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The Shadow Maker
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Book Review

A heartless, sadistic predator is roaming the streets of Melbourne.  He is attacking women, sexually abusing them then brutally mutilating them.  The first victim has her eye sockets burnt out, but she is a lucky one; she isn’t killed.  Detective Marita (Rita) Van Hassel from the Sexual Crimes Squad is asked to assist in the investigation.  Her profiling skills can’t pin down the man behind the increasingly violent crimes, but what does become clear is that she is being hunted as she hunts for him.
THE SHADOW MAKER is a debut novel by Australian author Robert Sims.  Dark violence is balanced with an everyday normality which lightens things just enough to keep you from locking yourself in your wardrobe.  It is not a book for the squeamish.  Unfortunately I fit into this category, so I did not relax into this book despite the fact it is very well written.  The suspense builds from the first page with various threads picking up the pace until the final confrontation which explodes off the page.  
Rita’s character is as elusive as the man she is hunting.  She did not open up to me very much at all during the story.  There is obviously going to be more from this character, I get the distinct impression that this is just the beginning of a series featuring Rita. Hopefully the author will work on more in-depth characterization in the next book, if there is one. As it stands, Rita is still a closed book.

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