Predator: Stalking Shadows is a 2020 novel written by James A. Moore and Mark Morris and published by Titan Books. Serving as both a sequel to Predator 2 and a prequel to Predator: Hunting Grounds, it follows special forces soldier Scott Devlin through a career spanning several decades, beginning with a cleanup operation following a mysterious incident in Los Angeles in 1997. As Devlin continues to rise through the ranks, he uncovers more and more evidence of bizarre, brutal slayings around the world, eventually uncovering the shocking link between them with the help of a enigmatic government agent named Dutch. It was released in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2020, and is due to be released on May 26, 2020 elsewhere.
In the aftermath of the events of Predator 2, U.S. Marine Scott Devlin is assigned to the clean-up operation in Los Angeles. He is soon thrust into a world of secretive government agents, highly-advanced technology and an unstoppable juggernaut lone agent, Alan "Dutch" Schaefer.
DUTCH IS BACK
As Devlin rises through the ranks, working in elite counter-terrorist units, he gathers evidence, slowly piecing together the shocking truth of what hew saw that night. Fighting for freedom from the jungles of South America to the Scottish Highlands, Devlin learns who the real enemy is and how to fight for survival. He's not the only one fighting back against the Hunters. Dutch has been working in the shadows ever since his first encounter in Central America, gathering knowledge, weapons and teammates.
Fighting both the Hunters and shadowy government agencies, Dutch and Devlin must team up to take the fight to the aliens — to become the predators.
In the immediate aftermath of the Predator incident in Los Angeles, Private Scott Devlin and his unit are assigned to help secure the site from which the Predator hunting pack hidden beneath the city departed Earth. While guarding the perimeter of the site, Scott is approached by OWLF agent Sean Keyes, who asks if he will provide security on an important investigative excursion into the city. Scott agrees, and accompanies Keyes to a nearby alleyway. Sent ahead to secure the area, Scott discovers a severed hand leaking a mysterious green fluid, before encountering another man attempting to recover the body part. The stranger — revealed to by Dutch — promptly overpowers Scott and chokes him out. Following the incident, Scott receives a dressing down from his superiors for his carelessness, but his exemplary record spares him further punishment.
By the following year, Scott is serving in an elite four-man special forces squad, alongside Jason Flynn, Daniel Lau and Scott's closest friend, Marcus Thorne. During a mission to eliminate drug cartel operations in the Mexican jungle, the unit finds someone else has already beaten them to their target, leaving behind little sign beyond the mutilated bodies of the cartel members. Consensus is that the gruesome killings are cartel-related, but Scott remains unconvinced.
Over the next several years, Scott begins noticing an increased presence of suited government agents, dubbed MIBs by the men, at his home base. After a night of heavy drinking to welcome in the new millennium, Scott encounters several of these men handling a case full of mysterious equipment. The confrontation turns violent, with Scott having to defend himself from the bullish agents. He is once again brought before his superiors over the incident, who exonerate him of any wrongdoing but nonetheless warn him to steer clear of the MIBs in future. Scott makes note of the incident in a secret diary that he has started keeping, making note of unusual occurrences such as this.
Meanwhile, Dutch has continued to track Predator incursions around the world, working in collusion with OWLF, and has assembled a new team of mercenaries to combat the creatures. During one such engagement in Malaysia, his group succeeds in killing a new, much more agile type of Predator, albeit at the cost of several men. They collect the Predator's remains and any technology they can recover before making for home, which happens to be the base at which Scott is stationed. Scott sees them unloading from their helicopter, noting the strange cargo. Shortly afterwards, Scott is offered a promotion to Sergeant and placement with an elite counterterrorism unit, but his elation is short-lived when he discovers his room has been searched and his diary has disappeared.
Subsequent operations in Scotland and Mexico end with Scott and his team, now including his old squadmates Marcus, Flynn and Lau, discovering that their targets have already been butchered by an unknown enemy in much the same fashion as the drug dealers in Mexico. Both times, Dutch and his men and a separate team of MIBs arrive shortly afterwards to investigate the massacres. It becomes immediately apparent the two groups have opposing ideals, and Scott instinctively places his trust in Dutch. Following the latest incident in Mexico, Dutch approaches Scott and reveals the truth behind the grizzly killings he has seen over the years, before recruiting him to his cause. Scott, now promoted to Captain, leads his unit in support of Dutch and his mercenaries on another operation in Mexico. They succeed in securing a downed Predator craft and killing one of the creatures, but Flynn is killed in action. Following the incident, Dutch disappears.
When Scott finally hears from Dutch again several years later, he learns that Dutch's team was wiped out by a female Predator in Laos, which then spared him to live with the shame of defeat. After saving Dutch from an attempted assassination, apparently organized by the MIBs, Scott once again falls out of contact with the mercenary until an operation in Venezuela, in which they once again find evidence of Predator activity before running into a team of MIBs. As the two groups face off, they are ambushed by the two Predators responsible, which kill most of those present, including Marcus and Lau. Scott is severely wounded but saved by Dutch, who finishes off the surviving Predator with a hand-held energy weapon derived from Predator technology.
Scott recovers from his wounds, but their severity ends his career as a frontline soldier. Instead, he is recruited by Dutch and Adam Garber to run the OWLF's new operations command center, established in light of an increasing number of Predator incursions around the world. In his office, Scott receives word from Dutch on an upcoming operation in China.
- With Predator: Stalking Shadows, James A. Moore became one of four authors to have penned more than two novels for the Alien/Predator/Alien vs. Predator franchise, the others being Steve Perry, his daughter S. D. Perry and Tim Lebbon, with whom Moore worked on the 2014 Alien novel trilogy.
- At the end of the novel, Dutch signs off a video call to Scott with the line, "Hasta la vista, buddy." This paraphrases Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous line, "Hasta la vista, baby," in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Schwarzenegger being the actor who played Dutch in Predator.
- When Garber and Dutch arrive at the site of the Predator ship launch in Los Angeles, they see Harrigan rising from the ashes after the ship blasts off. However, in Predator 2, this happened deep underground, some time before Garber and his men arrived.
- While policing the Los Angeles launch site, Scott and his men are issued with ammunition "specifically designed to blast holes big enough to toss a basketball through". Aside from the fact there is no apparent reason to equip the soldiers with such devastating firepower — Predators still being a closely-guarded secret at this point and the operation involving nothing more than guarding against civil unrest — this ammunition is never mentioned again, even when Scott is specifically being sent out to engage Predators, at which point it would doubtless have proven incredibly helpful.
- The ship that leaves Los Angeles is said to burst up from the ground in the middle of a densely-populated neighborhood, leaving behind a cavernous crater and demolishing several residential buildings in the process. In Predator 2, the ship actually emerges from a tunnel in a seemingly abandoned area, causing comparatively little damage to the surrounding area.
- There are also numerous bodies in the crater, something that is never shown to be the case in Predator 2.
- Keyes introduces himself as Regional Director of the OWLF during the Los Angeles incident. Assuming the character's age is comparable to actor Jake Busey, who plays him in The Predator, Keyes would be in his mid-20s in 1997. This seems inconceivably young for a Regional Director in a secret government intelligence organization.