Killing the Shadows by Val McDermid

Val McDermid is an author who was born and educated on the east coast of Scotland and then attended Oxford University. Upon leaving university, she became a journalist.  She and her cats now live in Manchester, England.  Her first book, Report for Murder was published in 1987 and since then she has gone on to have 25 more books published.  I normally really enjoy Val McDermid’s books, however, to my mind, this is not one of her best.


In this novel, a killer is on the loose, and his prey is the crime writers who have turned psychological profilers into heroes in their books. This killer has a blood lust that shatters all the conventional wisdom of how serial killers operate.  For one woman, the desperate hunt to uncover his identity becomes a matter of life and death when the case comes to the attention of Professor Fiona Cameron who is an academic psychologist. She uses computer technology to track serial offenders. Cameron used to help the police, but vowed never to work with them again when they went against her advice in an investigation.

She is still cross about that experience and is working on a case in Spain when her life partner, Kit Martin, tells her a fellow crime novelist has been murdered.  Fiona cannot help taking an interest. The killer strikes again.  At this point Fiona finds herself caught in a race against time for both personal and professional redemption.


I felt this book full of unnecessary details. Also, I did not much like idea that someone was killing crime writers supposedly because they stole their ideas. I did not find the main character easy to empathise with either. As well as all this, the experts were slow to agree that a serial killer was at work. It was not really very threatening threatening. The murders seemed unreal, even the ones that sounded like they would d be really upsetting. I found it hard to  the book.  Having said all that, if you enjoy Val McDermid thrillers: give it a try.

Other books by Val McDermid is reviewed on this site.…y-val- mcdermid/ ‎and also…y-val-mcdermid/ ‎



  1. Reblogged this on wkwriters.


  2. Reblogged this on sylviasanders51's Blog and commented:
    I really liked this book.



  1. Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid | Valerie Penny's Book Reviews

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