The Shadow Man

The Shadow Man

4.6 14
by Mark Murphy
     
 

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Savannah surgeon Malcolm King had a perfect life—a loving wife, devoted daughter, and a thriving medical practice. And then it all ended. A chance encounter with a reckless driver in an airport parking lot leads to his first brush with the law. The senseless slaughter of a neighbor’s pet soon follows, with Malcolm inexplicably questioned in the matter

Overview

Savannah surgeon Malcolm King had a perfect life—a loving wife, devoted daughter, and a thriving medical practice. And then it all ended. A chance encounter with a reckless driver in an airport parking lot leads to his first brush with the law. The senseless slaughter of a neighbor’s pet soon follows, with Malcolm inexplicably questioned in the matter by the police. An adversary is found decapitated. An acquaintance is chopped into pieces and stuffed into a garbage bag, Malcolm soon finds himself the prime suspect in a serial murder case. But he’s not a killer. Or is he? Who is the Thin Man who lurks at the edges of his vision? Are the flocks of ravens that crowd overhead a warning of impending doom? Or do they exist at all? And how can he protect his family from something—or someone—he knows absolutely nothing about? As Malcolm fights to discover the truth, he learns from a mysterious Seminole tracker that he may not be the first victim of a chameleon-like serial killer known as The Shadow Man. Malcolm’s quest for justice takes him perilously close to the edge of sanity—and perhaps a little bit over it. The Shadow Man is a new breed of psychological thriller, serving up a dark look into the human soul that will have the reader searching for the truth. In Mark Murphy’s debut novel, respectable surgeon Malcolm King becomes entangled in the mind games of a psychopathic serial killer. Malcolm’s home is invaded, his medical practice falls apart, and his family is threatened by a faceless assailant from the world between light and darkness: the Shadow Man. The Shadow Man begins with a killer, identified only as “Q,” dumping a woman’s dismembered body into a Florida swamp filled with hungry alligators. The action then shifts to Savannah, where Malcolm’s car is side-swiped by a dark-tinted SUV which then disappears into the night. The seemingly random hit-and-run is the beginning of a nightmare when the mysterious SUV is found to bear license plates from a stolen vehicle—and the stolen vehicle’s owner is found dead in a Florida hotel. A string of horrific murders follows. Malcolm soon finds himself the prime suspect in a serial murder case, having to convince the police—and himself—that he is not responsible for these crimes. But what is the truth? Can Malcolm save himself and his family? Or will the Shadow Man win out at last, dragging them all into oblivion? The Shadow Man is a unique work. Beautifully written, it is at once evocative and gruesome, an exploration of the intimate bonds of a loving family and the sheer terror of having those things stolen away. This novel is heart-pounding thrill ride the reader simply cannot put down.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A Savannah doctor's life turns upside down when people suspect him of serial murder in this thriller tinged with the supernatural. Surgeon Malcolm King is a good man living a good life in this fast-paced and suspenseful first novel by Murphy, a gastroenterologist and columnist for the Savannah Morning News. Malcolm has a loving family, a faithful golden retriever and a beautiful house. So when people link him to a series of gruesome murders, he's desperate to discover the truth--at times even wondering if his sanity is slipping and he himself might be the killer. To avoid capture, Malcolm goes on the run, aided by a mysterious Thin Man who may or may not be trustworthy. As horrific murders of people close to him continue, Malcolm fights to protect his family and stop the killer. His good-guy hero faces an impossible situation full of spooky, atmospheric details reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart's plight in a Hitchcock movie, and the thriller aspect works especially well since the book grounds it in ordinary happiness. Malcolm's wife and daughter, even his dog, are fully realized, not pawns in a horror show; the Savannah setting is lushly detailed; and it's easy to see what Malcolm has to lose. His work also comes across as both realistic--one day ranges from "ruptured appendices and walled-off diverticular abscesses to a Billroth II gastric resection"--and horribly similar to the killer's grisly dissections. Flashes of humor help to ease the tension, and the camaraderie between Malcolm and other characters is a reminder that human connections can stand against evil. The sturdy plot structure includes red herrings, family secrets and a new direction just when it looks like it's all over. Two clichés, each a bit of a groaner, mar the book somewhat: a noble, spiritual Native American and a medical condition often unfairly linked to villainy. The supernatural elements add little to the plot and can seem a bit pat, but they don't get in the way of a satisfying finish. An enjoyable, well-written and twisty thriller with gruesome aspects balanced by warmth, believable relationships and a likable hero.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781938296031
Publisher:
Langdon Street Press
Publication date:
07/20/2012
Pages:
156
Sales rank:
1,177,515
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

A physician currently living in Savannah, Georgia, Mark Murphy is a lifelong award-winning writer. After a distinguished medical career which included the publication of a number of medical textbook chapters and academic journal articles, Dr. Murphy’s decision to attend the Iowa Summer Writing Festival led to the 2004 publication of a short story, "The Funeral," in a collection of works entitled O! Georgia! A regular newspaper column in the Savannah Morning News followed. The Shadow Man is his first novel. Dr. Murphy is married to Daphne, his high school sweetheart. They have two children.

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The Shadow Man 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought I should read this as Dr. Murphy is my husband's physician. Could get very far in to it as the characters are really sick and twisted. Very violent. I think I need more uplifting messages this time of year. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do not have much time to read, but I could not put this book down. It had great descriptions of Savannah. I bought the book since I live in Savannah and everyone will deffitly enjoy reading it. The auther is top notch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HilyBee More than 1 year ago
A heart-pumping, down-right gut wrenching mystery/thriller/suspense novel that should be sold next to the big names of suspenseful fiction. My goodness! I was anxious and nervous for the main character! I read this long book in about one and a half days, loving every second of it. This novel is what nightmares are made of..the killer who can't be caught, the main character who does everything to clear his name but can never catch a break, a family torn apart, and brutal murders that even the most *seasoned* of murder investigators couldn't handle. Mark Murphy has an intense writing style that sucks you in, holds you for ransom and doesn't let you go until the story is over. It's very memorable, every single part of this book will stick with me. The characters were perfect, just enough creepy and just enough innocence. Mark also wove in twists that I never felt coming, but they also didn't *smack* you in the face. The twists were strong but subtle - a perfect balance for this book with all the other drama occurring. Like most books and movies, there is a clear rise, turning point and fall... but with Shadow Man, I felt like it just kept rising and rising and rising. I didn't know when the turning point would hit, allowing the ending to begin. I love that in a suspense novel. It keeps your guessing about what's coming next. I highly recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 18 due to graphic content) who loves murder mysteries, especially Koontz, King and G. Flynn fans. You will love this one! Such a stunning novel. I can't wait to see more from Mark! ~HilyBee from Novel d'Tales
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out my full review at Kritters Ramblings An eerie book that takes place in the beautiful city of Savannah, GA with old Southern homes full of ghost stories and such. A surgeon who is known for his medical capabilities gets caught up in a string of murders of people who are connected to him, but he is completely innocent. The reader is taken on a journey to find out who dun it and even is told in the end why he was the victim.
MeteorFlower More than 1 year ago
Favorite read of Halloween 2012 Malcom King had a perfect life. He was a well known surgeon with a thriving medical practice, a loving family, and a beautiful home. All of that comes crashing down starting with an eviscerated dog. Soon after people connected to Malcom are found killed and eviscerated with the skill only a surgeon could possess. The police have enough evidence to put him on death row and so Malcom runs. He finds out from a mysterious Seminole tracker that he may not have been the only victim of The Shadow Man. This book is INTENSE! I have to say that it is my favorite read of this Halloween and I’m going to be very hard pressed to find one that takes its place. Mark Murphy takes you on a ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat and the pages turning to the end. He plays with the reader’s mind almost as much as The Shadow Man himself plays with his victims. Figments that lurk at the edge of Malcom’s vision, people that are there one minute and gone the next and flocks of ravens that make you wonder if they ever really existed at all await you in this novel. I knew from the moment I started this book and a man only identified as “Q” was dumping a dismembered body into the swamp for the gators that I was in for one hell of a ride. Being the horror fan I am, I wasn’t expecting to be surprised. In the end, I was and that puts this author on my to watch list. Thank you to Nicole at Tribute Books for the review copy. It in no way influenced my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not typically a murder mystery/ thriller fan but was immediately captivated by this book and agree thatit wss hsrd to put down. This was an eady read with a great balance of detail, history and fear. Highly recommend!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! It was hard to put it down.
Bell-Girl More than 1 year ago
An enthralling story, set among the oaks and Spanish moss of the colonial Georgia capitol of Savannah, Georgia, The Shadow Man is a can't-put-it-down thriller! First-time novelist Mark Murphy nails has penned an absolutely riveting tale here. Fans of John Hart, Stephen King and Donna Tartt will love this work.
ScubaBeard More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of the horror/thriller genre. I have watched and read so many films and books in this genre, that I am rarely surprised by anything. This book was definitely an exception! The whole time I read this book I was on edge, even my own foot startled me at one point. Mark Murphy did a great job of creating an eerie atmosphere throughout the whole book, and the ending was excellent. Read it now!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat action. Crime/mystery fiction fans will love this new novel by Mark Murphy.