“A Slippery Shadow” by Gary D. McGugan

A Slippery Shadow

Gary D. McGugan
Castelane (2022)
ISBN 978-1-7779049-1-3
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (02/2022)

“A Slippery Shadow” is the latest international thriller by Gary D. McGugan. This story picks up where his previous novel, “A Web of Deceit” leaves off, and is a treacherous tale of mystery, mayhem and betrayal as a covert mastermind wreaks havoc across the globe at the highest levels of power. Nobody writes international intrigue like Gary D. McGugan, so I’m always beyond excited when I learn of an upcoming release.

In this story, Fidelia Morales, Crime Boss of The Organization, faces a fight for her life when she’s abducted from her private jet, but that’s not her only dilemma. Her control of The Organization is precarious, with the FBI rounding up all her minions, and a rogue country boss undermining her authority while she’s MIA. Suzanne Simpson, CEO of Multima Corporation, fights for the very soul of her empire as bombings, international politics, executive vacancies and public opinion ravage her Supermarkets and Financial Services divisions. Howard Knight, a man with ties to both The Organization and Multima Corporation, though on the same plane with Fidelia, simply walks away, the abductors not even feigning interest in him. Howard isn’t off the hook either, though, as he soon finds himself on the run. But who is he running from? The FBI or The Organization? Or someone else? The three adversaries find themselves entangled in another web of deceit; this time orchestrated by an entity known only as The Shadow.

I’ve read all of Gary D. McGugan’s novels and I honestly can’t get enough. If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know it’s the characters that keep me glued to the pages. McGugan writes thoroughly convincing characters that break out of the confines of the 2-dimensional pages and come to life with staggering realism – charms, flaws, and all. The addition of this Shadow figure is a brilliant nemesis to add to the angst of the main characters. Mysteriously beyond reach, and always one step ahead, he (or she) is the key pain point for our high-powered leaders, creating a cloak-and-dagger-ish backdrop and an unexpected opponent for our three rivals.

Now, I can’t write about McGugan’s characters without mentioning the women he’s so deftly created, successfully fashioning high caliber characters of strength in Suzanne Simpson and Fidelia Morales. In “A Slippery Shadow” he peels back another layer for readers to discover as he allows their vulnerabilities to rise briefly to the surface—but only briefly, before they pull themselves together behind their confident exteriors, aptly demonstrating that no matter what life or love throws at them, these ladies will not be defeated!

Complementing the amazing characters in the story is a narrative rich with well-planned astonishing plot twists you will not see coming. I was scurrying to keep up as time and again, McGugan goes one way when you think he’s going to go another. After reading all his novels, I should be fully prepared for his signature twists, but he gets me every single time! The deep betrayal of more than one key player left me completely stunned in “A Slippery Shadow.” I can’t say more, other than these actions open up exciting possibilities for further entertainment in future stories.

No novel of intrigue by Gary D. McGugan would be complete without mention of the breathtaking views he incorporates as he takes readers all over the world, highlighting multiple locales such as Singapore, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Germany, Uruguay, France, Spain and the US and Canada. McGugan brings the world to his readers from the perspective of his own adventures as a world traveler. Keeping it real, with lockdowns, restricted travel and all the upheaval resulting from the global pandemic, McGugan’s crafty characters still find ways to exert their power and jet-set all over the world, immersing readers in blanketed layers of clandestine adventure.

The only thing left to say is that I highly recommend all of Gary D. McGugan’s books. Though all the stories stand nicely on their own, please do yourself a favor and start at the beginning. The road from the first novel, “Three Weeks Less a Day” to his latest release, “A Slippery Shadow” is an incredible journey. If you like stories involving world travel, corporate intrigue, organized crime, politics, and real-world issues with amazing characters, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more captivating set of stories.

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