Shooter in the Shadows
by David Hewson
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Pub Date 18 Jul 2020 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2020
Tom Honeyman made his name cracking a horrific double murder in his hometown of Prosper, New York. He got an international best seller out of it, made a small fortune, and left his newspaper reporting days behind.
But was it all based on a lie? More than a decade after his one and only success, Honeyman’s life is in tatters. His wife committed suicide, his daughter hasn’t spoken to him in years, and his books don’t sell. He’s sequestered himself in his wreck of a retreat on an island in Venice, desperate to find the inspiration that will revive his career.
But Tom Honeyman is not alone. An unseen stranger tells Honeyman he got it wrong all those years ago. And he has just four days to uncover the real murderer. Tom Honeyman is no longer writing for his livelihood. He’s writing for his life.
Average rating from 27 members
This is a complex, enthralling, intricate, riveting and completely unpredictable plot with well defined, dimensional characters. You won’t soon get this story out of your mind. It is also very well written with smooth flowing prose and story line, even though there is significant back and forth in chronology. My only problem is that I hate going through an entire novel looking for a hero, and I hope this isn’t a spoiler of sorts, getting to the end not having been able to find one. For this am taking away one star.
I've read most of David Hewson's work and this was by far one of the most well laid plots by far. It's story line goes between Venice Italy and the U.S. to show how far someone will go to make a life for themself. Although our main character Tom Honeyman, seems to come out of his book with eveyone telling him that it was all lies and he goes to his place in Venice to write another re-story to tell the truth. But unknown to Tom..... You'll have to read the story to find out what happens. You'll be glad you did.
<i>Shooter in the Shadows</i> is one of those excellent murder mysteries that sneaks up on you. You think you know what is happening but then you don’t. The protagonist, Tom Honeyman, is a brilliant writer but not a great reporter because if he doesn’t know all the details, he just writes a good story. <i>Shooter in the Shadows</i> is the latest of several mystery novels written by David Hewson.
Tom Honeyman writes a bestseller by cracking a gruesome murder case in his home town and then writing about it. Unfortunately, it seems to be his only success since several books later he is going broke. He decides to revisit the same theme and see if he can get some of the old spark back. Tom takes his notes to his retreat house in Venice where he is interrupted by a killer who believes Tom is not telling the truth in his first novel and he wants to make sure Tom gets it right this time. The killer gives Tom his first chapter to get him started along with a short deadline to get the rest written. Can he do it and stay alive?
The characters are compelling. Flashing back to the time of the murder Tom’s family is struggling. His wife drinks too much apparently because she gave up her career as a reporter to have a child. Their daughter is just an angry teenager. Tom believes he can make things better by just writing that bestseller and the murder is his big opportunity. The bestseller happens but the characters don’t necessarily react as expected.
The plot is intricate and compelling because it unfolds throughout the entire book. With every piece of information, we learn more about what happens to get to where we are today. Also, with each piece of information comes a twist to keep the reader engaged.
Some may feel a bit distracted by the abundance of activity and plot lines in the book, but in my opinion that confusion just requires patience and, in the end, it adds to the appeal of the book.
I highly recommend this book to people who like a multifaceted murder mystery. I give it a 5 on 5. I want to thank Net Galley and BooksGoSocial for providing me with a digital copy of the novel in exchange for a fair review
An action packed mystery based around an unseen 'baddie' taking revenge on a reporter who might not have been altogether truthful in his reporting of a crime that took place in the past and catapulted him to fame.
Set on a dilapidated island in Venice, and based on a fire and the mysterious deaths of individuals from a town in the US, this novel is dark and violent and has lots of twists and turns to keep you reading till the reveal of exactly what happened all those years ago.
I like David Hewson’s writing. His prose is clear and straightforward yet descriptive and evocative. Some years ago I picked up THE LIZARD’S BITE, the fourth in Hewson’s Italian set series about Detective Nick Costa, and I have enjoyed periodic visits to catch up with Costa and to share the author’s love of Italy. SHOOTER IN THE SHADOWS, set on a small island in the Venetian lagoon, coincidentally the location for that earlier novel, is a stand-alone but no less exciting and gripping than the series.
SHOOTER IN THE SHADOWS is a thriller about an American journalist turned true-crime author, Tom Honeyman who, having had a huge success with his first book, about a grisly murder in upstate New York, has struggled to follow it up. Every year Honeyman comes to Maledetto, the small Venetian island which his success allowed him to buy, to start a new book in the hope of returning to the bestseller lists. But that initial success has proved a millstone, Honeyman’s life a mess, his wife having committed suicide, his daughter estranged and Maledetto a drain on his dwindling finances. When Laura, his daughter makes contact and him on the island, things appear to be improving, but soon both find themselves held prisoner by someone who believes that Honeyman got it wrong in his book and wants him to right a sequel to correct that error, to reveal the truth about who really burned two people to death, or die themselves. Honeyman has 4 days...
David Hewson’s characters are really well-formed. As the novel alternates Honeyman’s predicament with chapters of the new book, we find that he is not really a very nice guy, a talented writer but a poor reporter who substitutes vivid imagination for facts when necessary. But it is not only Honeyman who comes alive - the small town American cop; the wild, bohemian, sexually free teacher who died in the fire with her student lover; Honeyman’s wife, who gave up her own journalistic career to bring up their daughter - despite being drawn in relatively few scenes, jump off the page fully-formed. The joy of SHOOTER IN THE SHADOWS is the inherent unreliability of the narrator as we only have Honeyman’s version of what he think happened. And, even when I guessed the true events about three quarters in, seeing the truth play out was really satisfying. Except, I only thought I had solved it. There are events that even Honeyman doesn’t know, leading to a great twist.
Hewson captures the essence of the lagoon, the sounds, the smells. The setting is excellent, Maledetto simultaneously within sight of Venice’s main islands yet as remote from civilisation as it is possible to be in the lagoon.
SHOOTER IN THE SHADOWS is highly recommended.
Another good story based on Italy from this excellent author. An author with one hit true story to his name is forced to revisit the tale by the son of one of the characters this time to reveal the truth behind a gruesome double murder and the shooting of his father. Set on an island in the Venetian lagoon bought with the proceeds from his hit book he must tell the truth by a deadline or he and his hostage daughter will die. A clever twisting climax brings an excellent ending to this satisfactory yarn!
I really enjoyed reading this book.
It is my first novel from David Hewson and I am looking forward reading more from him. I really liked his writing and how he determined when to give information to readers.
The novel is full of twists and suspense. The author did a good job leading readers in various directions.
I I highly recommend this book.
I greatly enjoyed “the killing” series by this author that I read earlier this year. I jumped at the occasion to see if I like the rest of his work. So, I expected much of this new book and OMG, I was not disappointed.
Thomas Honeyman, an American writer with dwindling success, arrives on his island in the marshes around Venice to finish his latest novel. He made his fortune with a true crime book about a nasty fire that happened in his home town but could never reach that level again. His island home is primitive, remote and contains the derelict remains of an asylum/leper colony. There’s an armed stranger waiting for him who has somehow got hold of Tom’s estranged daughter. They haven’t spoken since her mother committed suicide 4 years earlier, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love her. The kidnapper uses Lauren as leverage to make the author write a new book about the fire. A book where he admits to the lies he fabricated and reveals information he withheld and most of all where he reveals the real murderer. All this has to be done in the next 4 days before the feast of the redeemer starts or he and his daughter will be torched.
In the book, there’s already a parallel made to Scheherazade and 1001 nights and it befits this book like a glove. Tom has to keep writing, not only to save his life but that of his daughter as well. And that what he writes has to please the kidnapper.
It’s an interesting way to look at murder. There’s a murder mystery, it’s a cold case (although a supposedly solved one) that has to be solved far from the scene and the people involved, solely based on old interviews and tapes with no possibility to acquire new information
The story is told in 2 different time frames. There’s the here and now with the hostage situation and problems of writing under duress. But there’s also the story of the events leading to the tragedy of 2008 in America. A fire wherein a teacher and her student died. You’ve got the events as everybody believes them to be because that’s how they’re put in his book but now new evidence points to another possibility.
It’s really masterly done how the doubt and suspicions slowly creep into the story. At first, you believe that the writer has done nothing wrong but being overconfident in his findings, then you start looking for another possible killer until they lead to a chilling realisation. And every time you think “that’s it, we know all now” there’s another twist or turn that steer you in another direction. The end is really mind-blowing. I had expected early on that the teacher must have had a female lover as well, but the different corners the story turns after that was established, aren’t foreseeable in a million years. It’s really creepy and baffling at times. Well done! It’s more than mere crime fiction; it certainly deserves the title of a psychological thriller as well.
I thank BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for the free ARC they gave me; this is my unbiased, honest review of it.
Journalist, Tom Honeyman, received accolades for the book he wrote about the double murder in his New York hometown. More than a decade later, someone is questioning if Tom got it right. Was the man he named as the murderer really the one responsible for the deaths? In his cabin, on a Venetian island, Tom and his daughter are threatened by an unknown man to rewrite the story; this time with the truth, or else he and his daughter will not make if off the island alive. This book alternates between past and present and the author does a good job of sharing new information with you at just the right time for the truth to unfurl.
A great thriller told through flashbacks with twists and turns throughout. A bit slow to start with but the pace picked up towards the end with a great twist. Only negative for me was the length of the chapter, I'm not personally a fan but they worked for this novel.
Full review on Murder in Common is here: https://murderincommon.com/2020/07/05/david-hewson-shooter-in-the-dark/
Tom Honeyman made his name cracking a horrific double murder in his hometown of Prosper, New York. He got an international best seller out of it, made a small fortune, and left his newspaper reporting days behind. More than a decade after his one and only success, Honeyman’s life is in tatters. His wife committed suicide, his daughter hasn’t spoken to him in years, and his books don’t sell. He’s sequestered himself in his wreck of a retreat on an island in Venice, desperate to find the inspiration that will revive his career.
The author is a must read for me so I expected to enjoy this book & it didn’t disappoint. Twists, turns keep you guessing as everything is gradually revealed throughout the book, but is everything as it seems? Strong characters & a well plotted story kept me engrossed all the way through
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
Well written, suspense filled novel. This one kept me up until I finished it. Tom is sometimes a bit self absorbed but over all likable. The characters are well developed and the plot fiendish,
Secrets abound on a private island - twisty, dark, and inventive!
Tom Honeyman is the author of a bestseller true crime book - but how true was the story he told? Over the course of just 4 days on the island Maledetto, the story unravels to a shocking conclusion.
This book surprised me in the best of ways - it turned out to be much more complex than I anticipated. The chapters alternate between present day and flashbacks to the crime, making the reader feel part of the investigation. The island setting gives great classic mystery vibes, a la And Then There Were None. If you’re a mystery/thriller lover, I’d definitely give this one a try - I bet the twists will sneak up on you the way they did for me.
Thank you to BooksGoSocial for providing an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
At first I thought that this might be another instalment in the Nick Costa series but it turned out to be a stand-alone novel set in Venice, in a remote spot in the lagoon.
At first I had some difficulty getting into the story which is the first time this happened with a book by David Hewson. Maybe this was because I didn't really like the main character, or to be more precise, any of the characters in the book. After about 25-30% into the book the story started to really get me and from then on I couldn't put it down.
I liked the plot and the story twists, even though I kind of saw the end coming because I already suspected... well, that would be a spoiler so you will just have to read it yourself.
I also liked the setting in a remote spot in the lagoon and the dual setting of the story in the US and Venice.
I want to thank Netgalley and the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review
In David Hewsons' ,"Shooter in the Shadows" Tom Honeyman is an American author desperate to repeat his only successful book after years of flops. That book was a True Crime account of a murder in his hometown of Prosper ,New York and made him enough money to buy a house on a small island in Venice. Aside from the financial success of his book his life took a downward spiral over the next decade as his following books tank his wife commits suicide and his daughter refuses to speak to him. David Hewson's book finds Honeyman heading for his island retreat to once again try to rekindle his career as a best-selling author.
Far from the peaceful retreat Honeyman was expecting in his island home it soon becomes apparent that someone is very upset with his version of events in Prosper and wants the truth to be told within 4 days......or else.
Shooter in the Shadows is an edge of the seat thriller as Honeyman races to meet the ,potentially literal, deadline with things on on the island becoming increasingly tense. Reluctantly he re-writes his "True" Crime book and a complex and twisted tale emerges that throws a whole new light on events in Prosper.
David Hewson is a massively popular and successful crime thriller writer, "Shooter in the Shadows " is well up to his usual high standards with Honeyman's peril on the island and the unravelling of events of a decade earlier combining to make a gripping and very involving read.
Thanks to David Hewson, BooksGoSocial and Netgalley for the ARC in return for an honest review.
A thriller in the very sense of the word, an excellent murder mystery and fabulous writing. Well worth a read !
this was a really good mystery, I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the environment. it was a really unique read with the adventure genre elements.
An author whose entire career success was the result of one true crime novel is determined to write another hit. he cannot have lost his family and friends in the pursuit only to find himself a failure. Every year he returns to his private island in Venice where he tells himself, this will be the year....
This year when he arrives, he finds the island already inhabited. He has not seen anyone but he knows someone is there. When the intruder makes himself known, it is to let Tom know the truth he did not tell in his #1 selling book must now be told. This will leave Tom having to explain how he has allowed the story to be wrong for so many years and convict the wrong man of the crime. Oh, the intruder has Tom's adult daughter, holding her captive for her father's actions.
A unique story told in a uniquely tension filled manner that has the reader trying to figure out exactly what happened and what is happening. Two time lines, the present and the time of the crime, give clues but not nearly enough for me to figure it out before the reveal. An outstanding thriller that I'll be recommending to my reading friends and family.
I received an ARC copy of this via NetGalley and the publishers in return for an unbiased review. I read several of Hewson’s Nic Costa series years ago, so I thought I’d try this standalone. I can’t say I particularly took to the characters - but I think that’s the point, that everyone was flawed. Honeyman wrote a best seller years ago, following the murder by fire of a teacher and student in Prosper, NY. But he took some liberties with the facts and story, which led to a man being killed. Honeyman‘s wife kills herself years later. Ever since, he’s been trying to recreate the success of that book by going to the Venetian island he bought, and frantically writing before the firework festival. This year though, someone has gotten there before him, installed cameras and hacked his laptop, and basically holds him and his daughter hostage, providing more documents and proof, until Honeyman writes the real account of what happened. The story jumps between present day and the past, as Honeyman writes each historical chapter. It was a slow burn, but it built the tension, filling in more and more story. I did guess some of the solution, but not all of it. Definitely worth a read though.
This was a great murder mystery. It was action packed and really kept me hooked from the very start. Tom Honeyman is the main protagonist in this novel. We meet him at a low point in his life. His fame and fortune was based on the fact that he solved a horrific double murder, on which he based a best selling novel which he subsequently wrote and published. He's succeeded at nothing since. His wife has died, by her own hand, and his daughter has turned her back on him. His life is in ruins. He heads to an island in Venice to see what, if anything, he can salvage from his life but he soon discovers that he is not alone. He receives that haunting information, that his solution to the double murder, upon which his life has thrived, was in fact incorrect, and that now he must solve it and uncover the identity of the true murderer or he will pay with his life.
I really enjoyed this murder mystery. The plot was well planned and well executed. The editor did his or her job well. It's full of twists and turns and I was kept guessing until the bitter end. It's the first I've read from David Hewson but definitely won't be the last.
Published - July 2020
Genre – Crime fiction
Tom Honeyman is a best selling author but a 'one hit wonder'. A former journalist, he made his name cracking a horrific double murder in his hometown of Prosper, New York and wrote an international best seller on the back of it. Times have been tough since the book was published and both his personal and professional lives leave a lot to be desired.
Honeyman has a ritual - every July he maroons himself at his villa on Maldetto, an uninhabited island in the lagoon at Venice. By the third weekend of the month, when the Redentore fireworks begin on the Saturday night, he hopes to have either finished a new book or found the start of one. This year seems to be no different... but then he finds that there is a visitor on his island - one that's taken his daughter hostage and casts doubt on the story that made him. In fact the stranger wants Honeyman to tell the truth about the crimes in a new book and he has just four days to do it.
Honeyman works though the events of the original crimes in a series of flashbacks and the timeline switches between the present in Venice and the past in Prosper; to meet the demands of his daughter's captor he has to face up to some unpleasant memories.
This feels like a really unusual plot when it can be hard to read anything in the crime/thriller genre that feels different. It's got the atmosphere of Venice in the heat, great characterisation, a few twists and turns and a real feeling of jeopardy.
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