I haven't written a review in ages and ages but I thought I would blow off the dust to drop in a review for a book by one of my favorite authors.
EverI haven't written a review in ages and ages but I thought I would blow off the dust to drop in a review for a book by one of my favorite authors.
Every Dark Corner is another book in author Karen Rose's on-going romantic suspense series. It's important to note that every single book Rose has written is part of the same "universe" with connected and recurring characters, and sometimes on-going plots. There are also subsets of books that typically occur in a specific city (in this case Cincinnati). Do you need to read the books in order? Personally, I would say yes. But that's me. It drives me nuts if I am reading a book and know there are past events from other books that I haven't read. If you are like that I would recommend going back to the beginning. I would DEFINITELY recommend you at least read the previous Cincinnati books. There is a direct connection to the previous book(s) and a lot of references to events in the previous books of the subset. It will help understanding everything if you've read them.
In this book, recurring character Special Agent Kate Coppola and newer character Agent Griffin "Decker" Davenport, along with a slew of other characters, race to find the identify of sociopathic human trafficker/child abuser/drug dealer/etc. And really, that's enough of a summary to let you know what the book is about.
I've read every Rose book, started on the series pretty close to when she started writing them, and I've never been disappointed by one of her books. I couldn't wait to dive into this book and it was worth it. It does read a bit differently than some of her other books but that didn't bother me.
I must put in a warning though - this book deals with dark topics of child abuse, child pornography, human trafficking, sexual slavery, rape, kidnapping, murder, drug abuse, etc, that could be offensive to some or trigger a reaction in anyone who has been personally affected by such topics. There are no graphic scenes dealing with the sexual abuse but there are very clear references to what the children in the book suffered. There are some graphic death scenes. So please be aware before you read the book.
Now about the book itself. As with any Rose book, the plot of the book is meticulously crafted. It's detailed, complex, devious, and chilling. I don't know how the author does it, book after book. Everything fits together like a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle and in the end you're left shaking your head over how everything gets tied together and wrapped up. I'm just never disappointed in the plot development and detail Rose puts together. It sucks me in and spits me out. I love it. I'm a total sucker for an excellently written romantic suspense book.
As I said above, this one does read a little differently than some of Rose's other books. It doesn't have the frantic, edge-of-your-seat suspense that some of the books have. This story is more based on the forensic side of things where the characters are chasing leads, investigating, and trying to pull all the information together to figure out who the bad guy is. Some might find that a bit boring, as I saw in some other reviews, but I enjoy the forensic aspect of things. I wanted to keep reading to see what they would discover next and how they would pull all the bits and pieces together to solve the case. And it does get tense at times, especially toward the end when they have to race to catch the bad guy. The pacing is a bit slow, I guess you could say. The entirety of the story takes place over a few days and it's a 600+ page books. But that can be attributed to the author's meticulous detail. Overall, I enjoyed the plot. I had no issues with it's development or its resolution. It does tie-up, for the most part, the storyline of the human traffickers/pornographers. Maybe not completely because I can see how the storyline could be continued in future books, but the biggest part is wrapped up (that we know of).
I also greatly enjoyed Kate and Decker. Kate's been an interesting character throughout the series (from what I remember of her....she did first pop up quite a few books ago). She's got some quirks that make her interesting, a badass vibe you can't help but cheer for, and a bit of a troubled past that makes you want her to get her happy ending. With the immediacy of the plot you do feel like some of her emotional turmoil isn't addressed but you're left with the impression that she'll be okay.
Decker was also an interesting character - undercover for 3 years with slime, injured and in a coma for a week, and a sad past that makes you want to give him a hug. He's a likable guy. If I wanted to grumble a bit about anything in the book it would be that A) the repercussions of his 3 years undercover with some very bad people and the terrible things he saw and did aren't entirely dealt with. The damage is there but I expected more. And B) I have to question a little how active this character was given he'd just been badly injured and woken from a coma. I did question the realism there a bit.
Is the romance between the two a bit rushed? I guess you could say so. By the end of the book the two had know each other maybe 2 weeks. Honestly, though, it worked. There was an instant connection there that you can feel. Not to be maudlin or poetic but they really are two lost souls who just fit together. The meet a need in each other. I enjoyed them together and don't have any issue believing they'd stay together.
There are a mountain of other characters in this book - some from the past books and some new ones. And along with that you have a storyline that's on-going. If there was on serious thing that would give me pause from giving this book 5 stars its in this area. Rose typically puts out one book a year. So Cincinnati book 2 came out a year ago, and Cincinnati book 1 came out 2 years ago. I've read them in order as they were released. So when I dove into this book my brain was scrambling to try to remember plots and characters, especially from Cinci book 2 since the plots are so intertwined. It was a little disorienting in the beginning as I tried to pull details out of memory from a book I read a year ago and I've read probably 150 books since then. Thankfully, I have a moderately decent memory for books I've read so as I read the first chunk of the book it reminded me of events of the past book and who characters were. But still, it was a little irritating. If I had it to do over again, I would have done a quick skim through of the last book to refresh my memory. Or reread it entirely if I had the time. If you can find a detailed review of the past book or 2 that would probably help before reading this book. Regardless, it was a mostly minor thing and once I got into the story it stopped bothering me.
**added note: I reread my review after writing it and I did have to pause to think about how the book would read to someone who hadn't read any of the previous books. I think there's probably enough detail for someone to understand all of what's going on. The plot is on-going but also separated a bit. So I guess maybe someone could pick this up and read it on it's own. Maybe. It's hard to say. **
I am anxious to read about some of the other characters in the book. Rose has set up quite a few characters for their own stories - Stone, Diesel, Dani, Meredith, Adam, and a few others. Though with the one book a year pace it's disappointing to know how long it could be to read about some of those characters. And I hope we'll get to revisit a certain character some day.
I think if you've been a dedicated fan of Rose's book you'll enjoy this one. You get what you'd expect and in this case, that's not a bad thing. ...more