John Katzenbach Month #3: Shadow Man, State of Mind

John Katzenbach Month, Shadow Man


A retired guy with no relatives, the character of this novel, Simon Winter was once one the best cops on the Miami homicide beat. The story has the setting of Miami Beach, in the present day. Simon’s lonesome life takes a drastic change when his horrified neighbor appears at his door one day. She claimed to have seen a ghost in the flesh, a Satan from the past and the next morning, Sophie’s dead body is found choked, with her eyes wide opened and locked in terror. Based on the police statement, they think it is just another normal homicide experienced commonly. But not for Winter as he knows the exact horrifying truth behind the tragedy. There is an elusive killer stalking Holocaust survivors in Miami. The story evolves when after years of retirement, Winter must match wits with his expertise smooth expert on death who lives for the thrill of the hunt, tortures for the adrenaline of supremacy, and assassinations to assure his history and himself, undetected. This twisted yet very interesting thriller offers one of the most heavily fleshed out descriptions in current years, which is be one of the drawback of this book. Nevertheless, it is also well-equipped with an interesting premise of a Nazi “catcher”, which makes it fascinating. Without fail, Katzenbach makes us read through a lot of needless characters which somehow slows the pace of the story a little too much. However, main characters like Simon Winter, Walter Robinson, as well as Espy Martinez are the stars of the book. There are indeed some enthralling scenes as well. For instance, at the beginning of the book, there is a scene where Winter’s neighbor, Sophie gets ready to go to bed, and it was presented rather slowly which create the effect of suspense. The finishing of this story is fairly well done, and it has one of those “ah okay” endings. It is a very well-written story overall and highly recommended so far.

John Katzenbach – State of Mind


This impressive fiction book by John Katzenbach is about a professor of abnormal psychology named Jeffrey Clayton whereby he struggles with a gloomy past. The story commenced 25 years before, where Jeffrey along with his mother and sister escaped his oppressive father. The father was later alleged in a dreadful murder of a young student. Managed to escape from a murder charge, unfortunately, the father committed suicide. Ever since, Jeffrey’s beloved mother and the sister named Susan have locked themselves in secluded swamps located at the Upper Keys where Susan then creates word games for the Miami Magazine. Someone then sent her a note and once decoded, it says: I have found you. Ever since the note, the story developed interestingly. Katzenbach is a master at generating believable people to be caught up in horrific situations. This is a good book and it should be recommended to anyone who wants a well-written suspense novel dealing with the serial killer but without most of the usual accompanying violence.


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