I know I am reading a good book when I go to sleep way too late because I could not put the book down. Well, that was definitely the case with The Shepherd by Ethan Cross. Although, half of the time it was not just because I could not stop reading: I WAS AFRAID. I am a little ashamed to admit it, but yes, I was scared.
In this book we meet Francis Ackerman Jr., a serial killer who claims to give his victims a “fair chance”: he plays a game with them. Whoever wins, lives. Readers will get a look in the mind of a serial-killer (I really liked this, because most of the thriller/crime books I read are from the perspective of a policeman or a victim). While Ackerman is enjoying himself with a murder here and there, former police detective Marcus Williams just arrived at his new residence Asherton. At the same time, Asherton’s sheriff and his deputy’s are looking for Ackerman. The game truly begins when Marcus William’s neighbor gets murdered: Marcus gets into Ackerman’s sight and he sees in him his counterpart. Meanwhile, the sheriff and his deputy’s are also doing suspicious things: let the game begin!
So, I just confessed this book got me afraid. Let me explain why: the passages in which the murder-games by Ackerman are described are pretty terrifying! This book gave me a Jigsaw meets Dexter vibe – which is a good thing, saw had potential (one movie would have been enough though) and I love Dexter -. While reading I was sure I was not safe at my own home and that I would find myself playing a game with Ackerman any minute. Luckily for me, that did not happen. The fact that it got me afraid means I liked it. I like to get scared, so for me it’s a good sign.
The only thing I was a little disappointed by is that the narrative shifts between Ackerman, Marcus and the sheriff. It’s not that I did not like reading the other narratives (I did!), I was just hoping to read more about Ackerman’s murder-games. What follows is a game of cat and mouse between the three man. Just don’t expect The Shepherd to be just about a serial killers mind (which was what I expected beforehand). Also, the ending is pretty exciting!
This is just the first part of The Shepherd – Series, and I am definitely going to read the next one!
Also, this book first got my attention because of its cover, which is really awesome (see featured image). I did read it in dutch (in dutch its called ‘Ik ben de nacht’, which can be literally translated into: ‘I am the night’) so I guess not everyone has seen this version.