By Ken Tucker
June 16, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Shadow Man

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FBI agent Smoky Barrett, whose husband and child were brutally killed months earlier, faces a new foe — her ”shadow man” — who starts murdering more people around her. In a thriller that mixes Michael Connelly-style procedural details with gore that’s Thomas Harris ornate, Smoky doesn’t just get inside the thought processes of the killer, she takes ”the dark train,” which, she says, is ”simply where I remove the killer’s mask in my mind.” Smoky even pledges fealty to her big pistol: ”My hand and a gun. We’re married again.” Cody McFadyen musters up some suspense when the prose isn’t so purple, but most of the time Shadow Man is as deep violet as a bad bruise.

Shadow Man

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