Print Length: 303 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 7, 2021)

From Goodreads.com:  Kate Marshall’s investigation into a journalist’s disappearance sends her down an unexpectedly twisted path in a riveting thriller by the author of Shadow Sands.

Kate Marshall’s fledgling PI agency takes off when she and her partner, Tristan Harper, are hired for their first big case. It’s a cold one. Twelve years before, journalist Joanna Duncan disappeared after exposing a political scandal. Most people have moved on. Joanna’s mother refuses to let go.

When Kate and Tristan gain access to the original case files, they revisit the same suspects and follow the same leads―but not to the same dead ends. Among Joanna’s personal effects, Kate discovers the names of two young men who also vanished without a trace.

As she connects the last days of three missing persons, Kate realizes that Joanna may have been onto something far more sinister than anyone first believed: the identity of a serial killer hiding in plain sight. The closer Kate comes to finding him, the darker it’s going to get.

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My Rating:  3 stars out of 5

This was the first novel by this author that I have read, and while I had no trouble following along with the writing, I did have some issues with the story. 

To begin with, Kate is your typical ex-cop cliche, after a tragic event in her past she became an alcoholic (recovering now). While I enjoyed the fact that she was in recovery and took pains to stay that way (even in her dreams), I would have liked to see her be a strong character in spite of what happened to her without that added in. 

Added to that, the bumbling cop routine is also getting harder and harder to deal with. Especially when I am expected to believe that Kate somehow pieced together what had happened in a month when the police failed to do so in twelve years? Do you mean to honestly tell me that not only was a vital piece of information in Johanna's case sitting right there and was missed but that the police force also couldn't connect the deaths of four young men even though there was a similar M/O? Also distracting were the chapters that had absolutely nothing to do with the story. Is Tristan under pressure? Sure. Do I need an entire chapter dedicated to him trying to re-mortgage his place? No, not really. 

In fact, most of these characters felt flat and one-dimensional. I didn't see much of a personality come through, except for with Ade, whom I absolutely adored! I hope to see more of him in future books (maybe as an independent consultant or another member of the PI team?)

I think my biggest problem is that throughout most of this story, I felt like the author was holding my hand. Telling me what I should think instead of letting me draw conclusions for myself. Even when some new piece of information was thrown in, it was done in such a way that there might as well have been a giant neon sign hanging above it. 

That is, until the ending. Now THAT was a twist that I didn't see coming. And that twist and the surprise ending is not only what saved this story from being a two-star read, but has also enticed me to give this author another chance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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                                            Darkness Falls is available from Amazon.com
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)