Review: Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose

Posted March 6, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 23 Comments

Review: Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose
Edge of Darkness

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Cincinnati #4
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Berkley
Released on February 6, 2018
Pages: 637
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

The Delight: 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.


Romance Roundabout #63 RS
Literary Pickers #56 handcuffs
New Release #14
Books N Tunes #7
Oingo Boing’s Dead Man’s Party Tune





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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m glad you are enjoying this series. I have the first book and I hope to read it soon. I live right around Cincinnati, so I kind of love that the books are set there.


    • The first Cincinnati book was my first experience with her writing. I was captivated.

      Oh neat! It will be fun to see if you recognize many of the locations that are mentioned.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Oh I didn’t know it was a series I’ve seen it around. Glad you’re enjoying it Sophia Rose

    • Yes! It took me a while to figure out how it worked. She has an overall series numbering just called Romantic Suspense, but then there are sub-numberings for each of the sub-series that are called by cities. I think Chicago is the first series then Minneapolis, then Baltimore, and now Cincinnati. I noticed that a few of the Cincy FBI agents are crossovers from Baltimore though I had no trouble starting with the first Cincy book.

  • That cover is so awesome. I haven’t read the series yet but dang if this doesn’t sound like one that I would enjoy.

    • Oh yes! The covers are great. And these books are dark and riveting as the cops and Feds work to get these creeps.

  • I really need to read this author sooner rather than later. I have been hearing ave reviews about her since way back in my Judith McNaught Message Board days. LOL

    • I’ve read this series and stayed up to date and have gone back for the very first of the Chicago ones which was just as good. Worth it, Angie. 🙂

  • This book has really great reviews. I need to join the party and read this author.

    • Oh yes you do, Evie! 🙂 Make sure you start with the first Cincinnati book if you go for it, or all the way back to the first Chicago book.

  • This one is one my list since I’ve read some of the Cincinnati books. Great review.

    • Its a real barnstormer, Kimberly. I think you’ll have a good time with it.

  • Karen

    Oh wow – that is a long one! I’m glad it was worth the time investment. I hadn’t heard of this series before.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Oh yes, each of her books are huge, but they are fast paced and don’t feel long when you’re reading. 🙂

  • This book sounds really good and I love the cover. You make me want to get my hands on this one right now. I’ve never heard of this author before.

    • Ha! Glad I could tempt you, Cricket. If you go for it, grab the first book of the Cincinnati series so you’ll get the most out of them. It’s called Closer Than You Think.

  • This does sound good! I don’t think I knew about the Baltimore series. Since I live outside of Baltimore that could be interesting. Which are the better ones? Cincinnati? I actually have spent more time there then in Baltimore. I don’t know about over 600 pages though! I’m glad you are loving this series!

    • LOL, I have no idea. I’ve only read one series all the way through- the Cincy ones. I’ve read the very first book- the Chicago series, which was fantastic, too- and then the latest of the Baltimore out of order and that was a bad move since I should have started at the beginning so I knew better who everyone was.
      So, whichever you go with, make sure you start with the beginning of that City series. LOL

      They are huge, but I have never felt the pages go by when I’m actually reading them. They’re just so intense and move along quickly without losing the development aspect.

  • Greg Hill

    Wow this does sound good. And yeah it’s a big one at 600+ pages, but glad to hear it was good! It definitely sounds intense!

    • These are quite addicting when I want some dark and gritty cop action. Oh yes, huginormous books, but you don’t feel the pages once you’re reading. 🙂

  • That’s awesome she was able to balance character/romance development and keeping everything at a fast clip. I believe I have book one floating around somewhere that was a review consideration. Ill have to hunt a bit.

    • Yes, her books always look so intimidating from the start, but then I get into them and they read fast with all she loads into it. Hope you like it when you find it. 🙂