The Shadow List by Todd Moss

The Shadow List

Todd Moss

"Todd Moss is reinventing the diplomatic thriller, much as John Grisham reinvented the legal thriller."-- Mary Louise Kelly, NPR national security correspondent

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A cutting-edge novel of international crime and its consequences, from Nigeria to Russia to Washington, from the former deputy assistant secretary of state.

We laugh when it pops up in our inbox: the scam letter promising a windfall. We wonder: How does anybody fall for these things? But it is no laughing matter. It is one of the biggest organized crime rackets in the world, it is deadly - and State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker has fallen right into the middle of it.

The disappearance of a young American in London sends Ryker into the heart of a corruption scandal in Nigeria, at the same time his CIA agent wife Jessica finds herself chasing a Russian master criminal known as the Bear. Unknown to either of them, they are pulling at two ends of the same lethal thread, a staggeringly vicious enterprise of piracy, extortion, and murder.

The world is messy and dangerous, Jessica warns her husband.More dangerous than you know. But he is about to find out.


Advance Galley Reviews

Thanks for ARC of "The Shadow List "by Todd Moss. International Intigue is not a favorite genre of mine. I appreciated the fast pace and the number of characters kept it interesting...First time reader of the Ryker series but this novel can stand on its' own..

This book is #4 in a series. I haven't read the other books in the series, but the premise seemed exciting. I started out really liking the book. However, I didn't really like how often the book jumped from person to person. It was a bit frustrating to have to track what was going on. I enjoyed the action and the thrill from the different leads that the characters were pursuing, but in the end all the useless questions in times of imminent danger quickly killed the excitement of the situation.

This is the fourth story of the Ryder couple, though the first I have read. While it was readable as a stand-alone there were clearly references made to past books and characters that made me feel out of the loop. They author would try to give brief summaries of missed plots where applicable, but these often seemed irrelevant or lacking. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the plot. While parts of it were pretty predictable (oh they're arguing about ___ so obviously ___ will happen in the future), there were enough twists and turns to keep me flipping through pages. In some cases I felt like the plots were over-entwined. Too many characters all with very different stories that the author tried to connect through the bigger pliot. Perhaps leaving out one of those would have streamlined everything a bit and requires less suspension of disbelief. When all is said and done, it was a pleasurable read and great for a day of travel or waiting in a jury lounge.

Jason Saunders is a hedge fund manager who fails to heed the maxim that nothing comes for free. Hung-over and plagued by gambling debts and a bad Italian bond trade, he decides to pursue the mother of all 'get rich quick' schemes involving stolen Syrian assets deposited in banks around the world and connected with a corruption scandal in Nigeria. When Jason disappears in London, Judd Ryker, head of the State Department's Crisis Reaction Unit, is sent to Nigeria where he also investigates death threats to a Nigerian judge and a basketball player's kidnapping. Meanwhile, Ryker's CIA agent wife is sent to Russia after a mobster nicknames the Bear. Confused yet/ Read on and see how it's all connected!

Thank you First to Read for the advance copy of The Shadow List. This is an extremely well written book. I can honestly say that I had no clue what would happen next. It was very hard for me to put this book down. Three government agencies are independently investigating pieces of the same international plot. No agency knows that theirs is not the only investigation taking place. I will be looking for more books by Todd Moss.

While this is the fourth Judd Ryker book, it is the first that I've read. I enjoyed the fast pace and the mixture between espionage and politics. The chapters were written in many different povs and I felt this keep the story moving and interesting. I wanted to keep reading to find out how everything tied together. I do wish there was more to the ending, it seemed to wrap up too quickly. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book and now I want to read the other Judd Ryker books. He was an interesting character with a unique perspective that I want to know more about.

This is a fast paced novel set in immediate action from the beginning to the end. There are tons of government secrets, insider knowledge, and the harsh rulings of international crime. But at first you're led to believe it's a bunch of crime syndicates that the government is trying to track down. But as you read through each chapter, you see that several different branches within the government including not-known branches going after these crime syndicates which indicates that there is more than meets the eye. While certain parts felt a bit "wordy" for me as I prefer nonstop action in these types of books, there wasn't a lot so it was easy to read through them as quickly as possible. The Shadow List is a novel full of details about how the US government handles certain delicate foreign matters as well as on domestic soil. I liked the relationship between the key players although I would have liked to learn more about Judd and Jessica's relationship and where they got to their current stage in life. There are details of course but I felt with the couple being the main characters it would have been nice to learn more about them. The ending tied things up quite nicely but of course it also opens up to a sequel. There is a lot going on in the story and at times it read like several different stories at the same time. But the ending as mentioned tied everything up. The timestamps and locations also helped to understand all the different plotlines within the story. The author seemed to have done his research quite well so that what I read seemed believable enough. I am definitely keeping my eyes on this author and his work!

This was the first book I've read by Todd Moss from the Ryker series. It was a well written political thriller, that was hard to put down (even if not solely for interest). I am unsure of his style of writing on previous novels, but this story was written from many POV's. So it takes awhile for the story to build in cohesion since the chapters are short and interchanges between main characters and sub plot characters never seen from again except in their POV chapter. If you are ok with this style of writing, then I would definitely recommend this read. It took me a little getting used to, but it was interesting enough to keep me in it. Although if it weren't written this way it may have been a novel I read straight through. I did go back and forth to it. It definitely has me interested in purchasing the other books in the series to see the origination since this book touches upon the history of the main characters enough to get you wanting to know more. This was an advanced copy from First To Read.

The Shadow List is the fourth book in the Judd Ryker series. This is the first book written by Todd Moss that I have read so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a well written espionage thriller. There is some violence. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat all of that info here. Overall, this book is about Judd and his wife Jessica and their jobs unknowingly overlapping. As usual not everyone or everything is as it seems. While the storyline is somewhat predictable, there are enough twists and turns to keep you reading all the way to the end. I received a copy of the book from First To Read and chose to leave a review for other readers. I hope that the author continues to write more book in this series!

 


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