"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Chameleon's Shadow

TITLE: The Chameleon's Shadow
AUTHOR: Minette Walters

A new book by Walters is a treat. This one focuses on Charles Acland, a British soldier badly injured in Iraq. Back in Britain, he suffers from severe migraines and personality changes due to his head injury. He refuses plastic surgery for the badly scarred side of his face, nor does he want a false eye to replace the one he lost, preferring to wear a patch. He's suspicious of doctors and becomes agressive, especially toward women. Moving to London, he just wants to be left alone, but after getting into a violent altercation at a pub, he comes to the attention of police investigating the murders of three older, gay or bixsexual men, and a vicious attack on a fourth. When they discover Acland and the fourth victim crossed paths, he becomes their number one suspect. The only people who seem interested in helping him are a psychologist friend of his shrink at the hospital where he'd recovered, and the no-nonsense lesbian doctor who owns the pub with her partner.

The odd respect and almost friendship that develops between Acland and Dr. Jackson becomes the key for Acland to prove his innocence, something he seems almost reluctant to do. This time, the psychology is more central to the story than the mystery, but Walters keeps the story moving briskly and by the end, I'd come to care a great deal for the physically and emotionally wounded Acland.

Now, how long do I have to wait for her next one? :)