Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on February 6, 2018
He kept away for a year and she’s all but given up hope until her life is threatened. Now? All good intentions are laid aside as they race to stop a horrific murderer on the streets of Cincinnati. Each page seemed to sizzle with thrilling intensity and I could not put this book down.
Edge of Darkness brings us back to the Cincinnati series as book four. Each book could probably be okay standalone or out of order, but is optimally enjoyed when read in order so all the connections and mentions of past situations make better sense. Both the main characters were introduced in the first Cincinnati book and have been staples all along. I was so glad they got their story.
Adam has been fighting personal demons that make him push away his friends and family and even a chance at love with seemingly sunny Meredith Fallon. Meredith has her own demons, but she’s good at hiding them behind a smiling mask and cheerful, compassionate demeanor. But, now Meredith is nearly shot by a sniper and the killer has plans to cut off all the loose ends that threaten his secret underworld dealings while he poses as an upstanding citizen. Adam, in his work to bring the killer down and protect others stands right in the crosshairs of a killer’s sniper rifle.
Each book in this series are veritable doorstoppers in size, but after the first one I tried, I was not intimidated by that. They read fast and frenzied. The killers are truly evil and cunning so the law enforcement group is kept on their toes and in high danger the whole time. Human misery and darkness gets explored in each book. Edge of Darkness shines light into the murky world of vulnerable young people exploited and used by organized criminals who see them as commodities and not people. It also shows the vulnerable and raw toll that people in law enforcement pay to serve and protect.
Adam and Meredith’s story was one that really tugged at me. He has hit the very bottom and is hurting and alone craving the drink to blot out the nightmare images he sees each night and the PTSD flashbacks he gets while working his cases. Meredith assumes that Adam stays away because he’s not interested and it breaks her heart to have her interest unrequited. She’s amazing in many ways as the one always giving to others and surrounding herself with a great group of friends and family. Adam sees right through her screen of happiness and realizes when he almost loses her that staying away was the wrong move.
Adam and the wide group of law enforcement team have quite the complex case to untangle even as the killer and his allies are destroying any trail they have left behind. Normally, I find the inclusion of the antagonist’s thoughts and narration to cause a let down and loss of good tension in a story, but Karen Rose has a gift for using it to advantage. It never helps having the killer get his own narration and scenes because invariably I still have no idea until near the end just who it is. Evil can reside under any smiling, friendly, even helpful countenance and she proves this yet again. I thought it was masterful how she slowly peeled back the killer’s agenda, but several gasp-worthy motivations especially near the end.
The story line does not shy away from brutality and the truly insidious things humans can do to each other, but I think this gives these stories a sense of urgency and the thriller quality as the good guys push hard to bring it to an end. The pace on this book was perfect from cover to cover. It never stops moving forward at a good speed and still doesn’t skimp on character and relationship development. I loved seeing Adam work his way through his alcoholism and PTSD and I loved seeing him and Meredith finally get their chance. The author handled the mental health issues well as well as the appropriate response in treatment that result in what the people of her story goes through.
Other characters and side stories were present. I loved seeing Dr. Dani Novak, Diesel the brilliant hacker, Meredith’s colorful grandfather, and several other old and newer characters shine as secondary characters. My heart went out to those foster kids who are now trying to make a good life after what they were dealt in their youth just as I was happy to see Mallory and the other young women who had been sexually exploited getting a new start. These other stories never distracted, but instead added depth to the main plot.
I can’t wait to see what comes next for the Cincinnati group though I read the sample at the back and know that the Baltimore series is getting the next book and I need to catch up from the beginning on those first. For those looking for an emotionally engaging, in-depth thriller romance, I heartily recommend this author’s books, but in particular the Cincinnati series.
My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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