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Book Review: The Shadow Man by Mark Murphy

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The Shadow Man is a genuinely enticing mystery because what happened to Malcolm King could happen to you. Malcolm is a physician living and performing delicate surgeries in Florida. Now, imagine you are Malcolm.

Hideous murders occur where accumulating evidence begins to suggest that you are a serial killer. To authorities you claim your innocence. For certain, your psyche says you can’t possibly be responsible for carved up human corpses.

Yet circumstantial evidence and factual verification of clues undoubtedly points to you. Run? Should you run before you are hauled into the slammer for murder?

As a doctor, you know about persons with Dissociative Identity Disorder (split personality); now in some bizarre way, is it possible that you have an alter — a monster personality that commits murder? How would you know for sure? Whom would you trust if you begin to distrust your own sanity?

At the beginning of The Shadow Man, your wife and daughter are away when a dismembered dog is found. You remember calling its owner to complain about the dog’s barking because it kept you awake at night when you needed solid sleep to restore you for the operating room.

When police question you about the way the dog was killed of course you are shaken. Why? Because each of the dog’s major organs, even its eyes, were meticulously knifed out with surgeon-like precision.

But when dismantled human corpses turn up with the same precision-like butchery that could only be done by someone possessing extensive knowledge of the human body — someone like you! Now, you are more than merely shaken, particularly when police find likely connections between you and the deceased. Even your best friends and colleagues suspect you as the killer. And what about family? After all, they were away when you could have dismembered the dog and then your very first human victim.

In the shadows of night, you meet The Shadow Man. At first, he appears as a specter in the blackness. But he seems to follow you. When he does confront you in person, he forces you to come away into the darkness with him. He pledges to help you find the accursed murderer because his own brother had been in a similar situation — accused of killing people and eventually executed by the state — all the while claiming innocence.

Yes, The Shadow Man swears he will help. But who is he? Can he be trusted? Is he the killer? He claims to be Billy Littlebear of Seminole ancestry. Can you believe him or is he a figment of Malcolm King’s increasingly frantic psyche?

The Shadow Man will keep you reading at breakneck speed. The black ravens that fly ominously overhead will leave you chilled. Who is the real killer and what possible motive could s/he have? If you are hunting a fast read, even though the book runs to 331 pages, it will read quickly.

The tale is downright creepy, almost satanic, particularly the ending. You will live Dr. Malcolm’s physical and mental distress trying to piece together sliced up evidence before you and he are caged behind bars.

Get a copy of The Shadow Man. This uncanny story will not disappoint. Although you’ll be glad when this disturbing story ends, my bet is that, like me, you will look forward to many more alarming tales penned by Mark Murphy.

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About Regis Schilken

  • Regis, thanks again for an insightful, detailed review of Mark’s book. Glad you enjoyed it!