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CHAMELEON’S SHADOW by Minette Walters is out in paperback at 9.80 euros.
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. He feels as if he’s lost weeks of time instead of just a few days and fails to remember the two ‘friends’ and fellow officers who were in the jeep alongside him.
Crippled by migraines and suspicious of his psychiatrist, he begins to display sporadic bouts of aggression, particularly toward women, especially his ex-fiancée who seems unable to accept the relationship is over.
After his injuries prevent his return to the army, he cuts all ties with his former life, refusing his parents’ offer to live with them and re-train in agriculture, 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 and he attracts the attention of local police investigating three murders 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 supposed dark side of his personality? Do his migraines contribute to his rages? Has he always been the duplicitous chameleon that his ex-fiancée claims? And why – if he hates women – does he look to a woman for help? Intrigue and conspiracy abound and Minette Walters’ terrific skill at maintaining the tension until the last few pages hasn’t deserted her.
This is Minette Walters’ 11th novel and she has won the CWA John Creasey Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award and two CWA Gold Daggers for Fiction.