Shadow Man

Shadow Man

eBook - 2017
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Random House, Inc.
A novel of psychological suspense about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer—and a dark secret.

Named one of the Best Mysteries of the Year by The Wall Street Journal

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.

Finalist for the SCIBA T. Jefferson Parker Award • Named one of the Best Crime Novels of the Year by The Booklist Reader
“Smart, chilling, and impossible to put down.”—William Landay, author of Defending Jacob
“A stellar achievement, a book that unspools like a dark-toned movie in the reader’s mind.”The Wall Street Journal
“A home run.”—Lee Child
“Superbly done: Wade, along with forensic expert Natasha Betencourt, are both indelible characters.”Literary Hub
“The more you learn about Ben and his troubled upbringing, the more courageous the novel seems in exposing truths that most crime fiction doesn’t go near.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A descendant of Chandler’s The Big Sleep.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus

Baker & Taylor
When a serial killer begins breaking into random homes in California's quiet Rancho Santa Elena, detective Ben Wade and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt confront a long-buried secret and the tragedy of a teen's suicide in order to get ahead of the killer.

& Taylor

"Vice cop Ben Wade has returned to his hometown of Santa Ana for a quieter life. When a woman is murdered in her kitchen, the town finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors, shattering illusions of safety. AsBen and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the serial, Ben's own world is rocked again by a teen's suicide. Ben must decide how far he is willing to go, and how much he will risk, to rescue the town from a long buried evil, as well as from a psychotic serial killer. With eerie, chilling, as well as fine prose, Alan Drew brings us into the treacherous underbelly of a suburban California town in this suspenseful novel of thrilling noir, the story of a community confronted with the heart of human darkness"--Provided by publisher.

Publisher: Random House Digital,, 2017
ISBN: 9780812989380
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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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.

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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