Cover Image: The Shadow People

The Shadow People

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I loved the cover. I typically love horror. But this one was just a bit too much for me. I don't mind books that are so gross I can't eat while reading them but this one was a whole new level.

And because I found this over-the-top gross, I had a really tough time getting in to the plot. I wanted to like Jerry and Jamilla but couldn't concentrate on them long enough because of the long stretches of feeding frenzies breaking it up. The last half had a lot more police work and I liked that more but I just never found my groove in this one. I wish I'd liked it more.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
Was this review helpful?
DNF - unfortunately this didn't really grab me. I didn't love the characters and I wasn't able to get into it 

I'm sure many people will enjoy but it's not for me
Was this review helpful?
I have read many Graham Masterton  books and have really enjoyed them particularly the earlier works, some of these later ones seem good then finish all too quickly and neatly like he has to finish to a deadline no matter what.
Was this review helpful?
I’m ashamed to say I’m new to Masterson’s work but am become a fan fast. Ive read a few now and this had his signature  is all over this supernaturally detective horror. I didn’t realise it was part of a trilogy/series but when I read it it didn’t feel like I was missing out, this can be read on its own. Macabre, grotesque detail makes for a great read, well worth it and I would definitely recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This book was an amazing blend of horror and crime. Definitely make sure to check your trigger warnings and such before reading. This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s extremely gory so make sure you know yourself before diving in. 

I really enjoyed the supernatural elements blending with the detective investigation. Sometimes books like this can fall flat from trying too hard, but this one nailed it.
Was this review helpful?
DNF @10%

Unfortunately I couldn't get into this book, even though the mystery seemed intriguing. But I think the characters were too unlikable for my taste, and the story wasn't engaging enough, so I didn't feel like continuing it. This book just wasn't for me.

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
My thanks to Head of Zeus for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Shadow People’ by Graham Masterton. It was originally published in March 2022 with the paperback edition due out on August 4th. My apologies for the late feedback.

I have been reading Masterton since his first horror novel, ‘The Manitou’ (1976), and so I expect when I read one of his novels in this genre that it’s going to contain strong stomach-churning, visceral supernatural horror. This certainly proved the case with ‘The Shadow People’.

I wasn’t aware that this is Book 3 in a series of chilling police procedurals featuring D.S. Jamila Patel and D.C.Jerry Pardoe, who have acquired a reputation in the Metropolitan Police for their ability to investigate and solve bizarre and apparently supernatural crimes. However, it worked fine as a standalone. 

I am wary of plot spoilers (or spoiling anyone’s dinner) so just a few details:

In the opening pages a demolition team are doing a final walkthrough of an abandoned factory to ensure there’s no one in the property before it is flattened. They smell what seems like BBQ and discover some smouldering shopping carts. However, what they find is only the first grisly scene in the novel. A sinister marking on the wall of a goat-headed figure suggests the presence of a demonic religious cult worshipping a Lord of the Shadows. 

Patel and Pardoe are assigned to the investigation and what they uncover is so much worse than expected as this cannibalistic cult are doing their food shopping on the streets of London (though a few do end up at a W.H. Smith). 

Admittedly there is discriminatory language used by some characters, yet in the context of the setting it’s far more realistic than having them talk as if they are taking part in a HR mandated sensitivity seminar. 

Overall, ‘The Shadow People’ is pure Grand Guigno: macabre to the max. 

3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Was this review helpful?
I like any book that has horror-supernatural-realism - for example the podcasts Welcome to Night Vale, No Sleep and The Magnus Archives - and that's why this book is perfect. I mean, it's amazingly written, but it also fits into such an enjoyable niche that isn't oversaturated - and the story and plot feel fresh and engaging.
Was this review helpful?
The Shadow People is a horror-thriller novel by Graham Masterton. And I have to say – this book was extremely creepy! At first, it started out like any other crime thriller, but as we began to delve more and more into the story, the more I was hooked. I was also genuinely scared at various points. The imagery was amazing and I really wish that this would be turned into a movie or something!

If you're looking for the perfect creepy read and don't mind some gore, this is a great book for you. The only reason why I'm giving it a four is that I picked this up and put it down many, many, many times. It's not a page-turner (for me) by any means, and although it was jam-packed with action, I didn't feel a sense of urgency to gobble up the pages as much as in other thriller books. Not that being a slow burn is a bad thing, it's just that I wish the pace was a bit faster. 

Additionally, the ending felt a bit anti-climactic. I don't know what I was expecting, but I felt a bit let down. Still, it was a great read and I definitely enjoyed my time!
Was this review helpful?
With Masterton being one of my all time FAVORITE horror author's from the 70's and 80's, this new novel just did not work for me,  The black humor is the downfall of what could have been a very very creepy and scary story of a dark subject.  Very much a slow burn......would not recommend to a true Masterton horror fan.
Was this review helpful?
If you’re a fan of British slang, dry humor, and you don’t mind (or maybe you love) plenty of gore, this one might be for you. 
An only slightly competent police force mostly fed up with their jobs and ready for retirement/the weekend/dinner are suddenly forced to handle some really, really weird stuff. Shopping cart barbecue of human parts? Check. Satanic rituals and  people that act like an awful lot like zonbies? Check.
This one had a little too much gore for me, but I was chuckling while cringeing (and googling British slang meanings) the whole way through.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an Ecopy of this book to review.

''This is all people', he said, and he could hear himself saying it as if somebody else was speaking into his ear. 'This whole bloody barbeque. It's people.''

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Release date: 31 December 2021.

Pages: 420

Representation:  POC main character.

Trigger warnings: Abduction, drug abuse, cannibalism, murder, child abuse, transphobia, racism, abuse directed towards the mentally ill, police, violence, heavy mention of religion

Summary: Thousands of people go missing in central London every year, never to be heard from again. No one knows where they all go. When human remains of missing people are found cooking, DS Patel and DC Pardoe are left to find out who's behind it. Hunting a murderous, cannibalistic cult wasn't precisely what they had in mind when they got out of bed in the morning. When the story starts to unravel and the cult religious roots come into view, will they be able to stop the slaughter and avoid becoming lunch themselves?

The shadow people cast a dark shadow on the horror genre, with its feet set far deeper into the dark than it would first appear.

The idea was a good one, it was creative, and I loved the sound of it. I was so excited about it until I started to read.

In the first chapter, the author compares the blackened char of cooked human heads to 'a hideous parody of a 1950's minstrel show.' If the only way you can describe burnt BBQ is to compare it to a grotesque parody of what was already a hideous, downright insulting parody of BIPOC, then your writing style leaves a lot to be desired.

This type of commentary continued throughout, with regular microaggressions towards BIPOC, Asian people, the homeless and the mentally ill. It felt like a whole book making fun of minorities. I was pleasantly surprised that DS Patel was Pakistani until I realised she would be used as a plot device. She needed to tell stories of hideousness back in her home country, men being abusive, and her aunt eating a stillborn baby. The entire thing felt like a primitive attack of a culture the author didn't know much about. If I wrote a list of every culture or minority this book managed to insult, I'd have a notebook almost as long as the list itself.

Lack of research was evident in almost every chapter. I'm not fluent in German, but I lived there for a year of my life and speak it well. It appears that the author has thrown some words in google translate ad then based a large part of his book around them. He uses the words 'erst' and 'sek' to mean first and second, and from this, the police identify a German link to the crimes. Erst does tell first, but second is "Zweite". From my best guess, Graham translated second, and it came out as "Sekunde", which translates a second meaning a unit of time. Not a numerical order. Most people would overlook a little thing, but it showed how little care was put into the entire thing.

This continued as he described someone as "Arabic", a language. The correct description would be Arab. Every woman was described by nothing more than her looks, whilst we learnt about the men by their personalities. To prove that most characters were Londoners, they constantly spoke with rhyming slang, almost like caricatures. It got to the point it was hard to read because every other word was either slang of an officers rank "DC" this and "DS" that with cups of Rosie-Lee mixed in. The dialogue was robotic, and I couldn't find myself interested in the characters. They all seemed extremely one dimensional.

I wish I could say that the plot offered some relief from the horror of the writing, but it was lazy. Again, poorly researched and ended in the most disappointing way possible. I was interested as it started, but it became more and more unrealistic and unimaginable as it went on. It had some excellent ideas and firm foundations, but it just felt lazy in the end. It was littered with very noticeable plot holes, not just one or two of them. Nothing was tied up, and no suspense led anywhere. It was the poorly executed leftovers of an idea with so much potential.

I tried to explain the entire plot to my wife and friends orally, and by the end of it, we were all more confused than when we started.

Shining glory: The horror was horrific, and the gore was disgusting (in the right way.) At times it makes you shudder at the sheer dread of it all.

Fatal flaw: The entire thing reads like a biased hate novel, even though you're not sure exactly who or what the author hates. Everyone? Everything? Quite possibly.

Read this if: I cannot in good faith recommend this book for anyone to read, for any reason. The bigoted writing style and choices make it impossible to think it's a good idea to continue funding him through sales of this book.

Skip this if: You want an inclusive read that doesn't feel like it's straight out of the 1980s. You don't like gory horror or want your stories to have plots without noticeable gaps.
Was this review helpful?
Woo that was a dark but compulsive read 🤩 Book 3 of Graham Masterton’s  Pardoe and Patel series and perfect for crime lovers who like grisly plots! Don’t read if you’re squeamish 😳😭
Was this review helpful?
Oh his book was a trip! I was so glad I was able to review it. It took me some time to review it because it is hard to put a great book into words. How do you explain great writing! I will promote this book to everyone! What a read!
Was this review helpful?
Stepped out of my comfort zone for this one. This is not for the faint of heart but is definitely entertaining. You’ve been warned!
Was this review helpful?
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 
Before I could finish reading this book it got archived and there's no way I can review a book I didn't finish reading.
Was this review helpful?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

First order of business...a warning...DO NOT READ THIS BOOK WHILE YOU ARE EATING!! 🤢😂 I have only good things to say about this one. The writing was excellent. It held up perfectly as a standalone. It was well paced. The plot was engaging, intelligent, gory, dark, twisted. The characters are likable. I really want to find time to go back and read the previous books in this series. This gets two huge thumbs up from yours truly! 

**ARC Via NetGalley**
Was this review helpful?
DNF. While I think this was going to go in a very good direction as far as the crime and detective aspect goes, it was far too gory for my taste. That’s nothing against the author or the story, as we all have different tastes and writing styles! It just was not for me!
Was this review helpful?
The master of disturbing crime horror returns with another belter that will unnerved you. Not for the feint of heart nor stomach, this crime thriller follows Det.Sgt Jamila Patel and Det Con. Jerry Pardoe as they hunt down the perpetrators of supernatural crimes. Three bodies are uncovered in a London basement, brutally severed,  roasted and consumed with cult like markings left on the walls. As body counts rise, with similar cannabilistic crime scenes, it is clear thay ritualistic and brutal offerings are being made in a neolithic style not seen for centuries. A gory and graphic crime horror that will chill you to the core. Intense amd bizarrely humorous with quick wit and dialogue.  #the shadowpeople #grahammasterton #netgalley
Was this review helpful?
This book was more of a slow burn and it felt like it took me a while to get into it. That said one I got into it I did enjoy how the story unfolded. I think horror lovers will enjoy this book.
Was this review helpful?