The Prophet (Shepherd Series #2)

( 24 )

Overview


OLD ENEMIES...
Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work – and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.

NEW THREATS...
Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now ...

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The Prophet (Shepherd Series #2)

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Overview


OLD ENEMIES...
Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work – and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.

NEW THREATS...
Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive.

HIDDEN TERRORS...
Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet – and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine.

With attacks coming from every side, Marcus faces a race against time to save the lives of a group of innocent people chosen as sacrifices in the Prophet's final dark ritual.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Cross pushes the boundaries in this sinisterly clever showdown between one shadowy vigilante justice group and three twisted serial killers. The surprises are fast and furious, and will leave you breathless to read more."
– Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Catch Me and Love You More

"The best book of its kind since Thomas Harris retired Hannibal Lecter, a cat-and-mouse-game extraordinaire that will leave your knuckles white and your stomach churning."
– Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong Vengeance

"Solid, memorable storytelling that moves rapid-fire through a complex and gripping plot. Ethan Cross is one of the sharpest emerging writers on the thriller fiction scene today."
– Steven James, national bestselling author of Opening Moves and The Pawn

"The Prophet confirms, confidently and vociferously, that Ethan Cross is one of the best damn writers in the genre."
– Anthony J. Franze, bestselling author of The Last Justice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611880458
  • Publisher: Story Plant, The
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Series: Shepherd Series , #2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Ethan Cross: Ethan Cross is the pen name of a thriller author living and writing in Illinois with his wife, two daughters, and two Shih Tzus.
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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER ONE

Francis Ackerman Jr. stared out the window of the dark copper and white bungalow on Macarthur Boulevard. Across the street, a green sign with yellow letters read Mosswood Playground - Oakland Recreation Department. Children laughed and played while mothers and fathers pushed swings and sat on benches reading paperback novels or fiddling with cell phones. He had never experienced such things as a child. The only games his father ever played were the kind that scarred the body and soul. He had never been nurtured; he had never been loved. But he had come to accept that. He had found purpose and meaning born from the pain and chaos that had consumed his life.

He watched the sun reflect off all the smiling faces and imagined how different the scene would be if the sun suddenly burned out and fell from the heavens. The cleansing cold of an everlasting winter would sweep across the land, cleansing it, purifying it. He pictured the faces forever etched in torment, their screams silent, and their eyes like two crystal balls reflecting what lay beyond death.

He let out a long sigh. It would be beautiful. He wondered if normal people ever thought of such things. He wondered if they ever found beauty in death.

Ackerman turned back to the three people bound to chairs in the room behind him. The first two were men—plain-clothes cops that had been watching the house. The older officer had a pencil-thin mustache and thinning brown hair while his younger counterpart’s head was topped with a greasy mop of dark black. The younger man’s bushy eyebrows matched his hair, and a hooked nose sat above thin pink lips and a recessed chin. The first man struck Ackerman to be like any other cop he had met, honest and hard-working. But there was something about the younger man he didn’t like, something in his eyes. He suppressed the urge to smack the condescending little snarl from the younger cop’s ferret-like face.

But instead of hitting him, Ackerman just smiled at the cop. He needed a demonstration to get the information he needed, and the ferret would be perfect. His eyes held the ferret’s gaze a moment longer, and then he winked and turned to the last of his three captives.

Rosemary Phillips wore a faded Oakland Raiders sweatshirt. She had salt and pepper hair, and ancient pock marks marred her smooth dark chocolate complexion. Her eyes burned with a self-assurance and inner strength that Ackerman respected.

Unfortunately, he needed to find her grandson, and if necessary, he would kill all three of them to accomplish his goal.

He reached up to her mouth and pulled down the gag. She didn’t scream. “Hello, Rosemary. I apologize that I didn’t properly introduce myself earlier when I tied you up, but my name is Francis Ackerman Jr. Have you ever heard of me?”

Rosemary met his gaze. “I’ve seen you on television. You’re the serial killer whose father experimented on him as a child, trying to prove that he could create a monster. I guess he succeeded. But I’m not afraid of you.”

Ackerman smiled. “That’s wonderful. It means that I can skip the introductions and get straight to the point. Do you know why I asked these two gentleman to join us?”

Rosemary’s head swiveled toward the two officers. Her gaze lingered on the ferret. Ackerman saw disgust in her eyes. Apparently, she didn’t like him either. That would make things even more interesting once he started to torture the young cop.

“I’ve seen these two around,” she said. “I’ve already told the cops that my grandson ain’t no damn fool. He wouldn’t just show up here, and I haven’t heard from him since this mess started. But they wouldn’t listen. Apparently they think it’s a good idea to stake out an old lady’s house instead of being out there on the streets doing what the people of this city pay them to do. Typical government at work.”

Ackerman smiled. “I know exactly what you mean. I’ve never had much respect for authority. But you see, I’m looking for your grandson as well. I, however, don’t have the time or patience to sit around here on the off chance that he might show up. I prefer the direct approach, and so I’m going to ask you to level with me. Where can I find your grandson?”

“Like I told them, I have no idea.”

He walked over to a tall, mahogany hutch resting against the wall. It was old and well-built. Family pictures lined its surface and shelves. He picked up a picture of a smiling young black man with his arm around Rosemary. A blue and gold birthday cake sat in front of them. “Rosemary, I’ve done my homework, and I’ve learned that your grandson thinks the world of you. You were his anchor in the storm. Maybe the one good thing in his life. The one person who loved him. You know where he’s hiding, and you are going to share that information with me. One way or another.”

“Why do you even care? What’s he to you?”

“He’s nothing to me. I could care less about your grandson. But someone that I do care about is looking for him, and I try to be useful where I can. And like you said, sometimes bureaucracy and red tape are just too damn slow. We’re going to speed along the process.”

Rosemary shook her head and tugged on the ropes. “I don’t know where he is, and if I did, I’d never tell a monster like you.”

His father’s words tumbled through his mind.

You’re a monster…Kill her and the pain will stop…No one will ever love you…

“Oh, my dear, words hurt. But you’re right. I am a monster.”

Ackerman grabbed a duffle bag from the floor and tossed it onto a small end table. As he unzipped the bag and rifled through the contents, he said, “Are you familiar with the Spanish Inquisition? I’ve been reading a lot about it lately. It’s a fascinating period of history. The Inquisition was basically a tribunal established by Catholic monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in order to maintain Catholic orthodoxy within their kingdoms, especially among the new converts from Judaism and Islam. But that’s not what fascinates me. What fascinates me are the unspeakable acts of barbarism and torture that were carried out in the name of God upon those deemed to be heretics. We think that we live in a brutal age, but our memories are very short-sighted. Any true student of history can tell you that this is the age of enlightenment compared to other periods throughout time. The things the inquisitors did to wrench confessions from their victims was nothing less than extraordinary. Those inquisitors displayed fabulous imagination.”

Ackerman brought a strange device up out of the duffle bag. “This is an antique. It’s previous owner claimed that it’s an exact replica of one used during the Inquisition. You’ve got to love Ebay.”

He held up the device—built from two large, spiked blocks of wood connected by two threaded metal rods an inch in diameter each—for their inspection. “This was referred to as the Knee Splitter. Although it was used on more than just knees. When the inquisitor would turn these screws, the two blocks would push closer together and the spikes would first pierce the flesh of the victim. Then the inquisitor would continue to twist the screws tighter and tighter until they received the answers they wanted or until the affected appendage was rendered useless.”

Rosemary spit at him. As she spoke, her words were strong and confident. He detected a slight hint of a Georgian accent and suspected that it was from her youth and only presented itself when she was especially flustered. “You’re going to kill us anyway. No matter what I do. I can’t save these men anymore than I can save myself. The only thing that I can control is the way that I go out. And I won’t grovel and beg to the likes of you. I won’t give you the satisfaction.”

He nodded. “I respect that. So many people blame the world or society or others for the way that they are. But we’re all victims of circumstance to a certain extent. We like to think that we’re in control of our own destinies, but the truth is that much of our lives are dictated by forces far beyond our control and comprehension. We all have our strings pulled by someone or something. It’s unavoidable. The only place that we have any real control is right here.” He tapped the tip of his fifteen-inch survival knife against his right temple. “Within our minds. Most people don’t understand that, but you do. I didn’t come here to kill you, Rosemary. It will give me no pleasure to remove you from the world. But my strings get pulled just like everyone else’s. In this case, circumstances dictate that I hurt you and these men in order to achieve my goal. I’m good at what I do, my dear. I’ve been schooled in pain and suffering my entire life. Time will only allow me to share a small portion of my expertise with you, but I can tell you that it will be enough. You will tell me. That’s beyond your control. The only aspect of this situation that you can influence is the duration of the suffering you must endure. So I’ll ask again, where is your grandson?”

Her lips trembled, but she didn’t speak.

The smell of cinnamon permeated the air but was unable to mask a feral aroma of sweat and fear. Ackerman had missed that smell. He had missed the fear, the power. But he needed to keep himself contained. He couldn’t lose control. This was about information, not about satisfying his own hunger.

“Time to begin. As they say, I’m going to put the screws to this officer. Makes you wonder if this device is responsible for such a saying, doesn’t it?”

~~*~~

After several moments of enjoyment with his new toy, Ackerman looked at Rosemary, but she had diverted her gaze. He twisted the handles again, and the officer’s thrashing increased.

“Okay, I’ll tell you!” she said. “He’s in Spokane, Washington. They’re set up in an abandoned metal working shop of some kind. Some crooked realtor set it up for them. I’ve tried to get him to turn himself in. I even consider calling the police myself, but I know that he and his friends won’t allow themselves to be captured alive. He’s the only family I have left.” Tears ran down her cheeks.

Ackerman reached down and twisted the pressure from the officer’s legs. The man’s head fell back against the chair. “Thank you. I believe you, and I appreciate your situation. Your grandson has been a bad boy. But he’s your flesh and blood, and you still love him.”

He walked over to the table and pulled up another chair in front of Rosemary. As he sat, he pulled out a small notepad. It was spiral-bound from the top with a blood red cover. “Since you’ve been so forthcoming with me and out of respect, I’ll give you a genuine chance to save your lives.” He flipped up the notepad’s cover, retrieved a small pen from within the spiral, and started to write. As the pen traveled over the page, he said, “I’m going to let you pick the outcome of our little game. On this first sheet, I’ve written ‘ferret’ to represent our first officer.” He tore off the page, wadded it up, and placed it between his legs. “On the second, we’ll write ‘Jackie Gleason’ to represent the next officer. Then Rosemary. Then all live. And all die.”

He stirred up the wadded pieces of paper and placed them on the floor in front of her. “I think the game is self-explanatory, but to make sure that there’s no confusion, you pick the piece of paper, and I kill whoever’s name is on it. But you do have a twenty percent chance that you all live. And just to be clear, if you refuse to pick or take too long, I’ll be happy to kill all three of you. So please don’t try to fight fate. The only thing you have control over here is which piece of paper you choose. Have no illusions that you have other options. It will only serve in making the situation even less manageable for you. Pick one.”

Rosemary’s eyes were full of hate. They burrowed into him. Her gaze didn’t waver. A doctor named Kendrick from the Cedar Mill Psychiatric Hospital had once told Ackerman that he had damage to a group of interconnected brain structures, known as the paralimbic system, that were involved in processing emotion, goal seeking, motivation, and self-control. The doctor had studied his brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging technology and had also found damage to an area known as the amygdala that generated emotions such as fear. Monkeys in the wild with damage to the amygdala had been known to walk right up to people or even predators. The doctor had said this explained why Ackerman didn’t feel fear in the way that other people did. He wondered if Rosemary had a similar impairment or if her strength originated from somewhere else entirely.

She looked down at the sheets of paper then back into his eyes. “Third one. The one right in the center.”

He reached down and uncrumpled the small piece of paper. He smiled. “It’s your lucky day. You all get to live. I’m sorry that you had to endure this due to the actions of someone else. But as I said, we’re all victims of circumstance.”

Then he stood, retrieved his things, and exited onto Macarthur Boulevard.

~~*~~

Ackerman tossed his duffle bag into the trunk of a light-blue Ford Focus. He wished he could travel in more style, but the ability to blend outweighed his own sense of flare. He pulled open the driver’s door, slipped inside, and dropped some jewelry and the wallets and purse of his former captives on the seat next to him. He hated to lower himself to common thievery, but everything cost money. And his skill set didn’t exactly look good on a resume. Besides, he didn’t have time for such things.

He retrieved a disposable cell phone from the glove box and activated the device. As he dialed and pressed send, he looked down at the small slip of paper that Rosemary had chosen. The words All Die stared back at him.

After a few rings, the call connected, and the voice on the other end said, “What do you want?”

Ackerman smiled. “Hello, Marcus. Please forgive me, for I have sinned. But I do it all for you.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

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(20)

4 Star

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 5, 2013

    Just as good as The Shepherd. Fast paced and kept me not wantin

    Just as good as The Shepherd. Fast paced and kept me not wanting to put it down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2013

    Every bit as riveting as "The Shepherd."  Once again t

    Every bit as riveting as "The Shepherd."  Once again the research is excellent and the story is exciting.  Can't wait for the next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Great suspense!

    Ethan Cross has a gift at weaving an amazingly intricate story line. Great read and waiting in anticipation for another fast paced thriller in this series or any other he creates in his incredibly gifted suspense filled mind!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    In a nutshell there is a whole lot of crazy going on in this boo

    In a nutshell there is a whole lot of crazy going on in this book. Not satisfied with presenting his readers with a serial killer Cross decided to make it a triple whammy.
    The main character Marcus, is being observed and aided in his vigilante career by a serial killer. That's right Ackermann just wants to help him out a little by killing an odd person here or there.
    Now that combo is trying to find someone who is killing young women and he in turn has been taught by yup you got it, yet another serial killer.
    In fact at times it is hard keeping track of who is killing whom.
    Sometimes less is more. It might also be a better idea to keep some of the sub plots low key and let them build with more tension. As it is it just seems like one huge Superbowl of killing.
    Ackermann and Marcus will be interesting to watch in the next book, especially given the info that is fed to the reader during the story. What sort of implications will it have? Is Marcus going to give in to that dark side that shimmers on the surface? Is Ackermann actually discovering a little bit of his humanity that is left within the tortured shell of his mind?
    I do have one complaint though. Plot-wise having Maggie make that choice at the end was pivotal to the story but was completely far-fetched.
    Overall this is a decent crime story perhaps a little on the garish side and lacking a spark of a thriller, but still a good read.
    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A review copy was provided for an honest review. The Prophet is

    A review copy was provided for an honest review. The Prophet is gritty, suspenseful, and twistedly thrilling. Ethan Cross does a great job at giving you the chills in this creepy yet engrossing story. It's exceptionally written and very well researched. Cross writes with vivid detail focusing on everything yet not dragging out his words with unnecessary descriptions. Initially I was drawn to the cover and then allured by the synopsis and thankfully I was not disappointed this novel was completely gripping and the story was absolutely amazing. I could hardly put this book down it just held me in a constant state of edge! The Prophet will blow you away with its cleverly developed plot and completely riveting characters.

    Marcus is the main protagonist of the story who works for a covert organization of the government called Shepherd that does whatever it takes to apprehend serial killers. They call themselves Shepherds and the murderous predators are called wolves; and the victims are the sheep. After a serial killer named Ackerman takes notice of Special Agent Marcus he plays a sick game of helping him catch other murderers though he's one of the worst ones of them all. His misguided help only pushes Marcus further over the edge with determination to find him and end his horrific assists also while in pursuit of another notorious killer who goes by the name of the Anarchist.

    Switching effortlessly between many perspectives you gain insight into both the killers and the main characters who are hunting them down. The different points of view adds a revitalization lacking in other thriller novels and it makes things fresh and interesting. This story brilliantly weaves together a complicated plot and delivers it in a straightforward manner. Not realizing that this was a sequel I delved into the story and easily picked up the gist of things; it includes much of the past knowledge so you won't have any problems understanding the back-story from the first novel: The Shepherd. The Prophet is easily one of the best thrillers I've ever read, it has everything: action, suspense, drama, some romance, unpredictable twists and turns that will have your heart racing and at times have your gut churning. It delivers on all accounts.

    Ackerman is sick, delusional, obsessive, and brutal. He plays life and death roulette with his victims and threatens and tortures them to do whatever he wants. His obsession with Special Agent Marcus is disturbing yet compelling. The Anarchist is a serial murderer who kills women who have a happiness that he can never possess. He feels nothing and believes that by killing them his soul will feel something. The Prophet is the puppeteer and master of the Anarchist making sure he carries out the deaths of those chosen as sacrifices and is a strong believer in a higher purpose. 3 killers and three trained agents who will stop at nothing to ensure these killers are captured or put down like the animals that they are. This story will leave you enthralled and anxious for more. A first-rate suspenseful thriller that will keep you up all night devouring its contents until early morning.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    Great read!

    As good as the first - I have #3 in my library. Great series! Sorta helps to read The Cage novella first (it too is great).

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  • Posted October 19, 2013

    Fantastic book !!!

    This is one a must read ! I couldn't put this book down . I can't wait to read the next book.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Good

    Alot of action. More than really needed but I still could not put it down

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  • Posted September 28, 2013

    Can I just say wow? This book is such a gripping thriller. It is

    Can I just say wow? This book is such a gripping thriller. It is the second book in The Shepherd series, but reads well as a stand-alone. I was pulled in by this one that I will definitely be going back to read the first.




    Cross does a good job of introducing all of the characters, but does not reveal the connections until the very end. I don’t want to spoil anything but there are some very intense twists and turns that leave you like “WHAT?!”




    The author definitely knows how to pull you in. His way of intertwining the characters and story-line is unbelievable. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down! I just had to know what happened next. It flowed very well but also left you dumbfounded in a good way. I’m hoping there will be another book in the series due to the huge cliff-hanger at the end.




    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime thrillers. I would also say that this is for a more mature audience due to the horror nature of the book.




    DISCLAIMER
    I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Outstanding!

    I really liked Ethan's first book 'The Shepherd' and anxiously awaited this one... I was not disappointed. The Prophet was even better IMO. This was a book that was hard to put down. I look forward to anything that Ethan Cross writes. He is on my 'must read' list of authors. Kudos Ethan! Keep them coming!

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  • Posted December 9, 2012

    The Prophet is definitely one of those books that will grip you

    The Prophet is definitely one of those books that will grip you from the very beginning. Two serial killers and their leader, The Prophet are some very sick and twisted individuals. One of the killers The Anarchist, has been under the thumb of the man called the Prophet since he was small and living on a commune with his mother. He is a seemingly normal family man with a dark side. Francis Ackerman, the other serial killer featured in the story is a thorn in the side of Special Agent Marcus Williams, an agent working for a special agency developed by the Department of Justice, kind of a rogue agency if you will, so much so that Marcus is haunted by his own dark side. Marcus works with other law agents to apprehend these killers. The story is written in such a way that you do not want to put it down..I was scared, thrilled and appalled as I read this book. This is definitely a character driven story told with brutal honesty and very human emotions. Can Marcus get his man?? Will he be able to get past his own past?? You have to read the book to find out...this is the second book in the Shepard series but is also a stand alone book..A book that will keep you up at night, then have you getting up to check the windows and doors...I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted December 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    AOLD ENEMIES... Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most pr

    AOLD ENEMIES... Francis Ackerman Jr. is one of America's most prolific serial killers. Having kept a low profile for the past year, he is ready to return to work - and he's more brutal, cunning, and dangerous than ever.




    NEW THREATS... Scarred from their past battles, Special Agent Marcus Williams cannot shake Ackerman from his mind. But now Marcus must focus on catching the Anarchist, a new killer who drugs and kidnaps women before burning them alive.




    HIDDEN TERRORS... Marcus knows the Anarchist will strike again soon. And Ackerman is still free. But worse than this is a mysterious figure, unknown to the authorities, who controls the actions of the Anarchist and many like him. He is the Prophet - and his plans are more terrible than even his own disciples can imagine.




    With attacks coming from every side, Marcus faces a race against time to save the lives of a group of innocent people chosen as sacrifices in the Prophet's final dark ritual.




    BAM! WHAM! KAPOW! Ethan Cross has thrown a knockout punch with The Prophet. I stayed up late in the night to finish this one and then had nightmares. Wow!!




    Riveting, thrilling, gritty, gripping, enthralling, chilling, edgy, okay you get the idea. Cross's books tend to make me get a little carried away. The detail of  the descriptions will make you shiver and shake. Cross is a very compelling writer. He PULLS you right into the drama and the mind of a serial killer. Scary!! and not for the squeamish! The way the characters connect is spellbinding on many levels.




    Special Agent Marcus Williams worked for a covert agency overseen by the Department of Justice, The Shepherd. Agents don't come to the group through normal channels. Each is fighting their own demons and is specially selected to become part of the group. Williams story continues to build slowly and soon you will be on the edge of your seat and the tempo reaches breakneck speed.




    In a previous review for the  The Shepherd I told James Patterson he had competition. This story surpasses Patterson.  Ethan Cross is the new author to watch in thrilling suspense fiction! If you haven't read The Shepherd I recommend reading that first.  I also wish I would have read the novella The Cage before reading this as I am a stickler for reading series in order. But  the author has brought forth the necessary facts to allow this to be read as a stand alone.




    Ethan, give me a little tine to recover and I will be ready for your next installment. The rest of you need to get reading!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2012

    The Prophet was a gripping murder mystery.  I did not want to pu

    The Prophet was a gripping murder mystery.  I did not want to put it down.  There are so many interesting characters and I felt like I got to know each of them intimately, the good and the bad. I have not read the first book in the Shepherd Series but I didn't feel like that was essential in any way to really becoming a part of this thriller.  Women are being killed and the Shepherd organization is called in to solve the mysteries.  In the middle of reading this story I had eye surgery - it was literally painful to try and get this story finished - but I also felt I couldn't put it aside for even a few hours.  This is a very intense story and even the "good guys" contributed to the depth of this story and its' plot.  I definitely plan to go back and read the first book in the series to learn more about the relationship between Marcus and Ackerman.  I must tell you I was in the waiting room to be prepped for eye surgery when I was reading about one of the first serial killings and the impact of the victim's eyes nearly put me in a panic before being wheeled into surgery.  Next time I will need to read more of a Mary Poppins book in the waiting room!  I absolutely give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and will not only read the first book but I am sure I will be anxiously awaiting his next one afterwards...




    I received this book via Partners In Crime Book Tours.  All opinions, good or bad, are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Excellent Third Installment

    This book surpassed my expectations. I cannot wait for the next installment, the ending left me wanting so much more! Well done, I say. Highly recommend, but you need to read the previous books to really understand the Ackerman angle. Love, love, love this author and this series.

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  • Posted November 24, 2012

    Special Agent Marcus Williams must find the Anarchist, a killer

    Special Agent Marcus Williams must find the Anarchist, a killer who drugs his victims before burning them alive. But what Williams does not know is that the Anarchist takes his orders from the Prophet, and he has one more final plan.


    This is a spellbinding crime thriller with a well-written plot. The many twists and turns will keep even the most seasoned reader guessing. Note: this is the third in the Shepherd series. It will make more sense to the reader if you read the series in order. However, I found that the novel worked well as a stand-alone.

    5 stars


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Posted November 23, 2012

    Ethan Cross is a mastermind, creating a thrilling, interesting, thought-provoking read while playing with several story lines at the same time

    This thriller is a synergy of two stories happening at the same time. Not having had the opportunity to read its prequel, The Shepherd, it took me some time to ‘get’ the two stories of The Anarchist and Ackerman and how they both relate to special agent Marcus Willliams. The sole aim of the Shepherd Organisation, of which Marcus is a part, is to take down killers in any way possible. And in the process, they can get away with anything.

    The main characters in this book are worked out beautifully. Especially interesting is the theme of Marcus’ thoughts about the difference in killing killers and killers killing people. And more importantly, where does one draw the line between being the first and maybe eventually becoming the second? This issue gets resolved by the end when it gets very close up and personal for Marcus and he learns more about his past.

    Then there is the person of the Prophet, a vague figure in the beginning and mainly visible though his (un)willing disciples. And all the while he actually is right in your face.

    There is a lot of killing going on, by straight-out killers, as well as by Marcus and his team. It certainly is a book that keeps you on your toes so you don’t lose the story line. In that sense it is not a Sunday afternoon relaxed read, you need to keep your mind with it to keep the stories straight.

    What I love about The Prophet is how Ethan Cross explores the thoughts about good and evil; how far one can go in hunting down evil, while condoning the means. Moreover, Cross describes the background and personal history of the characters in such a way that you really get to know them and even understand their actions. You have to keep your mind with this book, but Ethan Cross gives you certainly something to chew on!

    Ethan Cross is a mastermind, creating a thrilling, interesting, thought-provoking read while playing with several story lines at the same time. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars. Definitely recommended!

    The only minus is the quality of the book itself, a few pages let lose while I was reading, which is rather annoying . I hope this is only the case with my copy.

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    Posted March 1, 2014

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    Posted June 5, 2013

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    Posted October 9, 2012

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    Posted October 16, 2012

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