My Shepherd 3 Favorite Reads of 2023!

My favorite read in 2023…


After I finished reading this, I thought I was qualified to recruit and run sources for the CIA. That’s how authentic McCloskey’s writing is.

Damascus Station is so detailed that, at times, it seems like you’re reading a how-to guide for conducting clandestine operations. Field manuals are as boring and dry as staring at sawdust, and this book is anything but that. McCloskey’s tale is full of high-stakes intrigue that keeps you riveted page after page, with anxiety-inducing twists and turns guaranteed to jack up your heart rate while you guess what will happen next.

The intricate weaving of the story’s espionage, amplified by the conflicts, desires, and ambitions of fully formed and well-rounded characters, is a game of chess played at the highest level of reality, with no less than countless lives hanging in the balance.

I thoroughly enjoyed the maneuvering between the adversaries as each delved further into their arsenal of tradecraft in order to outsmart and gain supremacy over the other. If you are a fan of spy novels, then Damascus Station is an absolute must.


My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

THE GUILTY ONE by Bill Schweigart

Why did I love this book? It is a detective story that turns detective stories on their head—another absolutely fantastic read created by the incomparable Bill Schweigart.

Penned with his signature wit, humor, and an unprecedented talent for engrossing dialogue, Bill gives a fresh take on police procedural/detective novels.

Equal parts intrigue, action, mystery, horror, and even a bit of history, this page-turner will have your head spinning until the very end. This is not to be missed!


My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

THE GUARDIAN by Joshua Hood

As blistering as the firefights detailed within The Guardian is a full-throttle, non-stop freight train of action on a collision course with your prefrontal cortex.

Reading Joshua’s latest is like watching the extended action of The Expendables films combined with the intricacy of the John Wick sequences. I loved the use of an Air Force Pararescueman for the story, which IMHO is an underused pedigree in the lexicon of military thriller heroes.

Like any amazing story, the devil is in the details, and in this, Joshua delivers again and again. From the in-depth medical knowledge PJs are required to employ at a moment’s notice to the touch and feel of the environments Lane finds himself in, the reader is completely immersed.

I could feel the oppressive heat of the jungle humidity, saturating the character’s clothing, and the searing heat of 40mm grenades exploding, experiencing two very different sensations simultaneously. Joshua’s writing is that good.

This story is that good. Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door. You’ll want to jump into this book as soon as possible!


Reading these 3 selections will not leave you disappointed! For a complete list of all the picks made by the contributing authors to Shepherd’s Best Books of 2023, click here!

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