Enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post.Synopsis:
When a correctional officer climbs his watchtower and opens fire, federal investigator Marcus Williams and serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr. must join forces again to unearth the truth behind the incident. A serial killer is using the prison as his hunting ground. But the Judas Killer's ambitions don't end with a few murders. He wants to go down in history.
Ackerman is undercover among the inmates and Marcus tracks down the mastermind on the outside. The more they learn about what's happening in the prison, the more enemies they must face, including an inmate with no identity and known only as Demon. How does he fit into the Judas Killer's plans?
This book was tough going for me. I have not read the earlier books in the series and I felt lost at the beginning of this one. There was not enough back story included in the early part of this novel to get me up to speed quickly. Because of that, I would suggest you read the earlier three books before reading this one.
A second reason this book was tough reading for me is because it is very descriptive of gruesome scenes. It was a bit much. One character is demon possessed and we get to see what he sees. There is lots of violence too and the scenes are graphically described.
This is a long novel made so by two aspects of it. Cross is often detailed in his descriptions. I remember him describing where a light switch was and why that was a bad place and that it should have been changed when the building was remodeled for its present use. And, of course, there are frequently detailed descriptions of scenes, often gruesome.
Another aspect of the lengthy novel is the ruminations of the characters. This is a novel for people who like to get into the mind of a serial killer. There is much about how it makes him feel to kill and to do it with torture.
I found one aspect of the novel very interesting. Part of the plot involves a new prison system. It is a private one and the thought is that the convicts can be rehabilitated. There is an interesting discussion about evil in the narrative. Marcus, the government agent and brother to a horrible serial murderer, comments, “I believe in evil. I just don't believe that people are evil. I think that men carry out evil deeds because they've been corrupted in one way or another, by lots of unseen forces. Things they had no control over.” The discussion is important because the prison facility where some of the action takes place is trying to bring the convicts to their good origin before something tainted them. Whether man is born good or already tainted would make for good discussion, as would the idea of rehabilitating serial murderers.
The book is rather well written. The character development is great, especially the graphically portrayed serial murderer helping the Department of Justice in this situation. The detailed plot is full of surprises.
Readers who enjoy a very complex plot with intense character development and lots of gruesome scenes will enjoy this novel. Sensitive readers may find it a bit too much, as I did. And do be sure to read the previous novels as there is not enough information in this one to really understand the history of the major characters and how that affects their current work.
You can read an excerpt here.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. Click here to view the 'The Judas Game by Ethan Cross' Tour Participants.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
Ethan Cross is the award winning international bestselling author of The Shepherd, The Prophet, The Cage, Callsign, Knight, Father of Fear, and Blind Justice. In addition to writing and working in the publishing industry, he has also served as the Chief Technology Officer for a national franchise, recorded albums and opened for national recording artists. He has been an active and involved member of the International Thriller Writers organization and Novelists Inc. He lives and writes in Illinois with his wife and their three children. You can find out more at his website, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
Published by: The Story Plant
Publications Date: October 2016
Number of pages: 400
ISBN: 1611882346 (ISBN13: 9781611882346)
Series: Shepherd #4
You can buy your copy of The Judas Game by Ethan Cross at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and add it to your list on GoodReads.
GIVEAWAY!This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the Story Plant and Ethan Cross. There will be 1 winner of one (1) @25 Amazon.com Giftcard AND there will be several winners of one (1) eBook copy of The Shepherd by Ethan Cross. The giveaway begins on September 29th and runs through December 5th, 2016.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.