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THE CHAMELEON'S SHADOW


By Minette Walters

Knopf, January, 2008 ($24.95)
ISBN-10: 0307264637
ISBN-13: 978-0307264633

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

If psychological suspense is your "cup of tea," then curl up with THE CHAMELEON'S SHADOW at your earliest convenience. I can't think of a recent book with a more "ripped from the headlines" feeling. The author brings the brutality of the war in Iraq, and subsequent consequences, to the reader in an achingly haunting tale of a wounded veteran who barely survives an IED explosion and begins the long road back to recovery -- or as much recovery as is possible -- bearing in mind that he will never be "normal" again, either physically or emotionally.

Lt. Charles Ackland is returned to England a damaged man, in more than just his physical appearance. Most startling to his medical care givers is his rage, particularly his intolerance of women. Meanwhile, the local police are trying to solve the deaths of three men. Ackland soon becomes a suspect in those bludgeoning deaths.

Is this a modern day case of Jekyll and Hyde?

Walters creates a flawed yet sympathetic protagonist that readers will be drawn to. There are enough twists and turns to keep most readers happy and the author certainly knows how to ratchet up the suspense from page to page and chapter to chapter. Minette Walters is a skilled storyteller. I look forward to each of her books. I think THE CHAMELEON'S SHADOW would make a compelling movie.

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