St. Martin's, Oct 2001, 24.95, 432 pp.
Psychologist Fiona Cameron uses state of the art computer programming to develop a serial profiling system, but not the typical sexual based type that dominates the field. The professor believes that other factors can also pinpoint a personality besides the sexual approach. She has helped the police solve several homicides though she is not always believed.
Her lover, best selling author Kit Martin, informs Fiona that someone murdered a peer, using a modus operandi found in the deceased's novel. Other killings of authors using a page or two out of their books soon follow. Fiona working with the Toledo, Spain police struggles to put together a clear profile of the killer, but refuses to quit because she thinks Kit is on the murderer's short list.
KILLING THE SHADOWS is an engaging serial killer investigative tale starring a wonderful lead character with a location that embellishes the plot. The enjoyable story line widens the common belief in profiling with a believable technique that is also quite frightening with what Fiona can do with it. Though the reluctance by the police to accept a serial killer on the loose seems ridiculous with the body count, the who-done-it is fun and the heroine is as good a character as Kate Brannigan is. Val McDermid shows why she is an award-winning author with this strong story.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner