Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Chameleon's Shadow” as Want to Read:
The Chameleon's Shadow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Chameleon's Shadow

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  2,192 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
When British lieutenant Charles Acland returns home from Iraq, his serious head injuries are the outward manifestation of a profound inner change: he may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or it may be, as his psychiatrist suggests, “the prolonged destruction of a personality.”

Though previously well adjusted and known as an extrovert, Acland now withdraws in
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Knopf (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Chameleon's Shadow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Chameleon's Shadow

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 26, 2009 Kasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kasia by: Seth Ball
Bloody awesome.

Ok not bloody, there's no gore in it, no graphic details. But still awesome.

If you've been looking for a quality follow-up to the Stieg Larsson's Millenium series, something a bit like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and yet highly original - this is it.

Matter of fact style, incredible the psychological depth, keeps you guessing till the very end. For a moment there I was damn convinced my favourite character was the psychokiller. That gave me quite a high. Then you have great
Jan 20, 2009 Sheree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of psychological thrillers
This is not just a mystery or thriller - Minette Walters has the ability to take current social & psychological issues and build a convincing story around them. The Chameleon's Shadow is a strong narrative of investigation from both a law enforcement & medical view point.
Lieutenant Charles Acland returns from Iraq with horrific physical and psychological scars. Recovering from serious head injuries received in a roadside bomb attack, he now suffers from debilitating migraines, sudden ex
Tanja Berg
Rating 2* out of 5. This is a book I chose not to pick up for years, although the author used to be one of my favorites. I wish I would have left this in the "let's not read" pile, but no, I had changed my mind.

The main problem with this book is the lack of sympathetic characters. Charles Acland returns from service in Iraq a changed man. His looks have been ruined and his temper is terrible. He's recent memory is shattered. His ex girlfriend Jen doesn't even hear that he's back and when they fi
Aug 05, 2008 Barry rated it liked it
Minette Walters's books are more about psychological portraits rather than the crime itself. The tale of a UK soldier damaged in the Iraq War and then suspected of horrific murders in England sounds perfect for Walters. Alas, this is a little bit of a misfire.

Although she normally creates compelling characters, The Chameleon's Shadow is hampered by some less than believable characterization. The book has Walters's usual twists of the plot yet the ending, weighted with coincidences, is unsatisfyi
Oct 05, 2007 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this new Minette Walters in about 3 days. If I had have had more time - I would have finished in a few hours.
It is classic Minette Walters, she spins out the suspense from the first page to the last. You are never quite certain whether her main character "Lieutenant Charles Ackland" is what he appears to be - or if there are dark secrets lurking. I can't say any more or it would ruin the plot!
Walters also creates a very likeable character in "Jackson" the doctor/lesbian weightlifter! Who
Walters is really good at creating unlikable characters and making them sympathetic and fully realized.
Asghar Abbas
Jul 15, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is Walters being on top of her Game.
Deborah Pickstone
Why did Minette Walters stop writing books? I wish she had not! In many ways this is my favourite - though I'd find it hard to say which of hers is my favourite - especially because of the many casualties of war (ex soldiers) I have met among street people and others over the years and the great support I feel for them. I am a pacifist but that doesn't extend to soldiers who the country has essentially abandoned. Lieutenant Acland does convince me. I found the ending a bit less so but overall I ...more
Sep 20, 2009 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a latecomer and new fan of Minette Walters. I don't know how I missed her many award winning crime novels, but in the short time since I discovered them, all I can say is I'm hooked. Lucky for me Walters has written thirteen novels thus far so I've got lots to choose from. The latest, Chameleon's Shadow is a winner.It all begins when Lieutenant Charles Acland is sent home from Iraq after a bombing in which two of his friends are killed in action. Prior to his tour he broke up with his girlfr ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
My wife's a huge fan of Minette Walters. Ironically, I really haven't delved much into her work because the blurbs always make them seem really depressing. It's true that my own tastes in hard-boiled and noir crime fiction hardly makes for cheery reading. However, at some level, it's possible to rationalise these stories as exercises in existential despair situated in a Manichean parallel universe, a Planet: Sin City, only written by better authors than Miller. Walters' novels seem a little too ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Ryandake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-good-shit
this review refers to the audiobook version.

Walters is a master of the convoluted mystery: whodunit is not only a matter of the puzzle, but a matter of the person. the candidates' character and psychology are inextricable from motive, means, and opportunity. this is what makes her books such great reads.

in this book, our protag is a wounded iraq war veteran suspected of a string of vicious murders of middle-aged--and possibly gay--men. Charles Acland is a prickly fellow, prone to sudden outburst
Oct 08, 2010 Chana rated it liked it
Young soldier in Iraq is injured in a roadside bombing and his face is badly damaged. He isn't accepted back for active duty and is at loose ends, with both anger and terrible migraines plaguing him. His girlfriend has broken up with him, he doesn't have a job, and it looks like he may have some connections to some killings. This is the basis of the book.
I didn't think it was one of her better books. The bad guy was kind of obvious, and the good characters were also self-evident even if their ou
Jul 20, 2009 Elke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, sold, mystery, review
This recent mystery novel by Minette Walters starts slow and takes its time to come into gear. The story is complex, almost jumbled at times, and the author may have been better off focusing on the main thread. There are a lot of sidelines, but instead of adding to the mystery and tension, I thought the story was unnecessarily protracted, only to reach a crowded and hasty end.

Furthermore I miss the smart humor I enjoyed in the author's early works, but which somehow got lost over the years, bein
May 23, 2009 Alarra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
She's my favourite crime writer, and this was a return to form. I liked the main character, an angry, bitter and damaged returned Iraq veteran who gets caught up in the serial murders of old men who were paying for sex. It's got a really twisted conclusion, and while I'm not sure she exposed enough clues along the way for the reader to accept the perpertrator as revealed, I really liked the tension of the investigation. She's another writer who uses a lot of epistolatory text, but again, she man ...more
The Cats Mother
Very good psychological thriller, not at all what I was expecting, about a British soldier badly disfigured in Iraq, being investigated by the police for a series of brutal murders of gay men. There's a great heroine, clever twists and you spend the whole book wondering did he or didn't he. I definitely want to read more of her books.
Barry Hammond
May 04, 2016 Barry Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great characters make this one of Minette Walter's most satisfying books yet. Plenty of dark crime here, too. All in all a pretty terrific thriller to keep you reading well into the night. - BH.
Feb 10, 2017 Cliff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Army officer, seriously injured in Iraq, is invalided out and he becomes a suspect in a hunt for a serial killer. As the narrative proceeds we learn that prior to be posted to Iraq he had finished with his fiancee and despite her constant letters to him in hospital he has no wish to recommence the relationship. On living the hospital the soldier, Lieutenant Acland finally falls in with a body building, lesbian doctor. It is difficult to warm to Acland , although there is as a degree od sympat ...more
Dec 31, 2016 Eadie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Minette Walters is one of the best psychological criminal writers and this book is a great example of that genre. She has a way of getting in to the heads of very disturbing people and is able to show us their capabilities. Acland is a very complex and fascinating character study and Walters has us riveted to this dark story from start to finish. I look forward to reading another of her books and I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy psychological mysteries.

Maggie Shovein
I liked this book. The characters were good, but the story came up short, in my humble opinion.
Mary Drake
A British officer returns from war with terrible injuries as the only surviver of an IED. He is characterised as having problems with women, an unstable temper and a propensity for violence. this makes him a prime suspect in the murders of three men. The unravelling of various convoluted relationships is well presented although predictable to those of us well versed in trauma. One area I do think she fell down on is that Charles would have surely had health staff more experienced in trauma.

Jan 02, 2010 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Charles Acland, former lieutenant
RATING: 2.75

Can a personality be completely destroyed when a person becomes physically disfigured? Does having a grotesque visible injury result in the transformation of a person from an extroverted, friendly type into a man who is subject to raging anger and hatred of the opposite sex? That is an essential question at the heart of The Chameleon's Shadow, the latest psychological suspense offering from a master of that branch of crime
Katie Q
Oct 02, 2016 Katie Q rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was quite unsure of this book but perseverance did pay of and it turned out to be quite enjoyable. Sure not the best of Minette Walters but not worth passing over either.
Sharon Terry
Oct 23, 2014 Sharon Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of intriguing murder mysteries, crime novel fans
Absorbing, well-executed, intriguing thriller, with some oddball characters and situations, but got bogged down in a bit too much detail toward the end.
Ex-army man Lt Charles Acland returns home to Engand with serious injuries after a roadside bomb takes out several of his fellow soldiers in Iraq. He loses an eye, suffers severe memory loss and seems to undergo profound personality change. After initial treatment by a psychiatrist, he is released into the community with no clear idea of his fut
Mira Sun
Jan 04, 2011 Mira Sun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2011
Zum Buch:
Der Schatten des Chamäleons – Minette Walters
ISBN: 978-3-442-46796-9
Verlag: Goldmann Taschenbücher
Seiten: 448
Veröffentlicht: Mai 2010

Zum Inhalt:
Das Fremde in dir. Wehe, wenn es erwacht!
Das Böse hat viele Gesichter. Wer kennt unser wahres Ich? Sind wir vielleicht nicht der, der wir zu sein glauben?
Als der junge Lieutenant Charles Acland bei einem Einsatz im Irak eine schwere Kopfverletzung erleidet, wird er umgehend in ein Hospital in Birmingham überführt. Doch nicht nur sein Gesicht ist
Mike Gabor
Oct 18, 2013 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it
When British lieutenant Charles Acland returns home from Iraq, his serious head injuries are the outward manifestation of a profound inner change: he may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or it may be, as his psychiatrist suggests, “the prolonged destruction of a personality.”

Though previously well adjusted and known as an extrovert, Acland now withdraws into himself. As he begins his recovery in a dismal provincial hospital, crippled by migraines and suspicious of his doctors, h
Jun 27, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gritty British mystery fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Hagen
The Chameleon’s Shadow, by Minette Walters, B-plus. Purchased from audio bookstand. Produced by Tantor Media Books.

Charles came back from Iraq to London with visible and invisible injuries caused by a bomb. One side of his face is very scarred and he lost an eye. He is a loner, doesn’t like people much, and if he is touched he responds very badly becoming very aggressive. He is of great interest to a psychiatrist while he is still in the hospital. A woman comes to see him claiming she is his ex
Jennifer (JC-S)
Lt Charles Acland suffers horrific injuries as a consequence of the roadside explosion of an improvised explosive device whilst on a tour of duty in Iraq. The explosion kills two of his soldiers, leaves him with head injuries and results in the loss of an eye. Lt Acland is repatriated to Britain where, while he is coming to terms with his physical injuries and trying to ignore the psychological consequences, he is also being forced to confront issues from his past.

What is Lt Acland hiding? Could
Oct 07, 2007 _inbetween_ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the exception of her shorts, I'm sure I never finished a Walters that quickly, basically in one afternoon. The cover is a new-ish style, but very attractive. The writing is the usual style, but since I love and admire her I have to say it's sloppier and much less tight this time - not only did I know the big secret and the villain very early on, there were also some small, odd changes of pov (which, together with a random "7" in a sentence, seem editing errors IMO
R. Adrianus
Apr 21, 2011 R. Adrianus rated it it was amazing
Well, I purchased The Chameleon’s Shadow after visiting the Pasadena Barnes and Noble with some friends. It was in the bargain book section and thought that the $5 price was worth the expenditure. I’m happy I made the investment. Walters does great work in providing insight on the different psychological tendencies of even the most insignificant characters and goes even more in depth with her protagonist, Lt. Charles Acland. The book is a mystery/crime novel with an initial “who done it?” feel b ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Price of Butcher's Meat (Dalziel & Pascoe, #23)
  • A Darker Domain (Inspector Karen Pirie, #2)
  • The Prophecy (The Fulfillment Series #1)
  • Sørgekåpen (Cato Isaksen #3)
  • Death of a Dormouse
  • Friend of the Devil (Inspector Banks, #17)
  • Portobello
  • Computational Complexity: A Modern Approach
  • Alkemins eviga eld (Maria Wern #12)
  • The Kill Call (Ben Cooper & Diane Fry, #9)
  • Blind Date
  • Until It's Over
  • Dark Waltz (Praestani, #1)
Minette Walters (born 26 September 1949) is a British mystery writer. After studying at Trevelyan College, University of Durham, she began writing in 1987 with The Ice House, which was published in 1992. She followed this with The Sculptress (1993), which received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best Novel. She has been published in 35 countries and won many awards.

The Sculptress has been adapted for tel
More about Minette Walters...

Share This Book

“It's [the word “sorry”] the most infuriating word in the English language. Just a cheap way to behave badly then shelve responsibility by putting the onus on the other person to be forgiving.” 29 likes
More quotes…