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Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007

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Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett) + The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett) + The Darker Side: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This disturbing serial killer drama set in California marks a promising debut for McFadyen, who combines many conventions of the genre but with far more exquisite, intricate results than the norm. FBI agent Smoky Barrett, a haunted, complicated woman, leads a team of investigators assigned to a serial killer task force. Barrett, who escaped the clutches of a different serial killer a year earlier but lost her husband and daughter in the attack, is now tracking a madman known as "Jack Jr.," who believes he's a descendant of Jack the Ripper. He mauls women, mostly prostitutes with Web sites, then sends the videotapes of the killings to Barrett and her crew. The plot follows a typical arc, complete with some nauseating details and predictable twists. There's also a romance between Barrett and a bodyguard that seems tacked on for future installments. Yet McFadyen's writing is crisp and smart, and his scenes pack a visceral punch without being cheap or exploitative. Barrett, for her part, is a memorable protagonist, a deeply troubled woman trying to move on from tragedy, yet possessing special insight into the criminal mind. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

A serial killer murdered FBI agent Smokey Barrett's husband and daughter. Smokey killed the fiend but was left deeply scarred. Now, after spending time contemplating suicide, Smokey finds herself drawn back into the game . . . by a new killer who has addressed his latest crime to her personally. First-time novelist McFadyen writes like an old pro, acknowledging the conventions of the serial-killer thriller without being slavishly devoted to them. Smokey, the not-quite-five-foot-tall, sharp-shooting FBI agent, is no standard-issue heroine, and her nemesis, the killer who calls himself Jack Jr., is both chilling and strangely compassionate. A series to watch. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Smoky Barrett (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553589938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553589931
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cody McFadyen lives in California. He is the author of The Darker Side, The Face of Death, and Shadow Man, which was an international bestseller.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on June 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Smoky Barret was one of the best serial killer hunters the FBI had, until the day an unspeakable act of violence brought her world crashing down...

With her husband and daughter dead by the hands of a killer that she hunted, Smoky believes she has nothing to live for. Relieved of her duties with the FBI, Smoky is on the verge of suicide, until another act of violence pulls her back into the FBI.

Smoky receives a phone call that one of her best friends has been murdered and the killer has left a message specifically for her. The last thing Smoky needs is to be back in the business that took away everything she loved, but when she hears that her friends daughter, who also happens to be her god-daughter, is in a catatonic state as a result of the horrific ordeal she knows she needs to stop this killer.

As time starts running out and the killer's sick game becomes more brutal, Smoky races to stop a madman before she loses her mind.

'Shadow Man' is the most gruesome, twisted, and scary thriller to come out in a long time. As fast-paced as a book can be, it echoes 'Silence of the Lambs' with a razor-sharp plot, and a killer as ruthless, and terrifying as any in a novel in recent years.

Cody McFadyen has crafted a masterpiece that will rocket up the best-seller lists and establish him as a major new author.

Be warned...this thriller might not be for everyone due to it's sick and graphic killings, but those brave enough to dive in will be rewarded with an amazing, and un-put-downable read.

Do NOT miss this excellent book.

Nick Gonnella
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Cassie W. on June 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Meet FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett. She's 4'10" tall, with dark hair to her waist, and half her face is crosshatched with severely disfiguring scars. Six months ago, a serial killer Smoky was hunting broke into her home, killed her husband and daughter, and raped and tortured her for hours before she was finally able to kill him. Smoky's scars from the trauma are emotional even more than they are physical, so for the last six months she's been on leave, seeing a therapist, trying to decide if she'd rather return to the FBI or put her gun in her mouth.

The decision is made for her when Smoky gets a phone call from one of her coworkers, informing Smoky that her best friend, Annie, has been savagely raped and murdered. And it gets worse: Instead of killing Smoky's goddaughter, Bonnie, the killer tied the girl to her mother's corpse, face to face--and she's still there three days later when the police arrive at the scene, in a near catatonic state. To top it all off, the killer leaves a message at the scene, addressed specifically to Special Agent Smoky Barrett. Only a day ago Smoky was dreaming of suicide; now, she's been thrust back into two roles--mother and FBI agent--and she's not sure she's ready for either one.

But this killer doesn't care about Smoky's emotional state. It doesn't take long for her to realize that she's dealing with a serial killer who's brilliant, twisted, ruthless, charismatic, and beastly all at once, one who somehow knows more about her than she knows about herself, who knows all the secrets she--and the members of her team--have kept hidden for years. He calls himself "Jack Jr." because he believes he's a descendant of Jack the Ripper, and the knowledge that he's being hunted excites him to new levels of violence.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I wish I could tell you more about Cody Mcfadyen. He is married, has a family, lives in California, and is involved in some capacity with a software company. That is about all I know, besides the fact that his first novel is the wildest night ride I have been on for quite a while.

SHADOW MAN is soul-numbing, a stiff-legged march through a five-mile-long frozen food locker with bouncing betties intermittently placed beneath the ice. It has a convincing, badly damaged heroine named Smoky Barrett and a brilliant serial murderer who calls himself "Jack Jr." after Jack The Ripper. Jack Jr. knows everything about Barrett. He is intimately familiar with the incident that caused Barrett, an FBI Special Agent, to take a leave of absence, that left Barrett physically and emotionally scarred and her husband and daughter dead. And he's privy to more details than even Barrett is.

Jack Jr. commits an unspeakable act to get her out of the house and back on the job, and then proceeds to go after her FBI team members in the same manner. Everyone on Barrett's team is very highly motivated to catch this guy, but they can't. He might just be too smart. At first blush, the team members are stereotypical: a nerdy brainiac with an anti-social personality, a gentle black giant with a heart of gold and a terrifying façade, and a gorgeous redhead who is almost, but not quite, Barrett's equal on the team. Forget about the first blush, however, and wait for the second.

Remember those bouncing betties I mentioned earlier? Those are the revelations about Barrett, et al. that will jump off the page and explode in your face. Whether Barrett and company catch Jack Jr. almost takes a back seat to the next hidden truth, past and present, about each team member whom Jack Jr. reveals in dribs and drabs.
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