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The Shadow Man by Mark Murphy

The Shadow Man

by Mark Murphy

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I didn’t really have any expectations going into this book, although I knew it wasn’t my typical reading genre. Sometimes it’s good to break out of your personal reading mold, so I was looking forward to that very much. If you’re looking for a thriller, this one won’t disappoint you.

I had a difficult time getting through this one in terms of the material covered. This is about a serial killer, which is bad enough, but the killer is an especially brutal one, doing things like removing organs and leaving murdered pets outside for kids to find. I think a more experienced reader of this genre may be used to things like that, but it really made me sick to my stomach at times and I’d have to put it down for awhile to calm myself. There were also several situations that filled me with anxiety, scenarios where someone’s sanctuary was breached, and that kind of thing just scares the pants off me.

To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog. ( )
  dorolerium | Dec 7, 2012 |
The Shadow Man opens with a serial killer named "Q" in the middle of a swamp in Florida as he is disposing of his recent kill. He is feeding her body parts to hungry gators.
Q hints at his surgical residency, so straight away the reader knows this killer was involved in the medical field at one point, and may have been a surgeon.

Surgeon Malcolm King has a nice life, a great career, a wife named Amy and a fifteen year old daughter named Mimi. The family lives in a beautiful house in a prominent neighborhood in Savannah with their dog Daisy.

As Q continues his string of murders, Malcolm becomes a suspect. Not only does Malcolm not have an alibi, he is a surgeon and the killer uses surgeon like precision when committing the murders. Malcolm finds himself drawn into the killers web as he tries to prove his innocence. All the victims seem to be connected to Malcolm in some way.

The Shadow Man was a thrill ride from start to finish. I liked that the book begins with Q's point of view, it gives the story a very creepy starting point. As you start reading, you find yourself deep in the Florida swamp as a serial killer is feeding body parts to the crocodiles.

Part of me wondered if Malcolm was behind the murders but didn't know it himself, he seemed to be asleep when the killings were occurring. He'd also wake up confused as to where he was most of the time, but this of course could just be because of stress, his wife having to leave town and his stressing over the killings. When he began to see the Thin Man, I wondered about his sanity.

Author Mark Murphy has a knack for descriptive storytelling and he created an eerie atmosphere throughout the story. The Florida setting is the perfect backdrop to this nail biting read. As I read I could easily envision the sights and sounds of Savannah. Malcolm's house lays right along a river and there's been rumors of this old house being haunted.

The supporting cast of characters was well written. Malcolm's childhood friend is Ben, now a detective who is working on the murder case. I suspected him as the killer, but then again, everyone is a suspect. As the story took its twists and turns, I didn't know what to expect next. Just when I thought I had the killer figured out, the author took me on a different route.

Malcolm befriends a man named Billy Littlebear, who is a Seminole tracker. Billy wants to help him find the killer and has his own personal motives for doing so. I found myself liking Malcolm from the start and I didn't want him to be the murderer.
Q is as bad as they get. The descriptions of his actions are gory as he models himself after Jack the Ripper and calls himself Jack.

Reminiscent of Dean Koontz's work, The Shadow Man is a suspenseful read that I enjoyed from start to finish. I found myself fully immersed as I tried to figure out the killer's identity.

Author Mark Murphy is a physician and this shows in his work. I didn't feel shortchanged as I read about the medical aspects in the story, I could tell this skilled writer knew what he was talking about. He also gives some history on the City of Savannah, which I found to be a nice touch as these details enhanced the story.
I recommend this one to fans of mystery thrillers, or to anyone looking to get caught up in a suspenseful, well written read.

This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I received a free copy of The Shadow Man for review. ( )
  bookworm_naida | Nov 11, 2012 |
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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 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 abolutely 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 perhpas a little bit over.… (more)

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