Shadow Man by Alan Drew

Shadow Man

What Dennis Lehane does for Boston, Alan Drew does for Southern California in this gritty thriller about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer—and a dark secret.Detective Ben Wade has returned to his California hometown of Rancho Santa Elena for a quieter life. Suddenly the town, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of...

Title:Shadow Man
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1400067804
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages

Shadow Man Reviews

  • Carol
    Jan 12, 2017

    With sincere appreciation to Edelweiss, Random House and Alan Drew for granting the e-galley of

    to be published May 23, 2017.

    The “serial” killer is perfectly cast as an eerie formation, shapeless but leaving slivers of self as he slips in and out of windows in Southern California.

    , a dark and psychologically compelling presence that threatens the perception of safety in your home.

    Detective Ben Wade’s quiet existence in Rancho Santa Elena is shattered when several horrific

    With sincere appreciation to Edelweiss, Random House and Alan Drew for granting the e-galley of

    to be published May 23, 2017.

    The “serial” killer is perfectly cast as an eerie formation, shapeless but leaving slivers of self as he slips in and out of windows in Southern California.

    , a dark and psychologically compelling presence that threatens the perception of safety in your home.

    Detective Ben Wade’s quiet existence in Rancho Santa Elena is shattered when several horrific murders are committed in his jurisdiction. While Wade struggles to find the killer he also must face his own demons when a young teen turns up dead. Wade is a complicated character and is fleshed out well. I think he’s a detective we’ll see again.

    What really knocked my socks off in

    was the description of Orange County, CA. With a population of over 3 million and an area spanning beaches and rugged coastline to mountainous regions, Alan Drew portrays a landscape so much more vibrant than what I knew. Drew’s love of Southern California is evident. I want to experience the contrast he describes of big city life and rural charm through the eyes of Ben Wade as he horseback rides and swims in this spectacular locale.

  • Esil
    May 19, 2017

    Shadow Man crept up on me. At first it seemed a bit ordinary, but as I got immersed in the story, it really got my attention. Set in the mid 1980s in Southern California, Shadow Man features police officer Ben Wade. A spate of murders suggest that a serial killers is at work in this usually quiet community. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Ben is deeply enmeshed in some complex and disturbing dynamics in the town. What makes this book stand out is Ben's character, and some of the mora

    Shadow Man crept up on me. At first it seemed a bit ordinary, but as I got immersed in the story, it really got my attention. Set in the mid 1980s in Southern California, Shadow Man features police officer Ben Wade. A spate of murders suggest that a serial killers is at work in this usually quiet community. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Ben is deeply enmeshed in some complex and disturbing dynamics in the town. What makes this book stand out is Ben's character, and some of the moral and emotional dilemmas the story explores. I can't say more to avoid spoilers. Recommended to anyone who likes character driven mysteries. An added bonus is that there isn't much graphic violence. I look forward to seeing what this author writes next. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  • Darcia Helle
    Feb 14, 2017

    I've finished this book, clearly, since I'm here writing a review. Now I'm trying to come up with the right words, which I'm finding a challenge, because, while I enjoyed aspects of the story, I'm also supremely irritated. First, I'll tell you that the writing is good. Alan Drew is a talented guy. But I'm thinking that he has his genre wrong. Or the marketing is wrong. This book is not at all what it claims to be.

    Within the first line of the book's description, in bold type: "...gritty thriller

    I've finished this book, clearly, since I'm here writing a review. Now I'm trying to come up with the right words, which I'm finding a challenge, because, while I enjoyed aspects of the story, I'm also supremely irritated. First, I'll tell you that the writing is good. Alan Drew is a talented guy. But I'm thinking that he has his genre wrong. Or the marketing is wrong. This book is not at all what it claims to be.

    Within the first line of the book's description, in bold type: "...gritty thriller about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer..." This is not a thriller. Not even a little bit. And, I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of publishers tossing the word "thriller" around in order to sell books. This story is far too slow and meandering to be a thriller. I'd call it literary drama. The content is heavy on introspection and reflection.

    Next, the description leads us to believe this book is about a serial killer. It's not. The first few pages start by putting us in the serial killer's mind, which is, again, a cue that this killer is a central figure within the story. He's not. The bulk of this story is about Ben, his family drama, an illegal immigrant teen boy who may or may not have committed suicide, and a link to something that happened to Ben as a teenage boy. This is a major storyline, and an issue that deserved, and should have had, its own spotlight. The serial killer aspect feels like a sideline, something sprinkled in to give the story the necessary grit needed to label it a thriller. We don't feel any urgency within the town or even the various police departments. Most of the time, we're not even chasing that case. We remain wrapped up in Ben's emotional issues. Then, at the end, there is an attempt to link the killer with the dead boy, which feels like a cheap stretch in order to get the two storylines connected.

    Ben is a likable character. He's well-developed and complex, a mix of cowboy loner and broken hero. The other characters are more two-dimensional, supporting roles to Ben's lead, and the serial killer is a combination of stereotypes.

    One more thing I want to note is that this story takes place in the 1980s. It's not a problem that this isn't within the description, but I wish there'd been an author note at the start to help orient readers. I was thrown off at first by some of the content because I didn't realize the story took place 30+ years in the past.

    I did enjoy Ben's story, the main story, apart from the serial killer. I think the description sets false expectations going in, and the author's attempt to weave the serial killer thread into an otherwise dramatic, emotional story, hurts what could have been a powerful reading experience.

    *I received an advance copy from the publisher, via Amazon Vine, in exchange for my honest review.*

  • Larry H
    Feb 17, 2017

    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here. I have

    to thank for this one!

    begins with the somewhat-paranoid musings of a person as they set out to murder a woman who is alone in her home, cooking dinner and unaware of what fate is about to befall her. When police detective Ben Wade is called by a friend to assist with the murder investigation, it's not long before all involved realize that Southern California might have a serial killer on their hands, one with a penchant for strangulatio

    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars here. I have

    to thank for this one!

    begins with the somewhat-paranoid musings of a person as they set out to murder a woman who is alone in her home, cooking dinner and unaware of what fate is about to befall her. When police detective Ben Wade is called by a friend to assist with the murder investigation, it's not long before all involved realize that Southern California might have a serial killer on their hands, one with a penchant for strangulation, for slipping through screen doors and unlocked windows.

    While the prospect of a serial killer has everyone on edge, it's another death that sends Ben reeling. The body of a teenage boy is found in a field, and most signs point to suicide as the cause of death. But as Ben and his longtime friend Natasha, a forensic specialist, begin uncovering clues to the boy's identity, the life he led, and the secrets he kept, Ben's carefully compartmentalized life begins to shake. He's starting to wonder if it was wise to return to his hometown, Rancho Santa Elena, and all of the history that it held for him.

    As Ben and his colleagues try to stop the serial killer before he strikes again, Ben tries to find answers in the boy's death as well, answers he might regret finding or deny seeing. But while he's trying to do his job the best way he knows how, he's also dealing with his own family crisis, as he realizes his teenage daughter Emma may be growing up faster than he is ready for, and he must tread a fine line between being concerned and overprotective.

    Brooding and atmospheric,

    is as much a story of one man's battle with himself as it is a crime novel about a serial killer. And that's what surprised and delighted me so much about this book. Given how it began, I expected it to be your typical crime novel, with a fascinating yet flawed main character, and lots of intrigue around the killer and what made him tick. And while the book certainly has its requisite chase scenes and exploration of the killer, this is more a book about Ben and his past, and how what he tried to flee all those years ago is about to spill over and affect a lot of other lives.

    The plot ultimately isn't surprising, but it doesn't matter. Alan Drew makes you care about his characters and makes you want to root for them, even as you watch them blunder and not always act in everyone's best interests. These characters are all the more interesting because of their flaws, their hearts and emotions, and the things they try to keep secret. This is a testament to Drew's storytelling ability.

    If you go into

    expecting a police procedural or crime thriller, you'll be disappointed. If you go in expecting a well-told story with a good dose of crime, you'll be able to enjoy this book as much as it deserves to be enjoyed. There are a lot of interesting ideas explored, far more than your typical mystery.

    NetGalley and Random House provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    .

  • Sandy
    Mar 12, 2017

    3.5 stars

    When I read the publicity blurb for this book, it immediately ticked all the boxes for me. Thriller? Excellent. Set in the 1980’s? Cool. Compared to Dennis Lehane? Hand it over.

    But….despite an eek-inducing prologue, what we have here is a book that is being marketed to appeal to thriller fans which IMHO does a disservice to the author. This is a beautifully written story about a broken man trying to come to terms with his past. He just happens to be a cop involved in the search for a se

    3.5 stars

    When I read the publicity blurb for this book, it immediately ticked all the boxes for me. Thriller? Excellent. Set in the 1980’s? Cool. Compared to Dennis Lehane? Hand it over.

    But….despite an eek-inducing prologue, what we have here is a book that is being marketed to appeal to thriller fans which IMHO does a disservice to the author. This is a beautifully written story about a broken man trying to come to terms with his past. He just happens to be a cop involved in the search for a serial killer.

    Ben Wade is a former LAPD detective who moved back to his hometown of Rancho Santa Elena in an attempt to save his failing marriage. It didn’t work. He & Rachel divorced but maintain an amicable relationship for the sake of daughter Emma.

    Santa Elena is a carefully planned bedroom community designed for those seeking to escape the crime & bustle of Los Angeles. It’s a safe place to raise your family & Ben’s biggest challenges are handling drunks & shop lifters. That’s about to change.

    There’s been a series of murders in Orange County with a specific MO & when a woman is found dead in her home in Mission Viejo, it appears the killer has moved into the area. Body #2 confirms their fears & for the first time, Santa Elena’s shocked residents begin to seriously consider locking their doors. Ben & his colleagues are stumped. Their workload gets heavier when the body of a teenager is found in a strawberry field. Despite being an illegal immigrant, the boy was a star swimmer on the local high school team & destined for an athletic scholarship to college.

    A handful of short chapters interspersed throughout the book put us inside the mind of the killer. It’s a scary place to be & as he describes scenes from his childhood, we begin to understand how he became a twisted man.

    But the vast majority of the book belongs to Ben. Initially, he comes across as a sympathetic character who spends a lot of time thinking about past mistakes & mourning what he’s lost. Instead of making things better, moving back to Santa Elena seems to have had the opposite effect. The added job stress is a catalyst for his increasingly erratic behaviour but it’s not until late in the book that we realize what was always simmering below the surface. As Ben reminisces, we learn of his childhood & how the early death of his father was a turning point. These passages are poignant & atmospheric & you feel for the little boy who remains even as Ben grow into a rebellious teenager who goes on to become a cop. As the story progresses, there are definite parallels between him & the killer. Both are held hostage by their pasts & it makes you ponder how they ended up on opposite sides.

    This is not a thriller & that’s no bad thing. It’s a slow burn type of book with a strong sense of time & place, written in fluid & descriptive prose. Maybe the publishers found it difficult to assign a label. For me, it’s more a character driven police procedural. Yes, there are mysteries & it does contain a killer but everything revolves around & serves to develop the MC. So if you’re looking for an edge-of-you-seat kind of read, you may be disappointed. But if you’re in the mood for rich, literary drama you’ll find much to enjoy here.

  • Maureen Carden
    Apr 27, 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, a

    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.

    Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. It was a true gift.

  • Kristy
    Apr 21, 2017

    Detective Ben Wade and his then-wife, Rachel, returned to their hometown of Rancho Santa Elena for a peaceful, safe life for themselves and their daughter. After all, as a detective, Ben knows the darker side of life. But even the idyllic California community couldn't save his marriage with Rachel--his high school sweetheart--and now the two are divorced and jointly raising their teenage daughter, Emma. And, for the most part, Ben's career is pretty dull: nothing like his old LA one. That all ch

    Detective Ben Wade and his then-wife, Rachel, returned to their hometown of Rancho Santa Elena for a peaceful, safe life for themselves and their daughter. After all, as a detective, Ben knows the darker side of life. But even the idyllic California community couldn't save his marriage with Rachel--his high school sweetheart--and now the two are divorced and jointly raising their teenage daughter, Emma. And, for the most part, Ben's career is pretty dull: nothing like his old LA one. That all changes when a serial killer starts haunting the area. They come around at night, slipping in doors and windows, and terrifying the residents of this planned community. At the same time, Ben is trying to figure out if a young Hispanic teen truly committed suicide. Are these two crimes interconnected? And how much destruction will this killer bring until found?

    I'm a sucker for a good crime novel, so I was intrigued by the description of Alan Drew's book; I have never read anything by this author before. I'm not sure I realized the novel was actually set in the late 1980s; I tend to read more contemporary fiction, but I was

    Although mystery is somewhat of a misnomer. While there is a case to solve here--two really--this is far more a character-driven novel, with an intense focus on Ben, his personal life, and how his past life has made him into the detective and man he is now.

    In many ways, this is a novel about the passage of time and the effects it has on a person. It is a novel about the effects of abuse, as well, and what it can do to someone. Can a child who suffers abuse come through unscathed? I wasn't expecting such a storyline when I started the novel, but it worked. It's quite well-done and while much of the book is often sad, it's well-written and the pages pass quickly.

    The novel is told from three points of view: Ben; our serial killer; and Natasha Betencourt, the local assistant Medical Examiner. Of course, Natasha and Ben have a bit of a personal relationship (this is a novel, after all). And, sure, Ben often comes across as the cliched crime detective who doesn't always follow the rules. Because of this--and because of the California setting--I couldn't help but think of Michael Connelly's amazing Harry Bosch as I was reading this (Bosch probably being my all-time favorite fictional detective). I actually would sometimes even accidentally read "Ben" as "Bosch." Still, to be compared to Bosch and not come across completely lesser for it is pretty high praise. Ben is no Bosch, but he's a well-written character, even if he is a bit cliched from time to time. Yes, he's dealing with a past. Yes, he likes to break the rules to get the job done (hey, so does Bosch). My only issue was that it was implied that he sometimes let his detective work slip a bit due to his personal ties in one of the cases: that didn't seem right.

    Still, overall I really enjoyed this novel. The two storylines--the first being the serial killer case, the second being the teen suicide--intersected well and kept the book moving. Ben's ties to the teen were surprising and gave the book an emotional depth I wasn't expecting. While I'm not sure Drew could keep up the emotional rollercoaster for every novel, I could see Detective Ben Wade becoming a recurring character in a series. If so, I would certainly read the next book. 3.5+ stars.

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!) in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 05/23/2017.

    ~

    ~

    ~

  • Mary Beth
    May 21, 2017

    3.5

    I won this in a GoodReads Book Giveaway!

    I enjoyed this book but the marketing department really had poor marketing in this book. They marketed it as a thriller and also said it was very suspenseful. To me it wasn't either of these and I must of missed the suspense.

    Lucky a Good Reads friend warned me before I read it because if she didn't I would of been angry. I have to say though that this is more of a literary novel and it was beautifully written. It is nothing like this book that I just lo

    3.5

    I won this in a GoodReads Book Giveaway!

    I enjoyed this book but the marketing department really had poor marketing in this book. They marketed it as a thriller and also said it was very suspenseful. To me it wasn't either of these and I must of missed the suspense.

    Lucky a Good Reads friend warned me before I read it because if she didn't I would of been angry. I have to say though that this is more of a literary novel and it was beautifully written. It is nothing like this book that I just loved and thought it might of had suspense like it.

    . It didn't have any suspense at all. There is a serial killer, but he's on the page for perhaps 15% of the book. The vast majority of the book deals with detective Ben Wade's need to come to grips with a secret that he's been keeping since childhood. It has nothing to do with the serial killer, although at the very end there is an attempt to indicate such a connection between the killer and the detective. It was too late in the book to really be effective.

    Shadow Man is about others living in the shadows of what happened in the past. The novel is set in the 1980s in a small one time ranching community near LA, and the beautifully described scenery and small town feeling make the setting a character on its own. A series of murders suggest that a serial killers is at work in this usually quiet community. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Ben is becoming deeply involved in some complex and disturbing dynamics in the town. While Wade struggles to find the killer he also must face his own demons when a young teen turns up dead.

    Even though this is beautifully written I found it to be very slow moving. I would recommend this book to those that like a literary novel instead of a thriller. It is a mystery but I think it was just marketed wrong. I did enjoy it but did not love it.

Top Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. We uses Search API to find the overview of books over the internet, but we don't host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners, please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them. Read our DMCA Policies and Disclaimer for more details.