Friday, 21 March 2014

Hunting Shadows by Sheila Bugler

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter (

What we thought : A wonderful book by a talented author. It opens with a child's abduction, sensitively handled, and cleverly seen from the viewpoint of both the abductor and abductee. Handling a variety of characters, POVs and voices is no mean feat for a writer, but soon I found I hardly noticed the writing - and that is meant as a compliment. When the change in style from six-year-old girl to a mentally disturbed young man passes without a single question about the authenticity of voice or believability of character - then you know you're in safe hands.

Hunting Shadows is the first book in a series, and here we are introduced to DI Ellen Kelly, recently back in the force following the death of her husband and a painful history of recrimination. Ellen is a complex, well-rounded and instantly likeable character whom the author handles with skill. Ellen's Irish roots shine through (no doubt aided by the author's own Irish background) and it's not long into the book before her whole family and history feel as at home to us as our own.

The plot and pace is handled superbly, clever twists and turns lead us one way and then the next, resulting in a terrifying page-turning conclusion that left me gripped.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, Ken Bruin.

Avoid if you don’t like : Troubled detectives, murder and dark secrets.

Ideal accompaniments : A nice bottle of Rioja.

Genre : Crime, Noir

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