Title: Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett #1)
Author: Cody McFadyen
# pages: 396 pages
Date read: January 2017
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 killer's next victim.
Brilliant page-turner that made short work of the long commutes I had between Denmark and Sweden last week.
I'm very taken with crime shows like CSI, Criminal minds etc. and apparently that translates to books as well. I was instantly taken with Smoky and the rest of her team, and enjoyed reading about all the work that has to be done in order to investigate crime scenes, follow up on leads, analyse evidence etc. The crimes themselves were horrid and gruesome, but while absolutely fascinating, the book itself wasn't as scary as I'd thought it might have been... still very difficult to put down, however.
Very well written, and most of the time well translated as well, so mentally correcting the translator didn't constantly pull me out of the story - I mostly completely forgot I was reading a book in translation. There were two very obvious exceptions though, with some glaring mistakes that really ought to have been caught by the editor or proof-reader:
First the translator obviously didn't know the two meanings of "to start", meaning that "Smoky started and..." was translated with "Smoky began and..." instead of "Smoky was startled and..." - making for a rather confusing sentence until I puzzled it out.
At another point, Smoky and her best friend were described as having been each others' "ladies in waiting"... I'm pretty sure the original text said "maids [of honour]" instead.
Fairly minor issues though, and in the end didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. And for once I wasn't too disappointed by the way the unsub was finally caught... in this case, it seemed like the only way it really could end.