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Shadow Season: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 27, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In Piccirilli's brooding, character-driven chiller, former New York City cop Finn, recently blinded, wallows in his new role as an English teacher at a posh girls' boarding school. A storm looms as Finn and a skeleton staff remain to supervise a handful of girls staying at the school during winter break. Piccirilli (The Fever Kill) harps on his theme of isolation with palpable glee as Finn, surrounded by self-absorbed adolescents and mysterious, brutally violent attackers roaming the campus, grapples with blindness amid a sonar-dulling snowstorm in a remote area with no cellphone service. Terrified of solitude and driven by his cop instincts, Finn embarks on a wrenching journey that exposes the raw emotion of a man nearly destroyed by disability and circumstance. (Nov.)
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Review

“One of the most chilling thrillers of the year. Shadow Season is an intriguing story of isolation and violence with a haunted man at its center….Piccirilli uses Shadow Season’s unusual setting to ratchet up the tension, telling a story that is simple, but nevertheless very suspenseful. He also does a convincing job of portraying the life of a man who can’t see, adding a unique and inviting twist to what is already an exciting plot.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“In Piccirilli's brooding, character-driven chiller, former New York City cop Finn, recently blinded, wallows in his new role as an English teacher at a posh girls' boarding school….Terrified of solitude and driven by his cop instincts, Finn embarks on a wrenching journey that exposes the raw emotion of a man nearly destroyed by disability and circumstance.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
Shadow Season has enough mystery, suspense, dread, and mayhem to satisfy nearly every crime fan....The blizzard ratchets up tension, as does our eagerness to learn why Finn wants to kill Ray….Terrific entertainment.”—Booklist
 
Shadow Season is a brilliantly paced thriller, and the first book in a long time that I've stayed up all night reading….In the world Piccirilli has created, darkness takes many forms, both real and metaphorical. Make sure you have a bright reading lamp on your bedside table...you'll need it.”—Crimespree Magazine
 
Shadow Season is a beautifully written thriller filled with heart and wit, sharp dialogue and characters you utterly believe in. A great ride.”—Robert Ferrigno, author of Heart of the Assassin
 
"Reading Shadow Season is like being put through an emotional wringer.  Visceral.  Savage.  Intense.  Powerful.  Finn is a fascinating character...I can't think of another in recent memory with such a multi-faceted personality or more compelling mix of gut-level feelings."--Bill Pronzini, MWA Grandmaster
 
"Tom Piccirilli is at the forefront of the new breed of crime writers, welding his sense of history to a modern sensibility, creating a strong new voice."--Max Allan Collins, author of Road to Perdition
 
“This is an intense thriller not for sissies….You will appreciate the portrayal of the main character Finn’s so-called disability, which really isn’t one given the way he knows how to utilize it. The entire plot never lets the reader take a breath and never lets up on the gut-wrenching emotional safari into Finn’s world of blackness. The dialogue, plot and the multi-layered character reveals itself to you with hammer blows page after page. Highly recommended for thriller fans who appreciate a quality read.”—The Coloradoan
 
“The book rockets along. This is an 'anyone can die at any time' thriller, and if you think you've figured out what's going on before it's all over, well, you're better at figuring than I am....Piccirilli's been establishing quite a nice reputation for himself, and this book will only add to that. Check it out.”—Bill Crider
 
Shadow Season is Tom Piccirilli at his absolute best. It is an erotically charged and brutally violent novel that will please not only his fans, but should delight anyone who enjoys intelligently written, high octane thrillers.  Shadow Season is highly recommended.”—Horror World
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Original edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553592475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553592474
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller...the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction...a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on October 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A former NYPD cop Finn teaches literature at the prestigious Upstate New York St. Valarian's Academy for Girls. Finn finds it ironic that his students wonder how he keeps his collection of books so brand new conceding how easy it is to maintain a pristine collection when you are blind. He has a relationship with Roz the nurse and muses over the crushes his students have on him except for Vi who he and the dean Judith worry about; he also wonders about his former wife Danielle.

Christmas empties the school leaving a few loners with no place to go behind. A blizzard further isolates those still at the academy including Finn. However, the nurse and a student seem to have vanished. Almost immediately afterward, two thugs arrive demanding Finn pay his debt or else. As he fears for those trapped inside the school, he thinks of his detective partner Ray and how many ways he would relish killing him, but for now must somehow deal with the "ill will" of a killer leaving dead students and faculty in his or her wake.

This is an exciting action-packed thriller that hooks the audience from the moment Finn begins his musing and never slows down as the readers wonders why someone is mass murdering those trapped at the school. The story line is fast-paced once the characters are set and never slows down until the anticipated final confrontation with the ill wind and the academy's champion, a sort of good vs. evil battle on a small scale. SHADOW SEASON is an engaging tense tale as Tom Piccirilli provides a superb suspenseful story.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K.A. on August 6, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tom Piccirilli drags you out into the darkness, out into the cold, and then leaves you to find your way home with nothing more than courage. This tale is made for winter--made for a late night's reading. Chances are--you'll finish this slim book in a sitting (minus a trip to the teapot). Told entirely from the POV of a blind cop-turned-teacher, Pic shows that there are no limits to what he can do with words. It's cold. It's isolated. It's claustrophobic. Step into the darkness...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on May 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It's not every author who can write a book in which 99% of it takes place in a single day, and still hold the reader's interest. Piccarilli has done just that with 'Shadow Season'. Meet Finn, a blind ex-cop now literature professor in a small town girl's school called St. Val's. Buried deep in rural hill country, the upper-echelon school girls mingle with the "Hollar folk" who populate the woods surrounding the tiny town. It's Christmas break, and most of the girl's have left the school for home vacations, but a few stay behind; including Violet, a young woman who has a rumored scandal with Finn. Finn has a thing with Roz, the school's nurse, who came with him to St. Vals and comes from his mysterious past with him.

Finn is blind, from a mysterious accident during his days on the force. 'Shadow Season' has you unfolding pages at a rapid pace just to find out Finn's past and why he's blind ... but that's only one reason for page turning.

As the day unfolds into a day of terror piled upon current events and past musings, the pieces will try to fall into place as Finn must put two and two together. How much of it is now and how much is the past? The catalyst is a strange, wounded hollar girl showing up in the snow as Finn makes his way through the raging blizzard. Her name is Harley Moon, and she issues dire warning to Finn, but her words are buried in riddles. Then the book really picks up the pace.

'Shadow Season' is a dark, mysterious read that has you turning pages rapidly, needing to find out more about Finn and the circumstances of the school, the girls, and the staff; and how all will correlate with his past. Chapters alternating between past and present tease you into continuing to read through the night.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Edward V. on July 27, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You know anything from Tom Piccirilli is going to be a good read and this is no different. It's about an ex-cop named Finn who now teaches at an exclusive school for girls. Interspersed through the narretive is the backstory of the conflict between him and his old partner Ray. His past and present are about to collide in a bloody way.

Part one of Shadow Season starts a little slow without much action. Once you get to part two though the suspense really starts to build. By part three you are rocketing toward the deadly ending. Piccirilli is a fantastic storyteller and one of the top suspense writers around. Shadow Season will have you reading the last half of the book in one sitting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne C. Rogers on March 6, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Shadow Season is a taut, slow-burning thriller that's been written for the pure enjoyment of the reader, and Tom Piccirilli is just the author who can do it and make the whole process look effortless.

The lead character in this novel is Finn, a former NYPD officer who discovered that his partner and best friend was on the take with the New York City mob. To make matters worse, the discovery of his partner's crime led to the murder of Finn's wife and to his own attempt at suicide, which leaves the honest cop blind and unable to continue with his career in law enforcement. Finn has now moved on to teaching and works at a private, upstate school for the daughters of extremely wealthy families. This Christmas, when most of the faculty and students have gone home for the holidays, Finn will find himself dealing with a blinding snowstorm (no pun intended)that cuts the school off from the rest of the world. There's no way out and no cell phone service. Through the falling snow are coming two vicious killers who think Finn has cheated them out of drug money. Finn, however, knows nothing about them or why they're so intent on getting to him. Before the ultimate confrontation with our blind school teacher, the two men will enjoy themselves with a little rape and murder of those closest to him, invoking within this soul-searching character a hate-filled rage he hasn't experienced in years. Needless to say, before the snowstorm is over, Finn will have to use his special skills with a knife to save himself and those still alive at the school, and this is something he's actually looking forward to!

Tom Piccirilli is always at his best when writing about the lone wolf who has to kill in order to survive against odds no Las Vegas bookie would even think of taking.
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