Review: The Shadow List, by Todd Moss

The Shadow List, by Todd Moss

The Shadow List by Todd Moss
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on September 5, 2017
Series: Judd Ryker, #4
Genre(s): fiction, action, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Pages: e-book, 358
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

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.


The Shadow List, a political drama and action story, is the fourth book in Todd Moss’s Judd Ryker series.

Judd Ryker is (obviously) the main character here, but this story is told through a variety of perspectives. On one hand, this served to allow the reader a wider understanding and make connections between them, but on the other hand, there were so many points of view that it could make it hard to follow. To be fair, each chapter does begin by mentioning the name of the person whose perspective it is within a sentence or two to help keep things clear.

With short chapters, plenty of plot twists, and a fair bit of action, this story moved along at a nice clip. The writing was clear and easy to read. But the character development left a little to be desired. As this is the fourth book in a series, I expect that the main characters would feel more developed if I had read the previous books. As it was, though, this was my first introduction to the series. While The Shadow List was okay as a standalone, I do think this is a case where the books should be read in order to have the most enjoyable experience.

Although it’s been a while since I’ve read something from Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series, this book definitely vaguely reminded me of those books (starting with the protagonists’ names: Jack Ryan; Judd Ryker; anyone else feel me on this?) If books in this genre are your thing, I suspect you’ll like this series as well – but I do recommend starting with book one, The Golden Hour. I know I’ll be going back and reading these from the beginning at some point.

*Many thanks to Penguin Random House’s First to Read program for providing an arc of this edition in exchange for an honest review.

3-b&w

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