Sometimes fiction is used for escapism – adventuring on the high seas with a band
of cutthroat pirates, or walking the surface of some distant planet. Sometimes it is
used for wish fulfillment- being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or pilot
an X-wing fighter down through the trenches to destroy the Death Star. However,
sometimes, as is the case I think with The Shadow Government, by Ray Derby, it
is a thinly veiled cover for what he knows is actually either going on, or could well
be coming up, in our world today, and that scares me.
I know since 9/11 every time you turn on the TV or pick up a paper, there seems
that there is some new attack about to be leveled against the United States. I am
not the first to say that these are troubled times we live in, nor will I be the last. We
go up on the alert chart to a color we have never been at before, and everyone
panics, then when nothing happens, we drop back down, breathe a sigh of relief,
hug our children closer, and go back about our lives. However, what if they
lowered the alert too soon? What if the attack is so silent, so secretive that we
have no inside knowledge of it at all until it is too late? No missiles, no bombs, but
attacked by weapons of a biological nature that can kill most of our citizens in
days, showing no trace of violence left behind. Warfare upon this country that is
apocalyptic in its devastation, and far reaching in its ramification.
The thought, troubling as it might be, lends itself to a compelling thriller that I could
not put down. Oh, I tried believe me, I tried. I mean, this story actually bothered
me, it seemed so real, but I found myself being drawn back like a moth to a flame
until I had to finish. They always say, whoever they are, that a writer writes best
when it comes to something he knows about, and boy is that evident here. Author
Ray Derby has been in the center of the beltway of D.C. under five presidents,
providing information on chemical, biological, and radiological personal protection.
He has been with the Civil Defense in a high-level capacity, and a Federal
It is hard for me to believe that this is the first novel he has written, it reads like the
work of a Master at the Craft. His situations genuinely compelling and believable,
his plots and action truly spellbinding, and the storyline moves at such a pace that
the few seconds it takes to turn a page was agony. He has created characters that
I cared about, and found myself on more than one occasion, commenting out loud
over what I had just read. Luckily, there was no one else around at the time. I don’t
know if it is the timing of the novel or just the fact that it is so darn good, but Mr.
Derby is on his way to being one of the big names of political thrillers if there is
any justice in this world, and it will be an honor bestowed upon him that is richly
and rightfully deserved. If you like edge of the seat white knuckle page turning
thrillers that will keep you not only guessing but wanting more, then I implore you
to pick up this book. It is one of the most well written thrillers of its type I have ever
read, and my highest recommendation goes out to this novel. Remember the
name, The Shadow Government by Ray Derby. Buy it, read it, but most of all, pray
it is just fiction-for all of our sakes.
…Mohr Reviews. The Shadow Government, A Novel by Ray Derby, Published by
iUniverse 5220 S. 16th St. Suite 200 Lincoln, NE 685121. 877.823.9235 ISBN # 0-
The Shadow Government
Derby has a way of drawing the reader into the action he has created. His
credentials in the emergency management field reveals, in a realistic This
excellent book should be required reading for every American citizen. Mr. Derby
has the magic of drawing the manner, how each community could easily find itself
on the verge of destruction. This book is Terrorism in action….and how the
American spirit can survive…freedom is the standard. Meet the spirit of America
exemplified by the characters of Norm Shepard and Nate Sems. Rich reading full
of characters you want to know.
…Morgan Book Reviews
Not since Tom Clancy’s early U.S. military techno-thrillers has anything come
along to parallel the incredible, fast-moving suspense of this first-time novelist.
The great strength of Ray Derby’s storyline is that he professionally understands
from first-hand experience, as few others do, the developing new age terror of
chemical and biological weapons in the hands of terrorists, the large public threat
they pose to the United States and other nations in the 21st Century and of the
dedicated people trying to protect us from them.
His story has attained more credibility and verisimilitude since the events of
September 11, 2001 has made the unthinkable now the reality in this new age of
international terrorism. The Shadow Government is one of those rare works of
which it is honestly said, I couldn’t put it down.
…ARTHUR W. ARUNDEL, Former U.S.M.C. paramilitary officer in the Vietnam
War and Publisher, Times Community Newspapers
This review is from: The Shadow Government
After an incident with US Senator McBride, Norm Shepard left the marines to
become a railroad brakeman and fish in the Potomac. While heading to a spot to
fish, he notices two other fishermen, but when he walks past them, they shoot him
in the back. He manages to escape to the nearby road where Major General
McKay gets him to a hospital.
McKay is concerned where this shooting occurred so he assigns long time civil
servant Ross Chambers and his emergency management team to investigate.
Evelyn Pace and Jim Woods interview Norm; they return to their superior Ross
with grave concerns that the two wannabe killers were monitoring weather
conditions, which could mean an NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) attack on the
capital. While Norm is recalled to active duty, the response team begins activation
of Project Bluelight, THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT project to keep the
government operational during a crippling emergency. The ideal solution is that
they must stop rogue terrorists from causing a pandemic incident of mass
Though terrorists employ clever deadly ruses as they value life less than
radioactive waste, THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT highlights what is a major fear
of many people: weapons of mass destruction (ask the President and his
psychological advisors). The story line is a powerful thriller that looks at what a
government can do to continue to lead even when calamity reaches biblical
proportions. Though the small insets focusing on the terrorists seem more
distracting than revealing, readers will feel they won the Triple Crown with Ray
Derby’s compelling tale of counterterrorism.
…Harriet Klausner, Klausner Reviews
This review is from: Bradley’s Ghost
I just finished the most fantastic book, BRADLEY’S GHOST. Bradley’s Ghost isn’t
a good book, it is a GREAT book! This would be a great movie. This would be a
REALLY great movie. If you are tired of the same old plot by the usual authors,
you should make the effort to track down Ray Derby’s Bradley’s Ghost. Bradley’s
Ghost is as multidimensional as they come. He has several character groups
woven through the action packed adventure that is so real you will think you were
watching the evening news. Even his cameo characters have personality. This is
NOT a book to loan — tell your friends to get their own book! This one is a keeper!
…Nadine Laman Books LLC, Author (Arizona)
Mr. Derby in his book demonstrates that he sure knows what he is doing. I think it
could do very well in its genre of futurist mystery fiction. So I say, run with it. It’s a
…Sam Sharkey, former professor at Columbia University Graduate School of
Journalism, former editor of news for NBC and former head of the New York
Times national news desk.
As promised, I did read your novel “The Shadow Government.” I share your
concerns over the threat of biological weapons and hope that is a situation our
country never has to face. Fiction has become reality, especially the last few
…Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Congressman
Shadow Government. I spend a lot of time reading and found your style of writing
most enjoyable. A lot of books start out rather readable then have flat dull pages
and then picks up a bit and then more flat and dull. Yours did not. Instead it was
exciting from beginning to end. If it does not become a best seller and stay there, I
will be surprised.
Bradley’s Ghost. I certainly enjoyed reading it. I read an article written by Louis
L’Amour that stated “if you can’t capture your reader by the first page you have lost
him.” You not only capture but you don’t release until the very last word on the
very last page.
…Mrs Lila Ash, wife of the Honorable Roy Ash, former director of the President’s
Office of Management and Budget.
Ray Derby has created an exciting read within a spectacular scenario. By means
of the novel, he has publicized the lack of continuity of government(s) in time of
crisis; a problem exacerbated with the apparent lessening of world tension at the
end of the Cold War. In Canada, we have converted our continuity of government
facilities into museums. As Ray Derby demonstrates, we are less prepared now to
face a major terrorist threat than we were a decade ago.
…Mike Charrier (Retired), Emergency Preparedness Canada
This review is from: Bradley’s Ghost
Lost a nights sleep with this thriller. Couldn’t put it down. It is believable in our
world of today, and that is scary. The worst thing about the book is you hate to
have finished it. This author writes as good as the best well know authors of the
…Robert Edwards (New Cumberland, Pa)
I found the story was compelling and well written. Once I started reading, I was
unable to put the book down. The idea of biological terrorism in the US, and our
unpreparedness is the thing nightmares are made of. I believe the book was right
on, with how this not only could happen, but the results that would follow. I
enjoyed Mr. Derby’s knowledge not only of the surroundings, but the people that
he wrote about. His knowledge of the subject, was chilling. I honestly believe that
Mr. Derby could be compared to other authors of this genre, and come out
smelling like a rose. I for one, will be will be looking for more written by Ray Derby
in the future.
… Betheny (Missouri)