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The Chameleon's Shadow
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New or Used: $13.95
When Lieutenant Charles Acland is flown home from Iraq with serious head injuries, he faces not only permanent disfigurement but also an apparent change to his previously outgoing personality. Crippled by migraines, and suspicious of his psychiatrist, he begins to display sporadic bouts of aggression, particularly against women, especially his ex-fiancee who seems unable to accept that the relationship is over. After his injuries prevent his return to the army, he cuts all ties with his former life and moves to London. Alone and unmonitored, he sinks into a private world of guilt and paranoid distrust . . . until a customer annoys him in a Bermondsey pub . . . Out of control and only prevented from killing the man by the intervention of a 250-pound female weightlifter called Jackson, he attracts the attention of police who are investigating three `gay' murders in the Bermondsey area which appear to have been motivated by extreme rage . . . Under suspicion, Acland is forced to confront the real issues behind his isolation. How much control does he have over the dark side of his personality? Do his migraines contribute to his rages? Has he always been the duplicitous chameleon that his ex-fiancee claims? And why - if he hates women - does he look to a woman for help?
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About the Author

Minette Walters is England's bestselling female crime writer. She has won the CWA John Creasey Award for best first crime novel, the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best crime novel published in America and two CWA Gold Daggers for fiction. Minette writes full-time and lives in Dorset with her husband.

Reviews

Unlike the protagonist of Walters's novel, Vance may not be suffering from a split personality. Still Vance's cabinet of voices - each with its own timbre, character, accent and persona - accurately reflects the multifaceted aspect of Walters's book. Her hero, a wounded British veteran of the war in Iraq who returns home with no recollection of his service, is carefully documented through doctors' accounts and conversations with family members and others. Vance is a gifted enough mimic that one occasionally forgets that all these voices are emerging from the same throat. Some of the nuance - of British class and education, or lack thereof, as coded in the relative width or narrowness of vowels and consonants - may be lost on some American listeners, but it demonstrates Vance's expertise. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 26, 2007). (Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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