Anyway, to continue the dark thriller reading recs this week, I have to recommend Cody McFadyen's debut from 2006, Shadow Man. This first in the series introduced readers to Smoky Barrett, a tough Fed with a dark past.
I thought that I might have reviewed this one for bookbitch.com, but alas it was before my reviewing days. I do know that I wrote something on it for the bookseller newsletter back then, but I don't have that anymore. Shoulda kept it!
I'd met with our sales rep on this one. Someone, I forget exactly who, had put me in touch with her and although they typically did not visit the big boxes, she was trying to get booksellers more acquainted with the upcoming titles on their list. She brought masses of ARCs to the store for us. And as the fiction lead, I got to meet with her. I loved it. At one point, when she retired, she recommended me for an interview. Ah. That would have been super cool. A lot of publishers are sort of downsizing this kind of position these days, and I find that really sad. She was enthusiastic about their titles and recommended them to me, which of course got me excited, and then translated to my telling customers about these upcoming books. Yeah. I've said it all before.
Here's a bit about the book from the publisher:
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.
For more on Shadow Man, including an excerpt, visit the official Random House page here.
Not only did I love this book, but McFadyen continues to up the bar with each new installment to the series. Shadow Man is followed by The Face of Death, The Darker Side, and Abandoned.