I am a total bookworm and will happily read anything, but I have a particular liking for crime fiction and the gorier and more twisted the better in my opinion ! I picked up some cheap crime fiction at The Works on my last visit (3 for £5 so you can't really go wrong) based purely on the cover artwork and so far, I haven't been disappointed. Chris Mooney is an author I had never read before, but as this book is labelled an "a CSI Darby McCormick thriller", I have no doubt it is part of a series and presumably the first episode as it introduces the leading lady's traumatic childhood.
The first part of the novel is set in 1984 and features a teenaged Darby, falling in and out of friendship with her two closest schoolmates, before they come to a grisly and traumatic end at the hands of a brutal serial killer that only Darby walks away from. Fast forward a couple of decades and Darby has become a crime scene investigator, called out to the home of a teenager who has been snatched from her home by a violent intruder. Darby stumbles across an emaciated and delirious woman hiding out at the scene and discovers that she is another kidnap victim, who has managed to escape from the hellhole she has been kept in for the past five years. Determined to find out if the cases are linked, or indeed linked to the brutal events of her own past, Darby pulls out all the stops to uncover the identity of the kidnapper/serial killer and hopefully rescue his latest prey before it is too late.
With the FBI determined to put a spanner in the works and her own demons to battle, Darby has the odds stacked against her but her determination and inner strength see her through, along with the dependable (in all areas except his lovelife) sidekick Coop, who will undoubtedly become her love-interest in a future tome !
It's a fast-paced, chilling read that reminded me of the likes of Chelsea Cain and Chris Carter. Darby does seem to have more lives than the proverbial cat and seems to walk out of shootouts and explosions with just a few scratches, like the good guys in Hollywood blockbusters, but I still found it a tense and for the most part convincing story. I'll definitely be looking out for the sequels (I've just been to check - there are currently six books in the series).
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £6.99