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The Chameleon’s Shadow

How could he forget eight weeks of his life? How could thirty hours have turned into eternity? Why had the nurse said his wires were crossed? What was wrong with him?


When Lieutenant Charles Acland is flown home from Iraq with serious head injuries, he faces not only permanent disfigurement but also an apparent change to his previously outgoing personality.


Crippled by migraines and suspicions of his psychiatrist, he begins to display sporadic bouts of aggression, particularly against women, and especially his ex-fiancée, who seems unable to accept that the relationship is over.


After his injuries prevent his return to the army, he cuts all ties with his former life and moves to London. Alone and unmonitored, he sinks into a private world of guilt and paranoid distrust…until a customer annoys him in a Bermondsey pub…


Out of control and only prevented from killing the man by the intervention of a 250 pound female weightlifter called Jackson, he attracts the attention of police who are investigating three ‘gay’ murders in the Bermondsey area which seems to have been motivated by extreme rage…


Under suspicion, Acland is forced to confront the real issues behind his isolation. How much control does he have over the dark side of his personality? Do his migraines contribute to his rage? Has he always been the duplicitous chameleon that his ex-fiancée claims?


And why – if he hates women – does he look to a woman for help?


“A gripping crime tale…Walters leads us to the answer with her usual disturbing ability to look into damaged minds.” The Times


“Walters does so much more than produce tense crime thrillers.  She confronts the social issues of the day, many of them sensitve and some of them distasteful…This is another page-turner from Minette Walters and another novel which will deservedly take its place on the bestseller list.”  Sunday Express


“A disturbing and fascinating thriller.”  The Spectator

fictional one.  If you want to lose yourself in a book this weekend, buy this and find a quiet corner to devour it in.  You won’t regret it.”  Evening Telegraph


“Walters has clearly done her homework.  Characters and behaviour feel so real, you can imagine them operating in the real world, not just their well-drawn


“Engrossing thriller.”  Belfast Telegraph


“Minette Walters is one of those rare commodities: a highly successful female crime writer who also happens to be British…The Chameleon’s Shadow builds tempo steadily throughout and – with its insights into psychology, double lives and supporting characters including a female weight-lifting lesbian doctor – it is certainly original.”  Daily Express


“No wonder she is the country’s bestselling female crime writer.  But even this label does not exactly do justice to the scope and breadth of her gripping, terrifying novels.  The Chameleon’s Shadow is another classic.”  The Mirror


“A remarkable, almost hypnotic, book which pulls off the incredible trick of making the reader care for disturbed and on the surface highly dislikeable people.  To do this takes rare skill.”  Mike Ripley


“Another intelligent, smoothly plotted novel from one of our most interesting crime writers.”  Susanna Yager


“ Disturbing, Horrifying, brutal – in other words, Walters at her best”

The Chameleon’s Shadow is a unique examination of contemporary dysfunction and identity that deserves serious consideration as one of the finest fictional treatments of war’s devastating psychological impact since Pat Barker’sRegeneration trilogy.” Both review above from Good Reading, Guy Mosel


“A thrilling thriller to write home about…You are literally on the edge of your seat, page, turning, breathlessly, following every clever move, every strategy which will bring you closer to the resolution”

“You won’t be disappointed”

Both reviews above from Ballarat Courier, Nina Valentine


“What more can you want from a crime novel?” Sunday Star Times, Tina Shaw


“Highly recommended” South Coast Register, Barbara Farrelly


“Compelling” Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin 

“Mesmerising” Illawarra Mercury, Jean Ferguson


 “A dark brilliant tale…Deliciously, Suspenseful, richly honeycombed with offbeat characters – a joy to read”

Australian Women’s Weekly

“Shadow is a dark and complex thriller” Western Advocate


“Full of red herrings, psychological insights and thought-provoking reflections on world events, this is another intriguing addition to Walters’ impressive oeuvre of psychological crime thrillers” Canberra TimesJeff Popple


“one you wont be able to put down” Townsville Bulletin, Mary Vernon


“An intriguing set-up, admirably tense and thought-provoking.”  Daily Mail


“The plot is marvellously structured, and the two principals a joy”. The Scotsman

“Ms Walters has again written a gripping and suspensful novel” Gloria Feit Mystery Women

US Reviews:

“Solid plotting, superb characterization, and fascinating information on traumatic brain injuries make this compelling thriller a sure winner.”  Booklist, Starred Review

“Acland, whose torment is so piercing he might be a holdover from Walters’s last outing in Iraq (The Devil’s Feather, 2006).  Forget the tangled mystery. The dance of death between Acland and his ex-lover is harrowing.”  Kirkus

“That’s the narrative fuse Edgar-winner Walters (The Devil’s Feather) lights to ignite this sizzling psychological thriller. She skillfully interweaves strands of Acland’s story.”  Publishers Weekly

“Strongly recommended for all fiction collections.” Devon Thomas, Library Journal

“[Minette Walters] is now England’s best-selling female crime writer…The seasoned Walters fan may well figure out the solution to the mystery in good time, but the central appeal of the book lies in its deception of the strange relationship between Jackson and Acland.” Mystery Scene

“In The Chameleon’s Shadow, Walters, always an astute psychologist, expertly chronicles an England tourists seldom see as her characters teeter on its edge, both physically and emotionally. A scalding, gripping read not for the squeamish.” Betty Webb, Mystery Scene

“This is the first of Walters’ 13 novels I’ve read, and I’m definitely a new fan.” Laura Hutchison, The Free Lance-Star

“Loyal Minette Walters fans who groove on just this kind of psychological study will no doubt be thrilled with her latest offering.” Verna Suit,

“One of the greats, Walters always finds interesting new directions to explore.” Rocky Mountain News

“She indulges readers with her control, her daring and her imaginative forays into new ways of spinning psychological suspense.” The Arizona Republic

“This multilayered story by England’s best-selling female crime writer blends current events, the politics of sexual relationships and the development of personal identity into a psychologically compelling novel.” USA Today

“A slowly unfolding tale of pain, deception and possible redemption.” Cleveland Plain Dealer

“She won’t tell us until the end, and when she does, the revelations are as astounding as they are logical yet unexpected.” Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The Chameleon’s Shadow is an interesting experiment…more intriguing than a conventional mystery.” The Columbus Dispatch

“This is a well-written mystery with logical, carefully planted clues, but the real pleasure is watching Walters delicately autopsy the mind of this traumatised soldier. Recommended for those who enjoy psychological suspense.” Deadly Pleasures

“A twisting, psychological study that makes a reader think beyond the book to the real casualties of war.” Santa Cruz Sentinel

“Walters creates a flawed yet sympathetic protagonist that readers will be drawn to. There are enough twists and turns to keep most readers happy and the author certainly knows how to ratchet up the suspense from page to page and chapter to chapter. Minette Walters is a skilled storyteller. I look forward to each of her books. I think the Chameleon’s Shadow would make a compelling movie.”  Cherie Jung,