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The Shadow Walker

The Shadow Walker

4.6 3
by Michael Walters

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A victim is found with no hands and no head, dumped in an unlit side street. This kind of crime is unheard of to authorities of Ulan Baatar, Mongolia. But it's not the last, and the Serious Crimes Team is no closer to catching the killer. That's why senior British investigating officer Drew McLeish is called in. Give thousand miles from home, McLeish may be a stranger


A victim is found with no hands and no head, dumped in an unlit side street. This kind of crime is unheard of to authorities of Ulan Baatar, Mongolia. But it's not the last, and the Serious Crimes Team is no closer to catching the killer. That's why senior British investigating officer Drew McLeish is called in. Give thousand miles from home, McLeish may be a stranger to Ulan Baatar, but not to the savage side of human nature.

Editorial Reviews

Nail biting...compulsive reading... and the descriptions of Mongolia are richly enjoyable.
A previously uncharted crime destination.
Crimespree Magazine
A real page-turner...refreshingly unique.
Sunday Telegraph
An intriguing police procedural, with a formidable sleuth.
SHOTS Magazine
Edgy, tense and a dark twisty tale...an impressive first novel.
Publishers Weekly

Set in Mongolia, Walters's riveting first novel opens with a slew of murders investigated by a local policeman, Nergui, and a visiting British police inspector, Drew McLeish. The bloody nature of the murders makes them suspect a serial killer, but when a member of Nergui's staff joins the list of victims, the case becomes more complex. Traveling to a tourist camp during the investigation into the dead cop's background, the two detectives are confronted with a double murder. Suddenly, political or business motivations for the carnage come to the fore. A kidnapping starts the clock ticking toward a thrilling conclusion in a spooky abandoned factory. Throughout, the mysterious Nergui, who has a possible spy background, and the stoic McLeish make for a potent and exciting team. The evocative descriptions of modern Mongolia create a unique backdrop for a suspenseful mystery full of misdirection and terror. (Aug.)

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VOYA - Dawn Talbott
A psychopathic killer is prowling the streets of Ulan Baatar, Mongolia. Nergui, who works for the Ministry of Safety, and Drew McLeish, a British investigation officer, are working with the local police to track down the killer and end the brutal slayings, but as the bodies keep appearing, Nergui and McLeish feel overwhelmed by the lack of leads. The strongest feature of this crime novel is the way Walters crafts the setting for readers. His descriptions bring to life Mongolia, a place that is completely foreign to most readers. Many different aspects of the country are shared-from the discarded factories in the dying suburbs, dormant since the economy collapsed when the Soviet Union ended, to the ger camps where city and nomadic life seemed blended; from the luxurious and seemingly out of place hotels that cater to Western visitors to the barren steppes and Gobi desert. Mongolia is a place of transition, where the modern world and old traditions are finding ways to co-exist, and Walters does a good job of conveying this struggle. Walters writes in a rather formal style, so this selection is recommended for more sophisticated teen readers. Although the plot itself is solid, there are a few moments where the story seems to stall because of a lack of action. Nevertheless the book is worth the time for readers who like crime fiction, particularly those who enjoy reading about an interesting new location. Reviewer: Dawn Talbott
Library Journal

It is difficult to picture a serial killer running rampant in Mongolia, but in Walters's superb debut, someone is murdering men in Ulan Baatar, hacking off their heads and hands, then posing the body parts where all can see them. When a British businessman becomes the next victim, Detective Chief Inspector Drew McLeish is sent to the Mongolian capital to aid Nergui, once head of the Serious Crimes Squad and now part of the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs of Mongolia. Walters gives us a glimpse into a little-known country where superpowers vie for mineral rights and businesses see an untapped market ripe for plundering. Careful plotting and meticulously drawn characters make this a sure winner for all collections.
—Jo Ann Vicarel

Kirkus Reviews
A British police inspector is sent to an exotic land to catch a serial killer. Murder is so uncommon in Mongolia that when one occurs, the government accepts help from England in the person of Chief Inspector Drew McLeish of Manchester. A severely mutilated body, missing both head and hands, has been found on a dark urban side street. Nergui, former head of the local Serious Crimes Squad, had been pleased to leave behind the increasingly mean streets of Mongolia's capital, Ulan Baatar, for a desk job with the Ministry of Justice. But the brutal murder requires him to return to his old post, where he works uneasily with his successor, the brash and ambitious Doripalam. No sooner has Drew been filled in on the murder than a second occurs on the outskirts of the city and a third in a luxury hotel room. At first, Doripalam bristles at Nergui's involvement in the case, but as the stakes are raised, he's secretly relieved that any negative fallout will land on his old boss rather than himself. Similar mutilations of the three corpses lead the trio to conclude that they're tracking a serial killer. Identifying the hotel room victim as British geologist Ian Ransom provides a starting point. The mystery in Walters's debut lacks distinction, but his prose is sure and his vivid portrait of a largely unknown culture lays a solid groundwork for future installments. Agent: Peter Buckman/The Ampersand Agency

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Shadow Walker 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
LeenaLily More than 1 year ago
I liked this book. Both the atmosphere and landscape are haunting, and Nergui is an intriguing and thorough investigator. I recommend the book to any mystery lover who likes exotic settings and an opportunity to explore new cultures. It's hard to put the book down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Ulan Bataar, Mongolia, the police are stymied as a silent serial killer stalks the streets. The unknown culprit has left behind his fourth mutilated corpse with a severed head and limbs this time in a luxurious hotel. Former Serious Crimes Chief Nergui is ordered back to lead the official investigation, but is frustrated having made no progress at all in catching the predator. ---- He needs specialized help as serial killers are outside his experience or any member of the department especially his younger replacement as section chief Doripalam. British CID Chief Inspector Drew McLeish is sent to assist Nergui on his quest to catch the killer before more people die, but he realizes that he knows nothing about the land or the people that he is to profile as he is five thousand miles from home. They work as a team with Nergui providing the insight to the city, the suburbs and the Gobi while Drew brings the profiling even as the body count mounts. ---- THE SHADOW WALKER is a strong police procedural with an exciting serial killer investigation, but it is the location that makes this tale standout. Nergui is a superb cop, but readers will appreciate even more his in-depth tour guide role as he escorts the audience and Drew around the city, the suburbs and beyond. ---- Harriet Klausner