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The Shepherd Paperback – March 16, 2011

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The Amazon Book Review
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Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews


“A fast paced, all too real thriller with a villain right out of James Patterson and Criminal Minds.”
– Andrew Gross, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reckless and Don’t Look Twice

Silence of the Lambs meets The Bourne Identity.
– Brian S. Wheeler, author of Mr. Hancock’s Signature

“An intense novel that will have you locking your windows and doors, installing a safe room and taking Ambien so you can sleep through the night after finishing. ”
– Jeremy Robinson, author of Pulse and Instinct

“A superbly crafted thriller skillfully delving into the twisted mind of a psychopath and the tormented soul of the man destined to bring him down.”
– D.B. Henson, bestselling author of Deed to Death

“A taut, violent and relentless nightmare.”
– A.J. Hartley, bestselling author of What Time Devours and Act of Will

“This powerful thriller keeps the pace at a rapid fire. Once I started reading, it was difficult to put the book down.... It is a must-have for the action and thriller fan, and a great addition to any library. The Shepherd is full of surprises to the very end – you won’t be disappointed and you won’t see it coming.”
– Blogcritics

“Once I started reading, I really couldn’t put this book down. I found myself reading it while doing everyday things like sitting at my kitchen table having my breakfast or sitting in my car waiting for my kids to get out of school.”
– The Bookworm
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

My novel, The Shepherd, is the first book in a series of thrillers that I believe would be greatly enjoyed by fans of authors such as James Patterson, Dean Koontz, David Morrell, Thomas Harris, Lee Child, John Sandford, and Jeffery Deaver.  This introductory book of the series is a stand-alone novel but provides the reader with an opening into the larger world of The Shepherd.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fiction Std (March 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781936558063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936558063
  • ASIN: 1936558068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,415,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ETHAN CROSS is the International Bestselling and Award-Winning Author of THE SHEPHERD, THE CAGE, CALLSIGN:KNIGHT, and his latest, THE PROPHET--a novel described by bestselling author Jon Land as "The best book of its kind since Thomas Harris retired Hannibal Lecter" while #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Gardner said, "The surprises are fast and furious and will leave you breathless to read more."

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

145 of 162 people found the following review helpful By cait VINE VOICE on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
I will tell you that for a large portion of this book I was planning to give it a rather lukewarm if not negative review.
Not that it is badly written.
Because it is not, not at all. In fact it is very well written.
It is a complicated story, with a good number of characters and the author is very successful at keeping it all straight in the reader's mind. And it is not because the characters are not good, because again, this is not an issue. The first major character, serial killer Ackerman is as creepy and scary as any serial killer I have ever read. Ever. It is not so much any physical description of the crimes, although that may be an issue for the more weak stomached reader, but rather the relentless psychological attacks on his victims. Disturbing stuff, but interesting stuff too, because it will make many readers question what they might do in the same situation.

The other major character, Marcus, is as interesting in his own way. He is an ex-cop, a man very able to handle himself in just about every situation, but a man dealing with a troubling, secret past. And again, when his past is revealed, the reader is forced to reconsider both their opinion of Marcus and that they would have done in his place. Again and again the question is raised, does the end ever justify the means?

Then what was the problem, why did I not like this book at first?
Well, there are two distinct stories, one about a serial killer, Ackerman and one about Marcus and how he comes upon this government conspiracy. And while the two stories interconnect to a degree, it just seemed like one story too many. Serial killer...fine. Conspiracy plot...fine. Together...why?
Then, there seemed to be a number of things that were a bit off, holes in the story, as it were.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By TicToc on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Article first published as Book Review: The Shepherd by Ethan Cross on Blogcritics.

Can evil flourish without goodness? Is it possible to be a murderer and yet not be evil? Often what lurks inside the mind makes the difference. In The Shepherd by Ethan Cross, we meet evil head on in his serial killer, Francis Ackerman. Cold and cunning, ruthless and bold, he shows no fear as he stalks his victims. Even the police are not immune to his cunning, when one of their finest is cut down along with his family. To Ackerman it is a game as he twists the tables and reduces his victims to terror, offering them the worst possible avenue in an opportunity to save themselves. It is all a part of his game, a horrible psychological game with unlivable circumstances regardless of how the game plays out.

Ackerman is the monster from your nightmares, and possibly worse. Ethan Cross creates such a believable character that you can feel the frost when he is in the room. The hairs rise on your neck and you can feel that faint sense of doom along with the victim. With short work he is able create a feel for the victim themselves, he draws them from parallels of our own life, whether it be our mother or father, our children or sister, it is all personal, and horror provoking.

Being a shepherd is tantamount to being a keeper. In days gone by the shepherd watched over the sheep and kept them safe, and nurtured them. With that in mind Cross has created a foil of goodness, to counter act the evil. Marcus Williams is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and drawn into the path of the killer. However, Williams is more than what meets the eye, he has found darkness within himself that he continues to try to purge.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ethan Cross's The Shepherd is a fast-paced, tightly-plotted thriller that has a villain who rivals Hannibal Lecter in his unwavering perversions and a protagonist out of the Jack Reacher mold in his singular determination to do what he feels is the right thing. The plot twists and turns keep the reader turning the pages so fast that this reviewer was happy he had a Kindle to turn the pages with the touch of a button so that I was not slowed down. While I can't quibble with the book's cover invoking Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity I might say that anyone who likes Nelson Demille's The Charm School will like this book. This book is the first of what is clearly going to be a very exciting series of thrillers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Emperor on April 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This started out as a standard crime novel but just got worse and worse.
It just doesn't make any sense.

The actions scenes are cartoon like. Actually I think cartoon characters have more of a reaction to being knocked unconscious than do characters in this.

The writing isn't too bad but it does get very repetitive and the overwrought thoughts and narration of the serial killer were completely unoriginal.

There is quite a strong religious sentiment running through the book which is at odds with the frequent nasty and exploitative scenes of killing and torture.

I found the usual twists and turns to be predictable. It is far too long as the scenes begin to repeat themselves. I only read to the end so that I could write a review of it.

At least I only wasted my time rather than money.
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