A novel of psychological suspense about an idyllic community rocked by a serial killer—and a dark secret.
“A stellar achievement, a book that unspools like a dark-toned movie in the reader’s mind.”—The Wall Street Journal (One of the Best Mysteries of the Year)
Detective Ben Wade has returned to his hometown of Rancho Santa Elena in search of a quieter life and to try to save his marriage. Suddenly the community, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors at night, shattering illusions of safety. As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer—and deal with painful episodes in the past—Ben’s own world is rocked again by violence. He must decide how far he is willing to go, and Natasha how much she is willing to risk, to protect their friendship and themselves, to rescue the town from a psychotic murderer and a long-buried secret.
Written in fine, chilling prose, Shadow Man reveals the treacherous underbelly of suburban life, as a man, a woman, a family, and a community are confronted with the heart of human darkness.
Finalist for the SCIBA T. Jefferson Parker Award • Named One of the Best Crime Novels of the Year by The Booklist Reader
Set in Southern California in the mid-1980s, Drew's entertaining, well-constructed second novel (after Gardens of Water) subverts action hero tropes. Ben Wade, a former big-city cop, moved back to his small hometown of Santa Elena to try to save his marriage after being shot on the job. Although that didn't work out, he and his ex both still live there, taking care of their teen daughter, Emma. His quiet life is disrupted when a serial killer makes his way to Santa Elena and strangles a local woman. Around the same time, a local teen, an undocumented immigrant, kills himself, and Wade's investigation into the latter stirs up some of his own memories. He's joined in his investigations by medical examiner Natasha Betencourt; a potential romance between them seems to have stalled. As they dive deeper into both cases, Wade and Betencourt are forced to start looking into Wade's own past as well. The darkness that affects Wade, a lone wolf who rides horses for pleasure, forms the heart of the story, and Drew draws it out nicely while still moving the plot forward.