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Monday, June 30, 2008

The Chameleon's Shadow

Walters, Minette. The Chameleon's Shadow.

6 words: Psychological thriller. Jekyll/Hyde protagonist. Suspenseful.

Horribly disfigured by an injury in Iraq, Charles Acland has sustained head injuries that may have produced brain damage. Physical injuries aside, Acland is most certainly dealing with emotional damage, and Dr. Willis, his psychiatrist, is concerned about his volatile temper and anger towards women. Walters has an uncanny ability to create fascinating psychiatric profiles, and this novel is another example of her ability to get inside the heads of disturbed individuals.

I am a fan of Minette Walters and enjoyed this novel very much. As usual, she includes newspaper clippings, pages from reports, extracts from the psychiatrist's notes, and emails, etc. for verisimilitude. There are some plot twists that seem unlikely toward the end, but I found the novel highly entertaining.

Fiction. Psychological thriller/mystery. 2007. 370 pages.


  1. Walters came up in an interesting radio discussion yesterday about series crime novels. The point that was being made was that she is not as widely read as some authors because she doesn't have a detective that readers can become attached to. I can see the point, but readers don't know what they're missing. I think she's excellent.

  2. I haven't read any books by Walters yet, I hadn't even heard of her until recently. But her books do sound very good. Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm a big fan of Walters too although her last couple of books haven't wowed me as much - have you noticed that? I'll give this one a try though because well I can't resist her books! :)

  4. Ann - I do enjoy series with the same characters, but Walters' style doesn't fit that mold, and I also enjoy having the fresh slate of characters she introduces each time. We will just have to keep championing her cause, Ann, in hopes of sharing her particular style of mystery!

    Nicola - Walters is denser, darker, and more psychological than most mystery writers, but she keeps you on your toes!

    iliana - This one had a few little hiccups for me, but like you, I can't resist her books!

  5. You always make the books you review sound so interesting! I'm picking this one up next time I'm at the library.

  6. Jenny - Walters does the psychological thriller exceptionally well. All of her books are dark, but they are riveting!