The Shadow Man is a thriller set in Edinburgh. We are introduced to Dr Connie Woodwine, an American forensic psychologist and crime profiler. She’s been asked to work with DI Brodie Baarda on a kidnapping case. Connie is also interested in a recent murder case, and she adds her own unusual investigation methods into the mix.
When more kidnappings occur, the pressure to solve the case shifts gears; Connie offers a theory which seems bizarre, and which she just has to prove before time runs out for the victims.
I liked Connie, with her flaws and her brazen personality; she acted unexpectedly and it worked well with the story. The narrative goes back and forth between the police investigation and the kidnapped characters. Some of these parts were particularly brutal, but no more so than what has come to be expected in this genre of fiction. The story moves at a good pace, and the build up to the ending had a twist which I hadn’t seen coming.
This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I am still able to say that I can happily recommend her to readers of police crime fiction, or those who like books set in Edinburgh and who don’t mind a bit of gruesome content.
Brogan McLane, a young man who had a rough start to life has turned his life around and is now a Member of the Faculty of Advocates in the Scottish Supreme Court, he became a lawyer. He had a beautiful wife that he loved very much, a very good, long time friend who was on the wrong side of the law, but he would do anything for, and a career that he was very proud of. Until everything went wrong. A judge was murdered and Brogan McLane has been arrested for the murder.
Judge Aldounhill, a man who is power hungry, and a has a lot of secrets, is murdered in his home late at night after a rather sketchy party. He is a judge who got his position by telling his friends that if they put his name in to be judge, he would do the same for them in the next go round. However, he never helped anyone else out but himself. He made a lot of enemies by being a man who lied, cheated, and did what he could to get further in life in an unorthodox way.
Big Joe Malarky, a man who has been arrested a few times, but nothing has ever stuck. He is a big man who has a lot of loyal friends. His son is arrested and convicted of a crime he did not commit. Wee Joe Malarky will pay the price that his father has never had to pay. He is sentenced and put in jail with no luck of parole or appeal for the conviction. Big Joe’s wife is beside herself when they receive the second letter telling them that their son will not be able to appeal.
This story was very well written and really drew me in. As I read it, I wanted to know more of the story and couldn’t wait to find out the truth of the murder. The characters were very well developed and made me want to scream at some and shake the hands of others. The story has a lot of twists, detail and the connections to crimes and convictions is well hidden and developed.
I give this story a 5 star review. I look forward to reading more of this series and more from Mr. Mayers. Great job!
An urban legal/crime novel set in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh. Part I of The Parliament House book series
When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.
When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?
Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.
Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.
But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House.
John Mayer would love to be a top-flight blues guitar player and have dated Jennifer Aniston. But what he did achieve, amongst other things was to be a 1970s Indie Record Producer before becoming a top-flight Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland where he specialised in international child abduction: rescuing the children, not abducting them, of course.
In his youth, John was shot! Twice! Once in Glasgow, Scotland and once in New York City. John attacks everything he does with passion. And that’s what he brings to his writing.
Perfect Remains is book #1 of the DI Callanach police crime thriller series, set in Edinburgh. I discovered this book and author after reading an article in The Basingstoke Gazette, one of my local papers.
The story opens with a gruesome sacrifice of a woman’s body in a bothy up in the Cairngorm Mountains. Local police believe the body might be that of Elaine Buxton, a missing city lawyer. Detective Inspector Luc Callanach is a recent transfer to Scotland’s Police from Interpol. His arrival has met with some hostility amongst the ranks.
A second woman’s body is found; again, that of a professional woman. Once again, the killer leaves an almost unidentifiable body. With few clues, Callanach is forced to accept help from Professor Harris, a character profiler. However, Callanach feels that Harris distracts the team from the real hunt for the killer.
The murderer leaves only clues he wants the police to follow, but his treatment of the victims becomes erratic as the net closes in.
The storyline flowed well, with plenty of red herrings and plot twists, and a hint of potential romance. DI Callanach was a clichéd flawed detective with baggage to deal with, and the Scottish setting for police crime dramas is a bit hackneyed; however, the book did have me reading long into the night. Callanach’s background is dripfed to the reader, which I liked, and it brought up a few welcome surprises. I enjoyed DI Ava Turner’s character, too; her straight-talking dialogue was fun and refreshing.
I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys police crime books, or those who like a Scottish setting for a book and are happy to read about gruesome murders! I must just add that, unlike most police procedurals, in this story the reader discovers early on who the killer is, and the storyline centres around how the police finally get their man – I know for some people the ‘whodunnit’ aspect is all important, so I think this needs mentioning.
On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.
In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.
Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.
It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
About the author
Helen Fields lives in North Waltham, Hampshire. Helen has been a barrister and drew on her experience when writing. Perfect remains is the first book in this three book detective series, with book two due out in the summer of 2017. Helen has revealed that the TV rights for this series have already been sold to a big TV company.