Ethan Cross

The Shepherd

"...make Cross an author to watch in future."


Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others, while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering. When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante's beautiful daughter, a woman with whom he's quickly falling in love, Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the most cunning and ruthless killers in the world.

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'The Shepherd' is a debut novel that has a great mix of gruesome murders, a psychotic killer, revenge and great writing. Cross grips the reader from the first page with the murderous actions of serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr., a killer true to his word but also very unpredictable. Following two storylines, that of Marcus Williams and Ackerman, Cross writes with accomplishment to build an exciting plot and interesting characters. The murders and 'games' carried out by Ackerman are extremely brutal and the scenes leading up to the murders well written. However, my one criticism of an otherwise excellent debut novel is the extremely unbelievable reasoning for why all the previous events had taken place. It all just seemed way too far fetched and the resolution somewhat spoiled the ending for me. I am assuming all these explanations are due to Williams appearing in other novels by Cross. I am hoping that if this is the case, now the 'why' has been explained, Cross can get back to the writing of the cat and mouse thriller part of the book he obviously excels at. All that said, I did thoroughly enjoy The Shepherd and would recommend this book and make Cross an author to watch in future.

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