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The Shepherd Paperback – March 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In The Shepherd Ethan Cross manages to pull a new variant out of the black hat in Francis Ackerman ... a manipulative monster with a corrupt conscience" The Times "A great mix of gruesome murders, a psychotic killer, revenge and great writing... I would recommend this book and make Cross an author to watch in future." Crimesquad "A rather unusual talent has suddenly appeared, fully formed ... however many chapters you may plan to read, you will be persuaded to read just one more. The 300 pages turn very swiftly indeed." -- Barry Forshaw We Love This Book "A fast paced, all too real thriller, with a villain right out of James Patterson and 'Criminal Minds'." Andrew Gross "Silence of the Lambs meets The Bourne Identity." Brian S. Wheeler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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: #2,539,321 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

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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul Cassel VINE VOICE on May 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's a school of thought here at Amazon and elsewhere that the only legitimate review of a book can stem from the reviewer having finished it. I, on the other hand, subscribe to the notion that a book is like an egg. One doesn't need to finish it to determine that it's rotten.

In this book's case, the problem of good or rotten isn't quite that simple. It's better than competently written and paced. The characterizations are well done. The settings well drawn. So why the three stars and why didn't I finish more than halfway through this one?

It's simple. The sadistic nature of this book is well beyond that which I can stomach for 'entertainment'. It was way over. I forced myself to continue beyond the first few torture scenes, but drew the line when ONE of the evil characters was setting up to torture a young woman and her two very small children. I had had enough and nothing was going to cause me to continue.

There is also a certain overlay of implausibility here. Frex, during one attack scene set inside a small house, a killer calmly walks after his intended victim when she's running to get a knife but then, runs after her when she decides to get a gun. How'd he know that he could stroll one time but must run the second time? This same killer seems impossible to catch, but does, in fact, get caught by a fat old sheriff and his Barney Fife deputy (only to escape).

I could get over the implausibilities easily, but not the sickening torture scenes. If you aren't bothered by sadism lovingly described in great detail, and also enjoy a well paced thriller, this one may be for you. If you, like me, have trouble finding entertainment in tortured deaths of innocents - proceed with care.
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