Author Guest Post
Why I Write Thrillers by Ethan Cross
I’m not sure where my fascination with crime and thrillers first stemmed, but… I’ve only read one fictional book where no one was killed or no crime was committed. It sounds pretty morbid when I read those words, but honestly, I think it all comes back to what’s at stake. The more that’s at stake, the higher the level of excitement and tension. My goal with writing is to create a book that I would want to read, and crime/action thrillers are the type of books that excite me because they have the highest stakes.
I suppose that my love of crime thrillers could be attributed to the fact that most people, including myself, lead fairly normal lives. We don’t face life and death circumstances. We’ve never been accused of murder. We’ve never had a serial killer invade our quiet lives. But these are fears and situations that we can explore through the world of fiction. A talented author or filmmaker can put us in the shoes of someone that has experienced things that we can only dream of or has faced the things that we fear the most. But in the end, we still get to come back to reality and lead a safe and happy life. Fiction is the ultimate escape because it’s the only time when you can escape yourself. And if I’m going to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, I want that person to lead a life or have experiences that are drastically different from my own.
Going a step farther, it's a lot of fun to get into the head of a killer and imagine the world through a different set of eyes, but it's like an actor playing a role. I don't become a killer or let dark thoughts consume me. I think that we all have a darker side (myself apparently more than others), and I just tap into that part of my brain. But that's the cool (and therapeutic) thing about writing…I get to be all of the characters, good and bad, hero and villain.
In fact, I'd go as far as to say that my sense of compassion for both the killers and victims has grown since writing this type of book. A lot of situations within The Shepherd and The Prophet stem from imagining the scariest possible scenarios for me on a personal level, from both an internal and external viewpoint. The highest stakes, if you will. It's not what I'd like to do to someone else; it's what I would never want to happen to me. And I think that's why it resonates.
About The Author
In addition to writing and working in the publishing industry, Ethan has also served as the Chief Technology Officer for a national franchise, recorded albums and opened for national recording artists as lead singer and guitar player in a musical group, and been an active and involved member of the International Thriller Writers organization and Novelists Inc.
He lives and writes in Illinois with his wife, three kids, and two Shih Tzus.
Amazon Author Page
The Story Plant - Publisher: Author Page
The Judas Game by Ethan Cross
Book 4: Shepherd Thriller Series
Publisher: The Story Plant / Fiction Studio Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2016
Format: Paperback - 400 pages
Kindle - 4707 KB
Nook - 6 MB
Genre: Crime / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Buy The Series: Shepherd Thriller Series
Book 0.5: The Cage
Book 1: The Shepherd
Book 2: The Prophet
Book 3: Father of Fear
Book 4: The Judas Game
Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
When a correctional officer climbs to the top of his watchtower and opens fire on the inmates and guards, federal investigator Marcus Williams and serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr. must join forces again to unearth the truth behind the incident. What they find is a serial killer using the prison as his hunting grounds. But the Judas Killer's ambitions don't end with a few murders. He wants to go down in history and has no reason left to live.
With Ackerman undercover among the inmates and Marcus tracking down the mastermind on the outside, the team must learn the identity of the Judas Killer and stop a full-scale uprising that he's orchestrated. But the more they learn about what's happening at the prison and why the more enemies they must face. From inside the overrun facility, Marcus and Ackerman must save the hostages and stop an elaborate escape attempt while trying to determine how a rival corporation, the leader of one of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations, and an inmate with no identity only known as Demon fit into the Judas Killer's plans.
Launching a bold new cycle of novels featuring The Shepherd Organization, The Judas Game is searing, mesmerizing fiction—it's Ethan Cross at his very best.
My Book Review:
The Judas Game is a riveting crime suspense thriller that is so chilling, it makes the reader grip the arms of their chair, and raises the hair on the back of their neck with goose bumps of fear on their arms!
In the fourth book of The Shepherd Thriller series, author Ethan Cross once again raises the bar on chills and thrills with this gripping suspense thriller. Even though this is the fourth book in the series, it can be a stand alone read, as the author seamlessly brings the reader up-to-speed with the continuation of the latest Shepherd Organization's investigation from book to book.
Told in the third person narrative, the author weaves a riveting tale set in a prison setting that immediately engages the reader to follow this captivating tale rich in detail and vivid descriptions, with its many twists and turns that doesn't leave the reader an option other than to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. I am a diehard fan of crime and suspense thrillers, and I must admit that each of the books in this series exceeds my expectations. The intensity of the storyline and the tension of identifying the Judas Killer, and stopping the dangerous plans of Demon and the criminal organization, leads the agents of the Shepherd Organization on a dangerous mission that kept me thoroughly riveted and so engrossed, I literally had to finish the story in one sitting.
With a large cast of characters who are realistic and complex people, the author does a phenomenal job of delving into their minds and providing the reader with serial killers who are seriously demented, dangerous criminal organizations with devious plans, and special agents who are determined to bring them to justice. The author transports the reader into this fast paced white-knuckle storyline with his creative interweaving of a psychological cat-n-mouse game between the characters that leaves the reader's heart palpating while holding their breath. It just doesn't get any better than this ... oh wait ... maybe it will in the next book in the series!
The Judas Game is one heck of an adrenaline rush of a crime story that is a must read for the true diehard suspense thriller junkie!
RATING: 5 STARS
Enter For a Chance to WIN!
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 Sheperd by Ethan Cross. The giveaway begins on September 29th and runs through December 5th, 2016.
Virtual Book Tour
1. 10/03 Guest post @ Books Direct
2. 10/05 Review & Interview @ CMash Reads
3. 10/06 Showcase @ Writers and Authors
4. 10/07 Review @ just reviews
5. 10/10 Review @ Books, Dreams, Life
6. 10/11 Interview @ Writers and Authors
7. 10/14 Interview @ Books Chatter
8. 10/17 Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
9. 10/20 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
10. 10/26 Review @ Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine
11. 11/07 Guest post @ JeanBookNerd
12. 11/14 Review & Guest post @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
13. 11/22 Review @ Marys Cup of Tea
14. 11/26 Review @ Beagle Book Space
15. 11/27 Review @ The Book Divas Reads
16. 12/01 Review @ Celticladys Reviews
17. 12/05 Blog Talk Radio w/Fran Lewis