NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen

4.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfying mystery thriller..., September 20, 2009
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
Smoky Barrett is not your typical FBI agent. Unlike the typical man-hunting heroines in other thrillers of this nature, Smoky is emotionally and physically scarred and was mutilated by knife wounds inflicted by a killer who murdered her husband and daughter. In this third outing (after Shadow Man and The Face of Death, she's called into a case by Rosario Reid, the wife of a potential presidential candidate, after her son is found dead on an airplane -- killed at some point during the flight. The case is complicated because the son was actually a transsexual who called himself Lisa and who was living as a woman. This unusual murder proves to be just the tip of the iceberg with a serial killer who calls himself "the Preacher" admitting to the deaths of many other women. More murders are committed in the name of God and the killer insists that he kills because of the sins of the victim --sins that had been kept secret and never confessed. There is a religious component to the story.

Smoky and her team -- Callie, Alan, and James -- examine all possible leads and sources to track down the killer. The story is part police procedural and part psychological study. I like the interplay between the characters who all seem to have flaws that make them more endearing.

Although you don't have to have read the other two in the series in order to appreciate this book, I find it more satisfying to have seen the changes that the characters have undergone through the novels to this point. Definitely they are more than stereotypes and are not just one dimensional "good guys" hunting down the criminals.

Enjoy this one and be on the lookout for #4 in this great series, Abandoned: A Thriller (Smoky Barrett), due out this October, 2009.

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