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Killing The Shadows


Professor Fiona Cameron is a psychologist who uses computer technology to track serial offenders. She vowed never to work for the Met again after they went against her advice and screwed up an investigation as a result. But when her lover, thriller writer Kit Martin, tells her a fellow crime novelist has been murdered, Fiona can’t help taking an interest.
With the killer striking again Fiona is caught up in a race against time, not only to save a life, but to bring herself redemption, both personal and professional.


Rich in atmosphere, KILLING THE SHADOWS uses the backdrops of city and country to create an air of threatening menace, culminating in a tense confrontation between hunter and hunted, a confrontation that can have only one outcome.



KILLING THE SHADOWS is an absorbing read, and an entertaining showcase for McDermid’s abundant talents. McDermid … is still head and shoulders above pretty much all of the competition.’ The Observer

‘A serial killer is on the loose. His target? Crime novelists. His modus operandi? An appropriately gruesome method they have dreamed up in one of their own novels. Enter Dr Fiona Cameron, an academic psychologist who is developing scientific methods to help the police identify repeat offenders. Having sworn never to work with the Metropolitan Police after they bungled a case by ignoring her advice, she has to think again when the life of her partner, a leading writer of serial-killer thrillers, is threatened. It’s an ingenious device McDermid exploits to the hilt.’ Woman and Home

Thanks to McDermid’s brilliance you’ll still be shouting. “Behind you!” in classic pantomime fashion. ****’ The Mirror

‘ could rank as McDermid’s finest yet crime novel… It was difficult to resist the temptation to skip pages of this brilliantly constructed story as it works up to a hair-raising climax. A high tension novel of psychological suspense from one of Britain’s best crime writers.’ Publishing News – Ottakar’s starred choice

‘Another of our most vibrant mystery authors is Val McDermid, who improves from book to book. Her new thriller KILLING THE SHADOWS is as compelling as her last, A PLACE OF EXECUTION. McDermid has become our leading pathologist of everyday evil, and she both thrills and scares in this tale of celebrity stalking with a difference, in which the new technologies take on a most sinister colouring. The subtle orchestration of terror is masterful, and puts American experts such as the much-overrated Patricia Cornwell to shame.’ Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian

US Reviews

‘Val McDermid delivers a serial-killer thriller that mounts in tension while at them same time making readers aware of their complicity in craving the grisly shocks the genre provides.  It’s a double tracked approach that would derail a lesser writer and make an inferior book choke on its contradictions… McDermid is too sophisticated a writer to preach or condemn… McDermid is a whiz at combining narrative threads… [and] is as smooth a practitioner of crime fiction as anyone out there. There is no one in contemporary crime fiction who has managed to combine the visceral and the humane as well as Val McDermid. KILLING THE SHADOWS is further proof that she’s the best we’ve got.’ New York Times Book Review

‘The novel has a host of memorable new characters, and is fraught with close, careful plotting and jangling surprises.’ Newsday

‘A gripping read with layers of plot complexity, heart-stopping suspense, and guts and gore aplenty.’ Booklist

‘This excellent psychological suspense novel, which incorporates a serial killer, a fascinating combination of forensics and computer data analysis and some quirky, appealing characters, is beautifully crafted… Fast-paced with an exciting denouement, this is one of the best mysteries of the year.’ Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

‘Val McDermid serves up plenty of [gore and menace] in a spicy sauce of suspense and apprehension… a canny, varied and torturous voyage through the busy realms of computers and of the people attached to them.’ Los Angeles Times

‘KILLING THE SHADOWS… is a humdinger of a thriller… [and] is a surprising, fast-paced, suspenseful mystery which should keep most readers turning the pages. The final denouement is extremely exciting. But what is unique is McDermid’s ability to make us think about murder… So far, this is on of the best of the year.’ Deadly Pleasures

‘… a spooky and effective suspense [is created]… there is more than enough tension and action to drive the book.  If you like British mysteries, this complex tale will leave you satisfied and hungry for more of McDermid’s prose.’ Chattanooga Times Free Press

‘It’s always a pleasure to see a smart concept skilfully executed, and …KILLING THE SHADOWS does exactly that. Her plot is as nasty as it is delicious… McDermid … tells this wicked tale with style, intelligence and the blackest of humour.’ Washington Post

‘… this is a compelling, intricately plotted page-turner.’ Library Journal

‘McDermid skilfully alternates point of view and creates memorable scenes and complex characters’ Publishers Weekly

‘Brooding and suspenseful… McDermid spins a deft tale of murder and madness and turns the screws in such a manner as to make the suspense almost excruciating!’ ****1/2 Romantic Times

Canadian Reviews

‘a chilling and compelling novel, and very well written…. KILLING THE SHADOWS is an original suspenseful novel with strong characters and a brilliantly devised plot.’ Andrea Deakin, Canada

‘McDermid is up there with the masters’ The Province, Vancouver