The Shadow Bird; an emotive, twisting thriller

I enjoyed The Shadow Bird – in fact I really enjoyed The Shadow Bird. This is such a seductive thriller that got right under my skin. It’s full of subtle details so I did have to really concentrate reading this to ensure I didn’t miss any vital plot hooks – but to be fair that was easy as the slow burning story lured me in. When I wasn’t reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The Shadow Bird is the debut novel from US writer Ann Gosslin; and it is a gripping, thought provoking novel that I strongly recommend.

It is also novel full of compassion as it tells the story of 43 year old Timothy who was accused of brutally murdering his mother and sisters at the age of 17. After spending 27 years locked in a maximum-security psychiatric facility, Timothy is now up for release. Psychiatrist Erin Cartwright is approached to review his case. Reluctantly she agrees. But why exactly is Erin so reluctant?

As well as delving into Timothy’s history, the narrative explores Erin’s adolescent history too – a history that she is haunted by and has been running away from for over 20 years.

The novel is mainly told from Erin’s point of view skillfully interwoven with succinct flashbacks from Timothy’s point of view – revealing more about his character. I really enjoyed the structure of the novel, made up of short, detailed chapters which made me as a reader devour the story. I was desperate to know what the outcome was.

As Timothy’s case triggers disturbing memories for her, Erin puts her psychiatric career at risk as she tries to uncover what really happened that fateful night of the bloody murders. However to do so she has to confront her own personal demons.

I can’t emphasise how much this book got under my skin. Present all the way through the narrative is an uneasy, subtle tension that I personally found thought provoking and thrilling. I also can’t emphasise enough how much The Shadow Bird evoked my empathy. I found it raw and emotional and I shed tears on numerous occasions as I read. I had a hunch about some elements of the plot, with my hunches proving true. However there is an almighty twist that I didn’t see coming and totally took my breath away.

Thank you to Lucy Chamberlain from Legend Press for inviting me to be involved in the blog/insta book tour to help publicise this gripping read that is also full of hope and raw emotion. To read the reviews of my fellow book bloggers also on the Legend Press blog/insta tour, please see below.

The Shadow Bird was published in the UK on 15th July. If you’re a fan of thought provoking thrillers, I urge you to read this.

Happy reading everyone! 🙂

My rating:



  1. July 24, 2020 / 10:00 pm

    Lovely review, I am sure I would like it!

    • July 24, 2020 / 10:37 pm

      Yeah, it’s a great read. So compelling!

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