In this tour de force of psychological suspense, bestselling author Lisa Black draws from her experience as a forensic investigator to create two of the most fascinating characters in crime fiction: a killer with a unique sense of justice and a woman in a lifelong relationship with death…
As a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, Maggie Gardiner has seen her share of Jane Does. The latest is an unidentified female in her early teens, discovered in a local cemetery. More shocking than the girl's injuries--for Maggie at least--is the fact that no one has reported her missing. She and the detectives assigned to the case (including her cop ex-husband) are determined to follow every lead, run down every scrap of evidence. But the monster they seek is watching every move, closer to them than they could possibly imagine.
Jack Renner is a killer. He doesn't murder because he enjoys it, or because he believes himself omnipotent, or for any reason other than to make the world a safer place. When he follows the trail of this Jane Doe to a locked room in a small apartment where eighteen teenaged girls are anything but safe, he knows something must be done. But his pursuit of their captor takes an unexpected turn.
Maggie Gardiner finds another body waiting for her in the autopsy room--and a host of questions that will challenge everything she believes about justice, morality, and the true nature of evil. . .
Maggie Gardner, the heroine of this uneven suspense novel from bestseller Black (Evidence of Murder), works with the Cleveland PD as a civilian criminologist. When the bodies of four men are found away from where they were killed, each shot with .22 caliber bullets, Maggie joins the homicide team delving into possible links among the victims. The four all have traces of granite, asbestos, lead paint flakes, and cat hair and have committed such serious crimes as rape, murder, and human trafficking. Since their criminal records are available only to the police, Maggie suspects that the killer is someone in law enforcement. If she knows who it is, she could face an agonizing decision about whether to turn that person in. She hopes she's wrong. The intriguing forensic details help drive the plot to its satisfying conclusion, but the sketchy portrayal of the characters, particularly Maggie, will disappoint readers expecting more depth.
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Lacking suspense and intrigue!
That Darkness by Lisa Black is supposed to be a suspense thriller. It is the first book (such a pity) in the Gardiner and Renner series. Jack Renner is a vigilante and a cop. He has decided he is guilty and is taking them out one by one. Maggie Gardiner is a fingerprint officer in the crime lab. She does, though, fill in where needed including going out to crime scenes. She is good at putting together clues to help the detectives (she is actually better than the detectives who get bored with her scientific talk). Will Maggie be able to piece together the clues and discover that Jack is the killer? What will Jack do when Maggie uncovers his crimes?
That Darkness had no suspense or thrills. We know who the killer is and how he does it. We just follow Maggie as she solves the crimes and Jack tries to stay ahead of her. That Darkness reads more like a police procedural manual than a fiction novel. I had a hard time getting through this book (I read two other books while I was supposed to be reading this novel). The characters are not really likeable (and have questionable morals). I could not wait to finish That Darkness. I will not be reading any more books in this series (sorry). I give That Darkness 2 out of 5 stars (I took pity on it). That Darkness is just not my type of novel. I want more interest (the best part of mysteries is solving the crime). I like to be drawn into the story and feel that I am a part of it (and I like solving the crime). The novel includes many details on fingerprints (which I liked), fibers (hair, rugs, wool, etc.), and dead bodies (autopsies). Some of it was interesting, but it did bog down the story (it got a little too technical at times). Somehow it is better on television than in print.
I received a complimentary copy of That Darkness from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
Vigilante or murderer
The world is full of criminals. Some that don’t deserve to live after the crime(s) they have committed. The United States has a justice system to take care of criminals, but sometimes those that should be put away go free. What if one man has decided to take care of those that the system set free? Jack Renner, in his goal on one person, has taken it upon himself to keep society safe of some of these criminals. With a great attention to his details, he thinks no one will ever find out it’s him. Not until he meets a forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner, and her attention to detail. Will Jack be able to locate the woman he is searching for before he is discovered, or will the clues and his mistakes give him away.
Suspenseful with twists along the way, and a varied cast of characters. Quite descriptive but not over the top gory. While Maggie is the investigator, it seems Jack has more storytime. All in all a good read.
I Want to Read It Again
The plot is very interesting and thought-provoking. Having lived in Cleveland, I appreciated the very accurate descriptions of the locales for the story. The book indulges the very common desire to see justice for those who are evil. The two main characters are developed in depth, and become quite real and interesting as the story progresses. The reader gets quite an education on forensic science as trace evidence is central to the plot. The writing is clear and direct, making for an easy read. I put this in the category of books I want to read again because they are so interesting and enjoyable.