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review 2020-08-01 23:24
"The Call of the Dark..."
A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7) - Michael Connelly

Terry McCaleb has a new life on Catalina Island, with a house on the hill and his boat in the marina. New heart, new wife, new baby. Life is good. Yet, when an old colleague (Jaye Winston) comes calling for his skill as a former FBI profiler, McCaleb is immediately smitten by the lure of his past life and a return to the darkness.
The murder under investigation is particularly violent and gruesome. The victim, Edward Gunn, had been implicated in a murder six years earlier, but was never charged by the LAPD and the case was reluctantly dropped. The lead investigator had been Harry Bosch.


Immediately the story conjures up the potential clash of two titans of the justice system chronicled by Connelly and the author skilfully sets the scene for his most tenacious predators …”The cool air of the shark grey dawn…”.


In the courthouse, McCaleb also bumps into journalist Jack McEvoy in a passing nod to another of the author’s stable of well-known characters, but as the big beasts circle each other, it’s clear that’s where the action will be. Bosch makes no bones about his assessment of Gunn as a scumbag and retains a sense of being deprived of the opportunity to sweat the guy (due to Bosch shoving the intervening Lieutenant through his office window and getting himself suspended). But, for fans of the Bosch series, this interlinking of books and characters is fascinating and offers real depth to a pool of work that continues to deepen, though the respective novels can also stand alone. I am continuing to wade through them in published order and in this seventh novel featuring Bosch, the perspective of former agent McCaleb enables the author to really plumb the shadowy world that the two men choose to infiltrate. Still, when McCaleb identifies a tentative connection, or coincidence, potentially linking Bosch to Gunn’s murder, the two men would appear to be on a collision course. Moreover, the implied threat to Bosch’s integrity and reputation risks undermining his current murder prosecution.


The main tenet of the book is pondered by McCaleb. “You don’t go into the darkness without the darkness going into you.” and this is surely the point for the reader. McCaleb and Bosch are both hardened lawmen, perhaps even desensitised by their lengthy exposure to evil, but their mutual hankering for an almost gladiatorial lifestyle should be as much a cause for concern as a relief. Society perhaps needs such ‘soldiers’, but must also continue to demand that ‘ends’ are indeed through justifiable ‘means’.


Michael Connelly is a master of intrigue and this book is certainly thrilling, as it casts a light on two compelling characters that choose to work in the shadows.Another excellent example of why the author is among the best in his chosen genre.


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review 2020-07-07 22:57
The Darkness
The Darkness - Ragnar Jónasson

Well, that was not what I expected.  I’ve been looking for a mystery series to read and it looks like I’ve finally found one.


What first intrigued me about this book was that it took place in Iceland.  I don’t know a whole lot about that area and I enjoyed how the author incorporated some of that country’s characteristics into the story.  I also liked how the main character was not perfect.  She was an individual that you could relate to and understand her actions.


Told from multiple viewpoints, each of the stories within this book, had its own pacing and intensity.  I noticed that as I read and switched between the stories, that my mannerism changed. One story I might be on edge while the next story, I was just reading along and then, I would find myself in another story not able to put the book down and then, wanting to flip ahead and read more of this story.  Perhaps, I’ve had this same experience with other books, but not at this magnitude.  These stories then came together to create an amazing conclusion.


Hulda had plans to retire, she knew the date was coming up but when her boss calls her into his office and expediates the process, Hulda is not prepared.  She knew she didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the police department’s officers, yet to have her job striped from her by a younger, overachieving, male, just didn’t sit right with her. 


With her cases reassigned, Hulda looks into a cold-case to pass the rest of her time on the force. She wanted a time-filler, she needed a time-filler but what Hulda found, was a case that needed a competent detective inspector.  With time running against her, Hulda is determined to close this case the right way, but there are too many people getting in her way.


She should just walk away.  She should just start planning a new life with Petur.  Hulda is just starting to enjoy being in the presence of Petur, a retired doctor.  But that too, has complications. 


I enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to continuing this series.   


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review 2020-06-26 03:38
Darkness Falls
Darkness Falls - Erin Kellison

Reve is the "It" thing. It's a shared experience when dreaming. Anything can happen, likely without real-life consequences. It's pleasurable, fun. Jordan's talent gets exposed while she is trying to support her sister (who you know is being stupid). Malcolm is tasked with recruiting those that have talent and can navigate the Reve. He is a chimera and is a type of law enforcement for the Reve. This was interesting, but it was confusing for awhile. Once I figured out the concept, it was more interesting. The ending was decent, but a bit abrupt.

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review 2020-06-10 15:13
Chase Darkness With Me
Chase Darkness with Me: How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders - Billy Jensen

I dithered about the rating. This wasn't a bad book, but it definitely starts to drag around the 60 percent mark. I think if Jensen had followed the conclusion to the cases he introduces readers to through and moved on to another case it would have worked better. Instead the book starts off trying to do that, and then it goes into how he meets Michelle McNamara and her quest to find the Golden State Killer. And from there the book focuses on her death and it jumps around a lot to Jensen talking about a case and then Michelle or a case and the Golden State Killer. Then the last portion is focused on Citizen Detectives and I hard cringed about it. I don't know. Jensen seems adamant that he does not expect to be praised by law enforcement and he does the things he is doing to help the families of murder victims, but then at other times in the book you can "see" his frustration with law enforcement not looping him in on things or not giving credit to Michelle McNamara. I think I would compare this book more to a journal where he is getting all of his feelings out about a whole host of subjects.


"Chase Darkness With Me" is a memoir written by Billy Jensen that shows how he became invested in true crime cases and why he started to report and then help investigate them. I think some True Crime readers and podcast followers recognize his name. I only became aware of him when I read Michelle McNamara's book and I knew he was one of the people who helped finish her book after her death. I have tried to get into podcasts here and there on True Crime, but honestly the only one that I like these days is "Murder Minute." I don't like to listen to Stay Sexy Don't Get Murdered because it definitely got too big for me to stay into it anymore. Most of the show seems to be the hosts trying out their comedy routine with each other and the victims in the story don't feel important. I love Murder Minute since they walk you through current murders in the U.S. and then into their topic of the day. I tried to listen to Mr. Jensen and Mr. Paul Holes's podcast but I could not get into it. 


So first off Jensen seems like a nice guy, but his writing I found to be all over the place. I think the first part of the book with him showing us how his father got him into true crime was really good. And then we get to see his first case he got involved with that I even know about (Howard B. Elkins murdered a woman he was having an affair with, Reyna Angélica Marroquín who was pregnant at the time). From there Jensen just jumps around in his narrative and tries to provide us information about cases that have stayed with him.


I honestly think the book could have cut out how he used social media to track down suspected murderers. He explained it once to readers and we didn't need to read it every time. And then at times he seems to want praise for spending his own money on this and then frustrated when he doesn't hear back from the police right away. I don't know, this memoir was weird for me. I get his frustrations. When he explains the number of unsolved murders in the United States and how many more get added on every year i shook my head. I mean I knew just on talking to my friends in law enforcement how many murders are not solved without a confession or a killer whose DNA is already in the system. I don't know if Citizen Detectives are the answer though. I joke about "Black Twitter" tracking down people, but I caution people doing that on a day to day basis. Especially after Twitter people wrongly identified a man as the one who assaulted two children this past weekend. The wrongly identified man ended up getting death threats over it. Social media is very powerful as we have seen over the past few weeks, but I think everyone has to be careful how they use it. 


And when Jensen tries to go into the Golden State Killer case I just got totally lost. I already read McNamara's book so it didn't really need to be included here as well, except I guess to show how it affected him and others involved in the True Crime business. 


The book ends on tips to be a citizen detective and I had a flashback to when at the end of G.I. Joe cartoons they always did a PSA to the kids watching and ended on Go Joe. It just didn't add much to the book for me and I really don't know about a bunch of untrained people running around trying to solve crimes. Jensen tries to show positive and negative outcomes to these detectives, but I was left baffled in the end. 

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review 2020-06-03 16:23
The Inner Darkness - Jorn Lier Horst

When you read the synopsis for this book, you get a pretty good idea of how it all kicks off. Convicted killer Tom Kerr escapes custody & does so in spectacular fashion. Poor Chief Inspector William Wisting…instead of wrapping up an old case, he’s organizing a massive manhunt.


I was initially a bit worried as I thought the blurb sort of gave the game away. Even as you’re reading about events leading up to Kerr’s escape, you already know what happens. Boy, was I wrong. Several elements combine to make this a story that pulls you in & keeps you squirming in your seat.


First, there’s Kerr’s character. Congratulations are due as I formally nominate him for my annual COTY Award (Creep of the Year). Seriously, this guy made my skin crawl from the get-go. Sociopathic   & intelligent…..it’s a deadly combination.


Then there’s the author ability to tell a story. As with all these books, the plot is layered & smart. It ticks along at a good pace with several scenes that will test your fight-or-flight response. But it’s Wisting who makes it such a pleasure to tag along. No flash or OTT drama here. Just a quiet, decent man who also happens to be a good cop.


Among the returning characters is Wisting’s daughter Line. As usual, she’s a bit too smart for her own good & watching her story line develop caused at least one of the knots in my stomach. Also back is the shifty Adrian Stiller. He may be handy in a crisis but I wouldn’t trust him with lunch money.


Kerr’s impressive bid for freedom marks the onset of a low lying tension that slowly builds as the story progresses. We know what Kerr is capable of & the thought he may be back in business is chilling. But the real question is who’s helping him? Chapters alternate between Wisting & Line & their very different POV’s compliment each other as the story unfolds.


This is a straight up police procedural with several twists that may make you second guess how it all pans out. And if you arrive at the final few chapters just before bedtime, good luck getting to sleep anytime soon. Your reading tool kit for this book should include: a bowl of snacks, night vision glasses, water wings, & Tums.




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