Shadow Selves: Psychological Thriller Begs Question – What If Your Shadow Was Trying to Kill You?

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Gavin Cruickshank’s ‘Shadow Selves’ embroils readers in the life of a fake therapist; a charlatan whose work is about to drag him deep into the life of his clients, and his own demons. It’s a novel chock-full of twists and turns, compelling readers to consider what they’d do if their own shadow was trying to kill them. Intrigued? One critic wrote, “I would highly recommend reading this book to anyone who enjoys a good thriller which keeps you engaged from start to finish.”

With the stresses and strains of today’s world, therapists have become heroes to the modern mind. But as recent investigations have exposed (Can anyone call themself a therapist or a counsellor? – BBC News), not all therapists are as qualified as they may seem. What if the therapist you are seeing is a fake? Could their treatment leave an impact beyond anything you could have imagined?

Everything plays out in ‘Shadow Selves’, the amazing new psychological thriller by Gavin Cruickshank.


Callum is a fake therapist, taking money off clients without the expertise to treat them.

Kim is a troubled ex-patient, who now believes her shadows have come to life to try and kill her.

The news of a suicide shatters Callum’s illusion of a victimless crime, forcing him back on a collision course with Kim as he battles to save her. But to understand Kim’s problems, he’ll also need to investigate his mentor and associates in the therapy scam to uncover their role in the deaths and disturbed behaviour of so many others.

As the investigation turns sinister, the shadows appear to be more than figments of Kim’s imagination. Somehow they are capable of inflicting physical harm on Callum, and soon his life is in danger as well.

Should he be scared of his own shadow?

“I wanted to write something that pushed readers to the boundaries of their imaginations, morals and comfort levels,” explains the author. “The novel stretches the confines of convention, and leaves readers with their jaws on the floor after a series of twists, turns and unforgettable conclusions. It’s truly unlike anything else on the shelves.”

Continuing, “There’s a notion that psychological thrillers need to just shock people – but I believe there’s also a market for novels like this that force and compel readers to think – about both their own lives and humanity at large. That was my goal.”

Reviews have been glowing. Abbie Holmes writes, “There’s this HUGE plot twist at the end that i suspected but didn’t expect to happen in the way it did. It elevated the whole story from a semi decent psychological horror, to a mind bending psychological horror. The ending is such a shock to the system! Like I was expecting it to be a happy ending of sorts. And yet, it was the complete opposite and has an open ending which could lead to a sequel if Cruickshank was willing. I would highly, highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a quick read, a fan of horror, anyone who wants to melt their brain or anyone looking for an unexpected ending.”

Another reader adds, “At points the book has some dark twists that leave you wanting to read more. I completed this in 48 hours desperate to find out what happens. the book is a mixture between psychological thriller and horror. Thoroughly recommended and I would look forward to reading more from this author.”

‘Shadow Selves’ is available now: 

About the author, in his own words:  

This is my debut novel. Several years ago, I tried my hand at scriptwriting – getting a sitcom optioned by Tiger Aspect, some sketches performed on TV for the BBC New Comedy Awards, and reaching the finals in a few screenplay competitions in the U.S. 

I have a degree in psychology, but most of my professional life has been spent working in software engineering. I currently live in Glasgow.

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