Shadow Man

Shadow Man

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
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A novel of psychological suspense about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer--and a dark secret.

Detective Ben Wade has returned to his hometown of Rancho Santa Elena in search of a quieter life and to try to save his marriage. Suddenly the community, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors at night, shattering illusions of safety. As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer--and deal with painful episodes in the past--Ben's own world is rocked again by violence. He must decide how far he is willing to go, and Natasha how much she is willing to risk, to protect their friendship and themselves to rescue the town from a psychotic murderer and a long-buried secret.

With fine, chilling prose, acclaimed author Alan Drew weaves richly imagined characters into the first of several thrilling novels of suspense featuring the California world of Ben Wade and Natasha Betencourt. Shadow Man reveals the treacherous underbelly of suburban life, as a man, a woman, a family, and a community are confronted with the heart of human darkness.

Praise for Shadow Man

"Excellent, atmospheric . . . [a] superb police procedural . . . [Ben Wade] is but one of many sharply etched characters who help make Shadow Man a stellar achievement, a book that unspools like a dark-toned movie in the reader's mind." -- The Wall Street Journal

"The crime part of this novel is superbly done: Wade, along with forensic expert Natasha Betencourt, are both indelible characters, and the passages from the criminal's perspective are chilling. Yet there is also a lot of complex emotion--a lot of novel, if you will--going on here, especially in the excavation of Wade's past and in the tension between the remaining wildness and the parcels of civilization carved out of the valley." -- LitHub

"[Alan] Drew's debut psychological thriller succeeds admirably. There are three hearts of human darkness within, and it is for the reader to decide which character is the true 'shadow man' . . . The Steinbeck-like passages about the vanishing cowboy landscape contribute to the novel's power." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Drew's engrossing novel works equally well as psychological study and cop thriller, literary novel and genre piece." -- Kirkus (starred review)

"Drew's cinematic descriptive powers, which he displayed so well in his debut, are on full and wonderful display [in Shadow Man ], helping to make it an absolute must-read this summer." -- Bookreporter

"Entertaining, well-constructed . . . The darkness that affects [Ben] Wade, a lone wolf rides horses for pleasure, forms the heart of the story, and Drew draws it out nicely while still moving the plot forward." -- Publishers Weekly

"Recommend this one to fans of Michael Connelly, Tana French, and Dennis Lehane. . . . The Steinbeck-like passages about the vanishing cowboy landscape contribute to the novel's power." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Wonderfully imagined and wonderfully written, Shadow Man is everything a great thriller should be. . . . A home run." --Lee Child, author of Night School
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781400067800
Branch Call Number: FIC Drew
Characteristics: 346 pages ; 25 cm

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m
maucarden
May 10, 2017

F-4's flying overhead, watching VHS movies, wait wait don't tell me that I'm confused. Then I get it, this book is set in the ever-expanding L.A. suburbs of 1986. Not a conceit, this is important. What some of the characters have to finally do would have been SO much harder back in the 1980s. and would take a much larger measure of courage.

This book is all about victims; the woman laying on her kitchen floor, the young, promising, unclaimed, and undocumented boy lying in the strawberry fields, and the restless detective tasked with finding answers and courage. This is a book about demons; those controlled and those uncontrolled. Think about it, we had just learned about Ted Bundy, Silence of the Lambs hadn't been published yet; BSU was really just coming into its own. Serial killers were a fairly new concept back then. They sure as hell hadn't been romanticized in fiction yet, except of course Jack/Jill the Ripper.

This is a story of two death investigations. Two serial killers, one physical and one of the soul.
This is a story of forceful redemptive love, but not a love story. This story moves-both the pace and the reader. This a story of destruction; the physical beauty of southern California until the developers move in and the destruction caused by long held secrets.
Quibble-of sorts, any one of us will probably be squirming at the crime scene investigation thinking they could be a better murder detective at the scene and do much better forensic work. Those scenes will show how much real forensics -not CSI crap- has grown in 20 years.

But at those same death scenes, such a grace note, the assistant ME Natalie Betancourt being questioned about her tender treatment and saying "A little kindness to take with them.” Her perception and tenderness continues through out the story holding the promise of hope.

This is a beautifully written book that explores damage on all levels; physical of the body and landscape, psychological, and of the soul. The old saying, no one escapes this life alive, no one escapes this story unmarked.

e
emerge
Mar 12, 2017

Just so prospective readers know: this is not a thriller. Maybe those in charge of publicity were trying to tap into that market but they do a disservice to the author.
He's penned a fine, family drama/police procedural about a man coming to terms with his past. He just happens to be a cop involved in the search for a serial killer.
That part of the plot is secondary & frequently interrupted by long passages detailing the childhood of Ben Wade, a cop who moved back to this home town of Rancho Santa Elena, a bedroom community north of Los Angeles in an effort to save his failing marriage.
The author has some serious skills & those who enjoy a poignant character driven mystery will find much to like here. Those picking it up expecting an edge-of-your-set thriller will be disappointed & perhaps a bit cranky after being misled by the publisher.

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