investigations ensue, we find out that there is more to this kidnapping and more victims might be involved. All the relationships in this book were amazing – The profiler and the detective, The profiler and the victims, the serial killer and the victims, and the victims with each other. Fields did I wonderful job giving each character layers. Each character had a redeeming quality about them, as well as flaws they embraced. They were, well, human! And that was so refreshing to see.

I want to take a moment and thank Helen Fields for doing to Mental Disorders what Agatha Christie did to poison! I love when an author introduces us to something obscure, but real and does it so with authority. Fields did that!  I finished the book and started researching what she brought to the table!

If I can complain about anything is that this is marketed as a standalone. Can it please be the first in a series, Helen? I need more Connie.

#TheShadowMan #NetGalley
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3.5 stars
I have mixed feelings about this book. The plot was original, with quirky unconventional characters and atmospheric setting, several twists and a strong ending. However, it just seemed too contrived, with author almost trying too hard to  be original - every character was unconventional: the villain, the main policeman, his boss, the psychologist, the pathologist, the  victims... It didn’t make them any more engaging or authentic.
I listened to the audio version and found the female narrator very irritating, with an unpleasant voice. I usually like Helen Fields’ books  but The Shadow Man is my least favourite one.
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Interesting thirller with an original set up. Different points of views: the police, the victims, the perpetrator... Liked the pair policeman/psicological profiler.
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Great narrator. Really read this well. So much so that I was totally engrossed. 
This story was so good that I want to immediately find more by the author, Helen Fields. Slightly creepy, heart wrenching and dark. What’s not to like?
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What a fabulous book. i really connected with the characters.
Great story so brilliantly executed and what an unusual idea. I really loved Connie and her interaction with her very British, stiff-upper-lip, policeman. I can't imagine how Ms Fields comes up with these ideas. A profiler who only sees in black and white - I was in love with the whole thing, with some real gasp, will they make it, edge of my seat moments. Brilliant narration made the story easy to follow
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My thanks to HarperCollins U.K. Audio for a review copy via NetGalley of the unabridged audiobook edition of ‘The Shadow Man’ by Helen Fields in exchange for an honest review. It was narrated by Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron and has a running time of 12 hours, 49 minutes at 1x speed.

I have enjoyed a few of Helen Fields’ series of police procedurals set in Edinburgh featuring DI Callanach. This is a stand-alone crime thriller, also set in Edinburgh. 

Following the disappearance of Elspeth Dunwoody  from an Edinburgh park, Dr. Connie Woolwine, a forensic psychologist from the USA has been asked to consult on the case. She is teamed with D.I. Brodie Baarda, who has been drafted in from London as he had some years experience with the Met’s kidnap unit.  It appears that Elspeth is related to a high tech mogul resulting in a media blackout and an expert like Dr. Connie being brought in.

I won’t say more in order to avoid spoilers but will say that it is a very disturbing case, especially those chapters that feature the ‘Shadow Man’ including his inner thoughts. It proved very hard to put down.

It took me a while to warm to Dr. Connie though it was clear that she was very intelligent and caring about the victims, even if her personality was a bit prickly. There are good reasons for it that emerge. There was also good chemistry between her and Baarda.

Helen Fields uses this opportunity to highlight a rare psychiatric condition and delve deep into the motivations of the Shadow Man.

With respect to the audiobook Robin Laing has served as the narrator for Field’s ‘Perfect’ series of police procedurals featuring DI Callanach. So he has plenty of experience with Fields’ style and his soft Scottish burr is very pleasant to listen to. 

Cathleen McCarron, who voices the chapters focused on Dr. Connie, is a very popular audiobook narrator, who has won a number of awards for her voice acting. I have enjoyed her narration on various titles including this one. The audiobook also contains an exclusive DI Callanach short story. 

Overall, this proved a riveting crime thriller that had me on the edge of my seat anticipating the next shocking revelation. While billed as a stand-alone, Helen Fields has allowed an opening for a sequel or even a series. I certainly would welcome more from this team of unorthodox investigators.
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I listened to the audiobook for which Robin Laing and Cathleen McCarron provided first class narration. Robin's rendition of the villain was truly terrifying. As for the writing - after the first chapter I feared I may never sleep again! It will haunt me for life. As soon as I started reading I asked myself why I haven't read Helen Fields before? I'm so annoyed with myself for this enormous oversight. She's brilliant! On the plus side, I have six books in the DI Callanach series to look forward to! 

This is Fields' first stand-alone novel and proves an excellent introduction to her expert plotting, characterisation and thrilling fast pace. My favourite character was undoubtedly Meggy - a fabulously feisty wee lassie. I absolutely adored her! I also enjoyed DS Overbeck's sharp wit. Forensic Psychologist Connie has an interesting backstory from across the pond. The audiobook includes an exclusive short story at the end. As an unexpected bonus, the book really made me think about what I would do in certain situations so thank you, Helen, for the potentially life-saving advice amidst the thrilling read.
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Let’s talk about how much I love thrillers. It is a lot. And Helen Fields is no exception. I have been so lucky to be able to read all of her books early, and it was awesome to pick up a standalone book from her. I enjoyed this one so much, I am going to be reading all of her books again because I will miss her writing since this was her latest book. 

This was a dark book. I would not suggest this for the faint of heart or those who do not deal with dark topics. This has kidnapping, murder, and mentions of rape. Please be aware of this before picking up this book.

Seeing the POV of the psychologist, Connie, VS the victims and killer were very interesting. You could see both parts of the story connecting, making you wonder what was going to happen next and how it was all going to end up. 

Connie is also not like most people in her field. She has come from America to Scotland, trying to solve the case. She is viewed as an odd American who works in a strange manner to get the job done, making people wonder if she is really okay. She also suffers from a medical condition where she cannot see colors and this alters how she approaches profiling criminals. Seeing who Shadow Man is and his victims is creepy, because I was like, oh no and very nervous. There are some times I was wondering if the evil was going to win, making this book impossible to put down.

This is a strong work from Helen Fields, and I know anyone who enjoys thrillers will want to pick this one up ASAP. Helen Fields is one of the best UK thriller writers I have read to date, and I am eager for more already. She is an automatic read for me, and I think it may be time for a reread of her Perfect Series!

A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC with a request for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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An interesting psychological thriller that is a little different to anything I’ve read/listened to before.

Creepy and eerie and very dark.

Connie is an interesting character that adds a lot to the story however it took me a while to warm to her as a person.. I don’t love her.

A great story
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😱 what a book!! This is a creepy thriller that quite honestly scared the hell out of me! I can see me recommending it to everyone. The Shadow Man is a mystery thriller which follows Connie a forensic psychologist and Detective Baarda who are hunting down a kidnapper who has killed and also taken a woman, a 12 year old girl and a disabled man. They are trying to hunt him down before he kills again. We also follow the perspective of the killer and the victims which made the story so enthralling. I don’t want to get into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil it but I can see this being a super popular thriller. I liked it even more than the Whisper Man. Even more than The Silent Patient.  It is honestly the best thriller I have read in a while and it will stay with me for a long time! I hope this becomes a massive hit because it deserves too. Oh also the audiobook is brilliant. The two narrators really brought it to life. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this arc in return for a honest review
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