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The Shepherd Paperback – March 16, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"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 (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,250,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Ethan Cross... This man is an artist. He has asculpted a masterpiece with this novel. It has everything one looks for in a book. It has action, suspense, mystery, a wee bit of romance, and it leads you to believe that the things in this novel aren't just fiction. Maybe, just maybe, someone like Ackerman is really out there. This story is written that well. It has a keen sense of reality, as well as an astounding portrayal of the hero many people can relate to.

Mr. Cross crafts a wonderfully woven tapestry of complex characters, genuine human emotion and philosophical musings and the ultimate existential crisis that the majority of people struggle with...albeit extreme in Marcus and Ackerman's cases. Cross doesn't pull any punches, and I applaud him for creating a..."villian" that could look Lecter in the face and not be the one to blink first.

The Shepherd is an amazing work of fiction that pulls you in, burrows it's way into your body and embeds itself in your mind. It resonates with you long after you've read the last word on the last page.
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