Story Plant hardcover

ISBN: 978-1-61188-055-7

Fiction Studio Books e-book

ISBN: 978-1-936558-79-7

Publication date: October 2, 2012

328 pages

The Shepherd is an intense novel that will have you locking your windows and doors, installing a safe room and taking Ambien so you can sleep through the night after finishing. Ethan Cross opens up the mind of a serial killer, exposes you to it, and leaves you with years of therapy bills. But this thrill-ride is worth every penny.”

– Jeremy Robinson, author of Pulse and Instinct

Marcus Williams
Marcus is the main protagonist of the Shepherd series. He’s a tortured soul with the frightening ability to get inside the head of a killer, a memory that’s both a blessing and a curse, and a gift for hurting people. He’s a bit of a lone wolf that doesn’t play well with others and doesn’t possess the best leadership skills. His biggest fear is failing those he cares about.

Francis Ackerman
One of the most infamous serial killers in the world, he’s been described as a less-cultured Hannibal Lecter. He’s cunning, ruthless, extremely intelligent, charming, handsome, and completely insane. As a boy, he was the subject of twisted experiments conducted by his own father. He possesses a subconscious need to live up to the expectations of how the world views him. Despite all this, he wants to transcend his own violent nature and be more than just a killer.

Andrew Garrison
Andrew is the glue that holds the group together. He’s Marcus’s partner and best friend, but he often feels more like Marcus’s babysitter. While Marcus is hot-headed and blunt, Andrew is calm and diplomatic.

Maggie Carlisle
Maggie is Marcus’s primary love interest and a member of the Shepherd team. She’s strong, but not tough. She’s beautiful, but not girly. She also has deep-rooted personal reasons for being part of the team and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.

The Director
The Director is the enigmatic head of the Shepherd Organization. He’s a former member of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit whose wife was murdered by a serial murderer he was profiling. Not much else is known about him, not even his real name.

Marcus Williams and Francis Ackerman Jr. both have a talent for hurting people. Marcus, a former New York City homicide detective, uses his abilities to protect others, while Ackerman uses his gifts to inflict pain and suffering. When both men become unwilling pawns in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of our government, Marcus finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse trapped between a twisted psychopath and a vigilante with seemingly unlimited resources. Aided by a rogue FBI agent and the vigilante’s beautiful daughter -a woman with whom he’s quickly falling in love- Marcus must expose the deadly political conspiracy and confront his past while hunting down one of the most cunning and ruthless killers in the world.

“This is a excellent example of the action-thriller genre! Ethan Cross is very adept at creating interesting characters that make you think and want to keep reading…. I definitely recommend this book!”

– Must Read Faster


The Shepherd 

Ethan Cross


“A fast paced, all too real thriller with a villain right out of James Patterson and Criminal Minds.”

– Andrew Gross, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Reckless and Don’t Look Twice

The Shepherd will not lead you astray but down a path of horror, chills, suspense, great characters and an equally fantastic story line! I plan to keep a very close watch on Mr. Cross and what he comes out with next.”
– Cheryl’s Book Nook

“If you like a scary thriller with lots of action, check it out.”
– My Book Retreat


Silence of the Lambs meets The Bourne Identity
– Brian S. Wheeler, author of Mr. Hancock’s Signature

The Shepherd is a superbly crafted thriller skillfully delving into the twisted mind of a psychopath and the tormented soul of the man destined to bring him down. Ethan Cross weaves a tale so chilling, I was afraid to turn out the lights. Highly recommended!”
– D.B. Henson, bestselling author of Deed to Death

“In The Shepherd, Ethan Cross has penned a taut, violent and relentless nightmare designed to prey on a reader’s darkest fears. Not for the faint of heart!”
– A.J. Hartley, bestselling author of What Time Devours and Act of Will.


The Shepherd is a thrill ride that takes off from page one, with plenty of twists and turns that do not come to a halt until the final page. Once I started reading, I really couldn't put this book down. I found myself reading it while doing everyday things like sitting at my kitchen table having my breakfast or sitting in my car waiting for my kids to get out of school.”
– The Bookworm


“The twists and turns of this intricately plotted novel will keep readers on their toes and flipping pages furiously.”
– RT Book Reviews

The Shepherd is a nice twist on the familiar serial killer genre, bringing loads of surprises and twists around every corner…. All in all, this a solid debut for Ethan Cross, an author who looks to have a bright future in the thriller genre.”
– Fiction Addict

“This was a great book that had me on the edge of my seat. Many times I was in complete shock as to what was happening…. You don’t want to miss this book!!”
– Wakela Runen’s World

“This powerful thriller keeps the pace at a rapid fire. Once I started reading, it was difficult to put the book down…. It is a must-have for the action and thriller fan, and a great addition to any library. The Shepherd is full of surprises to the very end — you won’t be disappointed and you won’t see it coming.”
– Blogcritics

“I VERY highly recommend this book! It is very well written and the story is unique and full of fabulous twists! The characters are really great. I hated and feared the villain, and I rooted for the hero and loved his character! I was truly amazed by all the twists and I couldn’t help but think about the wonderful author. Fabulous story and fantastic writing, but dude, seriously twisted! LOL! I supposed that’s why this book was right up my alley because I love a good dark & twisty novel! I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s next from this author! I certainly hope we can look forward to more! This fan will be standing in line for more!”
– Life in Review

“I highly recommend reading this book if you are looking for a fast-paced thriller with lots of twists and turns and a truly terrifying villain with perverse perversions.”
– Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews


“There's something for everyone in The Shepherd and it is the perfect read for anyone who likes murder, mayhem and mischief and the occasional bend of the rules.”
– The Phantom Paragrapher

“If you are a fan of suspense you should definitely pick this up.”
– Donna’s Blog Home

Bestselling author Steven James says, "Ethan Cross is one of the sharpest emerging writers on the thriller fiction scene today.” Bestselling author Anthony J. Franze concurs, saying, "Ethan Cross is one of the best damn writers in the genre.” They're not alone. Others have compared this international bestselling author to James Patterson and Thomas Harris. Ethan Cross's work is an unforgettable combination of high-intensity thrills, memorable characters, and complex scenarios. The Bookworm called his first bestseller, The Shepherd, “a thrill ride that takes off from page one,” and that’s the experience you can expect from everything Ethan Cross writes.

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