The Chameleon's Shadow

The Chameleon's Shadow

by Minette Walters
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Overview

The Chameleon's Shadow by Minette Walters

From the author of The Devil's Feather comes a haunting psychological thriller about a scarred Iraq war veteran whose physical trauma may reflect the inner turmoil of a killer.Somewhere in the endless, deadly desert between Basra and Baghdad, Lieutenant Charles Acland's convoy was attacked. Recovering in the hospital, Charles is crippled by migraines and suspicious of his doctors. He grows uncharacteristically aggressive, particularly against women. Rejecting cosmetic surgery, he moves to London. There he sinks into a quagmire of guilt and paranoia—until an outburst of irrational, vicious anger brings him to the attention of the local police, who are investigating three recent murders. Now under suspicion, Charles is forced to confront his issues before it's too late, but the shadowy forces working against him—or in him—could be more than he can overcome.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307268785
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/08/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 349,184
File size: 469 KB

About the Author

Minette Walters is the author of twelve previous novels, two novellas, and a number of short stories. Her work, which has been published in more than thirty-five countries, has received several major awards, including two Gold Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association in Great Britain and the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Dorset, England.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Hometown:

Dorchester, Dorset, England

Date of Birth:

September 26, 1949

Place of Birth:

Bishop¿s Stortford, Hertfordshire, England

Education:

B.A. in French, Dunelm (Durham University), 1971

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The Chameleon's Shadow 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the novels of Minette Walters, you seldom know who is telling the truth, and this queasy uncertainty propels her mysteries. In 'The Chameleon's Shadow' a wounded Iraq War veteran named Charles Acland comes home with serious head injuries, a horribly disfigured face and a volatile, unpredictable rage, especially against women. After physically healing, he refuses cosmetic surgery and goes to London, where he immediately becomes a suspect in a series of brutal murders, thanks to a violent bar brawl and his occasional bouts of extreme aggression, which his ex-fiancee insists are nothing new. Is Acland's scary behavior the result of post-traumatic disorder from the war, or a symptom of what his ex-fiancee calls his chameleon-like personality? And do the two homeless people Acland befriends, one a middle-aged drunk and the other a teenage runaway, know more about the murders than they're saying? With chilling psychological acuity, Walters dissects her subjects against a backdrop of troubling current events. In the process, she's created one of the darkest thrillers of the year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Other reviewers gave the details. All I will say is read it. Great dialogue, good characters, and what else can I say?
harstan More than 1 year ago
On 24 Nov 2006 the convoy drives the highway that links Basra and Baghdad led by a Scimitar Reconnaissance Vehicle when roadside bombs explode. The destruction of the RV became a top DVD seller in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. However, the commander of the RV, British Army Lieutenant Charles Acland survived the blasts with facial and brain injuries everyone else inside died. Two days later the Light Dragoon Guards¿ officer is flown unconscious to Birmingham, England to begin reconstructive surgery of his disfigured face. --- Back home, Charles is filled with rage especially towards women, and rejects the facial surgery, but initially accepts the psychological treatment offered by Dr. Robert Willis. Charles is incredibly angry at his former fiancée Jen Morley who insists even before his war trauma he was a chameleon. To her he was a woman¿s man to his unit and his male friends he was a man¿s man to his mom he was the adoring son. Charles abruptly moves to London at about the same time a serial killer is murdering people. He remains reclusive and angry yet accepting. His rage at Muslims leads to a brawl in a bar with Pakistani-English and a rescue by a three hundred pound female lesbian weight lifter Dr. Jackson and the bar¿s owner Daisy, who try to help him afterward. --- This is an interesting look at Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in which the medical profession is unsure of whether Charles¿ injuries changed his personality especially since Jen convinces them he hid his killer instincts behind a nice guy chameleon. Charles seems genuine and his two female saviors also, but it is the plot focused on whether he is a serial killer or not that grips readers. Although a late spin that answers the question of is he seems off kilter, fans of Minette Walters will enjoy this psychological thriller. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charles Ackland, the main character, home from Iraq with a serious head injury, a permanent facial disfigurement, and suffering from a drastic personality change, presents the reader with a glimpse into what is an apparently very damaged mind. The author allows the reader to explore and investigate what are this now ex-soldier's character's motivations for his actions and his ominously-present anger in the resolution of this murder mystery (the murder of three gay men). As the story unfolds and we delve into the background of Charles Ackland's life, the author prods us to think about the various influencing factors that bring this character to take the actions he takes. Ackland's current and former life history includes some unique women characters: a very strong Lesbian (weight-lifting) doctor called Jackson, and the not so strongly-developed but very tellingly affective characters of a violent mother (who dominated Charles' childhood) and Charles' drug-addicted ex-fiancee who happens to be very chameleon-like herself. As far is Charles Ackland is concerned, the reader is almost "encouraged" to care for someone who comes across as highly dislikeable. Further, the author does give us pause to consider how many other soldiers might be returning from Iraq (and other places) with similar traumatic brain injuries...and how well-equipped we are to deal with that particular after-math of our "war on terror." The book will not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago