Shepherd's Fall

A Novel

About the Book

He is about to face the hunt of a lifetime.
Bounty hunter Nick Shepherd is fearless when it comes to chasing down criminals. It’s his difficult ex-wife, rebellious teenage daughter, and dysfunctional siblings that keep him awake at night. In charge of the family business, the Prodigal Recovery Agency, he thinks of himself as a shepherd of sorts. When his “flock” is out of his control, Nick’s well-ordered universe falls into chaos.

Danger comes too close to home.
Prodigal Recovery’s search for Zeena, a prostitute on the run, leads to a faulty arrest, complicating Nicks’s business. He is thrown together with Zeena’s twin, the beautiful Annie, and the two find themselves on a desperate search. The stakes significantly increase when Nick’s daughter is kidnapped.  

Can the shepherd stand?
Nick and Annie unwittingly uncover a drug trafficking ring that further condemns the kidnapper. Now, to save someone he loves, Nick must risk everything…but will it be enough?
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Praise for Shepherd's Fall

“W. L. Dyson’s remarkable storytelling ability and knowledge of the treacherous world of bounty hunting pours across every page of Shepherd’s Fall. Suspense, intrigue, and redemption dominate this exceptional storyline. A highly recommended read!”
–Mark Mynheir, homicide detective and author of The Night Watchman

“The story of a family of bounty hunters, Shepherd’s Fall held me captive way past my bedtime. However, it was worth every sleepless moment to join W. L. Dyson’s beautifully flawed characters not only in the recovery of a fugitive, but in finding God in the journey. So this is how all those kids feel while awaiting the next book in a gripping series...”
–Tamara Leigh, author of Splitting Harriet and Faking Grace

“Gut-tightening, palm-dampening, jaw-dropping suspense as only W. L. Dyson can do. Shepherd's Fall delivers. In spades.”
–John Robinson, speaker, teacher, and author of Until the Last Dog Dies, When Skylarks Fall, and To Skin a Cat.

Shepherd’s Fall is a great book that leaves its mark after the final page. Tautly written and quickly paced, it offers everything I need for a good read that leaves me thinking about the characters...and about myself.”
–Hannah Alexander, author of A Killing Frost

“Once again, Dyson delivers a powerful tale that gets better with each heart-pounding turn of the page.”
–Creston Mapes, author of Nobody

Shepherd’s Fall is great suspense with wonderful characters. A rip-roaring beginning to a great series.”
–Gayle Roper, author of Fatal Deduction

“W. L. Dyson has created page-turning suspense in Shepherd’s Fall that keeps the reader guessing to the final pages. A unique blend of characters enriches this well-woven story. I look forward to more in this series.”
–Sharon K. Souza, author of Lying on Sunday and Every Good & Perfect Gift

“If you like the breathless pace of the TV series 24, you’ll love the.action, suspense, plot-twists, and family drama of Shepherd’s Fall. I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t wait for Dyson’s next release!”
–Linda Windsor, award-winning author of The Piper Cove Chronicles and The Fires of Gleannmara

Shepherd’s Fall captures the reader with vivid characters, a relentless pace, and a heart-pounding conclusion that explodes like an emotional roller-coaster.”
–Terry Brennan, author of The Sacred Cipher

“W. L. Dyson’s Shepherd’s Fall is a fast-paced, suspenseful tale full of twists and turns that will keep readers flipping the pages until the last sentence. Dyson is a master at penning heart-wrenching emotion laced into action, with a strong thread of the Father’s redeeming love interwoven into the prose. This is a ‘don’t miss’ series. I’ve fallen in love with the characters at Prodigal Recovery Agency and anxiously await the next installment.”
–Robin Caroll, author of the Bayou Series (Bayou Justice, Bayou Corruption, Bayou Judgment, Bayou Paradox, Bayou Betrayal and Blackmail)

Shepherd’s Fall will not disappoint anyone looking for action, danger, and suspense. This novel is a true page-turner. Good News: The book was outstanding. Bad news: We have to wait for more.”
–Glenn L. Rambo, twenty-year police veteran in New Jersey, currently holding the rank of Lieutenant
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Shepherd's Fall

Good newsI have my fugitive cornered. Bad newsI don’t have any backup.

The chase had encompassed forty-three hours with no sleep, very little food, and too many cups of cold coffee to count. It had crossed one state and three county lines and twice as many jurisdictions, only to circle back to within three miles of where it all started. And it looked like it was going to end at an abandoned house near Lisbon, Maryland.

Now fugitive recovery agent Nick Shepherd just had to decide whether to wait until his team arrived, or go in after Richie Carver on his own.

The old house didn’t look as if it had been occupied for years. The whole structure was leaning on its foundation, the roof had holes in it, all the glass in the windows had been broken out, and weeds tangled across the yard nearly waist-high, hiding anything from old tires to snakes and groundhog holes.

He’d have to go in low and slow.

Glancing over at the front porch, he discounted it immediately. Half the boards were gone; the rest didn’t look like they were too far behind. One wrong step and he’d be risking a broken leg or worse. His best bet was to enter one of the windows along the side of the house—the same way Richie had gone in—and to pray that Richie wasn’t standing there ready to shoot him as he climbed through.

When a fugitive jumps bail and disappears, fugitive recovery agents suit up and go hunting. They are experts at tracking and pursuing and have powers even local police don’t have. Relentless and more than a little fearless, they sometimes have to run a fugitive into the ground. But a cornered animal can be far more dangerous than one on the run.

Richie Carver was as nasty as they came. He and his brother, Jon, were known for drugs, prostitutes, illegal gambling, and who knew what else. If it was illegal and lucrative, they probably had their hands on it. Jon was the brains of the operation, preferring to stay close to the office and the money. Richie, on the other hand, was the brawn. His job was to make sure that no one crossed Jon. The problem was, Richie had gone beyond breaking legs and busting heads to straight-up murder. And after he jumped bail, he became Nick’s problem. Nick and the
rest of the Prodigal Fugitive Recovery Agents.

Nick glanced at his watch again. It had been nearly seven minutes since Richie had disappeared through that window. He knew better than most that the worst thing a bounty hunter could do was run into a situation like this without backup, but sometimes he had to break the rules.

He keyed the radio on his shoulder. “Conner. Come in.”

It took a couple of seconds, but he heard his second-in-command’s voice crackle through in his earpiece. “Here, Boss. What’s going down?”

“Richie’s run into an abandoned house. Where are you?”

“Rafe and I are ten, maybe fifteen out, Boss. Hold them horses.”

“No can do, Conn.”

“Wait for us, Boss. We’re close.”

“He’s been in there almost ten minutes. Can’t take a chance on him getting away.”

“Don’t do it, Boss. I’ve got my foot to the floor. Hang on.”

Nick stared at the house. He figured the best and worst that could happen and then keyed the radio again. “Just make sure you’re here before it turns ugly.”

He had just pulled the slide on his Glock when his cell phone vibrated. Assuming it was one of the members of his team, he flipped it open. “Yeah?”


“Krys? Honey, I’m right in the middle of something. Can I call you back?”

“Sure. I was just calling to say I love you and also to find out if maybe you want to go out for pizza tonight. Mom’s working late.”

“Sure, baby. I’ll give you a call in a couple hours.”

“Okay. Love you, bye.”

“Love you, bye.” He used his thigh to close the phone and then shoved it down inside his shirt pocket, protected inside his Kevlar vest.

He checked his Taser to make sure it was fully charged and put it back in his thigh holster, then eased up to a low crouch and began to make his way from the edge of the woods to the house. He nearly tripped twice but managed to avoid twisting his ankle on the pile of lumber hidden in the weeds and the gopher hole on the other side of it.

He thought he might have seen a black snake slithering off near an old wheelbarrow, but he didn’t look too closely. He wasn’t exactly fond of snakes, so he resorted to the childhood philosophy that if he didn’t see it, maybe it didn’t see him.

Easing up along the side of the house, he glanced furtively into the window. Living room. White plaster walls yellowed to beige and cracked with age. Light fixtures pulled from the ceiling. Wires dangling. Wood floors. And dust thick enough to leave footprints heading toward the back of the house.

Tucking his gun down in the holster, he prayed that Richie was somewhere else in the house and would stay there long enough for Nick to get through the window and pull his gun back out. He was halfway through the window when he saw the other footprints. Two pair, small, sneakers or athletic shoes. Kids. Probably teenagers. Were they here now? Or were they remnants from a previous night? Nick moved a little faster, scrambling through the broken window, snagging his shirt.

Then he the heard a scream. Female. Young. And in terror.

Prodigal Recovery Agency Series

Shepherd's Fall

About the Author

W.L. Dyson
Wanda Dyson lives with her severely autistic teenager and a menagerie of animals on a horse farm in Maryland. After writing three critically acclaimed suspense novels, she was asked to write the true story of Tina Zahn (Why I Jumped), which was featured on Oprah. More by W.L. Dyson
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