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A month after her high school graduation, small-town-girl Samantha "Sam" Bronwyn boards a plane with her best friend, Ginny. Destination: San Francisco. But when Ginny disappears inside an airport bathroom wearing Sam's letterman jacket, it doesn't take her long to figure out she was the intended target. Alone in a strange city, Sam's on a run for her life--drawn into a dark past she never knew existed. A past where secrets aren't all that's buried and where revenge comes at the highest price.

Who is Sam really--and who can she trust? The mysterious stranger in 4A who secreted a gun in his backpack? The guilty ex-con? The disarming FBI agent? Her own mother?

Only one thing is certain. Someone is after her. Someone who knows more about her than she does. Someone who wants to teach her a hard lesson: There are worse things than murder.

Daddy Darkest is a standalone and the first in the Doctors of Darkness series by forensic psychologist and author, Ellery Kane. Betrayal, lust, revenge, murder...These doctors earned their degrees from the dark side.

358 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2017

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About the author

Ellery A. Kane

16 books344 followers
Forensic psychologist by day, novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing--professionally and creatively--for as long as she can remember. Just like many of her main characters, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery's writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. And she's heard her fair share of real life thrillers.

Ellery lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of ​​California, a picturesque setting that provides the backdrop for many of her novels. If you don't find Ellery interviewing murderers behind prison walls or pecking away at her latest novel, she is probably at the gym landing a solid jab-cross to a punching bag; riding bicycles with her special someone; or enjoying a movie the old-fashioned way--at the theater with popcorn and Milk Duds.

Ellery was previously selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition and is the author of the Doctors of Darkness, Rockwell and Decker, and Legacy Series, with two standalone thrillers from Bookouture coming in 2022.

If you'd like to receive a notification when new books are released, please sign up for Ellery's newsletter at ellerykane.com. Ellery also signs e-books on authorgraph.com.

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5 stars
379 (37%)
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337 (33%)
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184 (18%)
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38 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 202 reviews
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,361 reviews2,304 followers
February 16, 2018


So color me surprised because I really enjoyed this book a lot. I'll be honest after reading a bunch of the reviews I wasn't expecting to like it much as it seems to have a lot of mixed reactions. But I was pleasantly surprised. Was it the most fantastic book I have ever read? No. It had its share of issues. But it kept me entertained. Tthe writing was very good. The pace was perfect. We jump back and forth from Clare's story in the past to Levi and Samantha's in the present. I found the past the more intriguing narrative as Clare was undoubtedly the most interesting of all the characters. The present could have been a bit more fleshed out, and I was left with some unanswered questions and loose ends. But this looks like it is going to be a series so perhaps these characters will be seen again in later books. All in all, it was a very enjoyable read, and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the next book. Plus the cover is very cool as well. Therefore this one is getting a solid two thumbs up from yours truly.



Profile Image for 8stitches 9lives.
2,780 reviews1,625 followers
February 28, 2018
I was offered this to read and review as part of an ARC program and due to the synopsis very much appealing to me I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, it was not as enjoyable as it seemed it would be, in my opinion.

I am a big believer in trying out new authors as well as continuing to read your favourite writers as there's room for both and some of the best reads from the past year have been from indie publishers and self-publish authors. I don't like feeling like I could be missing out on a fantastic read and so I try to read anything that takes my fancy regardless of popularity.

Rest of review to come soon!
Profile Image for Carrie (The Butterfly Reader).
1,016 reviews93 followers
June 13, 2017
Have I ever mentioned how much I love dark books? Yes, I know I have but I'm doing it again! Now next question, have I ever mentioned how much I love this author's Legacy series? Yes, I know I have but I'm doing it again!

So I've been trying to read more adult books since the YA book community it eating itself alive and like a day after I told myself to do this, Ellery emails me asking if I wanted to review her new adult book. I had to say yes! I love her writing and her plots are always top notch. Her world building is amazing too.

This book is like all those Law & Order or crime TV shows that we all love to pieces. It was like watching one of those but better because everything goes into more details and we really get to fall in love with the main character.

It was simply astonishing to watch Sam's life go for normal to everything changes in just the blink of an eye. It's rather scary actually, makes you wonder if it could happen to you next. I loved this book, it had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next. Wondering who in the world could be trusted and hoping that Sam would be okay in the end.

So if you want a dark thriller, get this now! I can promise you will not regret it! It's wonderful!
Profile Image for Shalini.
2,506 reviews198 followers
January 26, 2018
The book starts with two girls Ginny and Samantha hopping on a plane to San Francisco, and Ginny gets kidnapped and Samantha goes searching for her. In her search for Ginny, Samantha ends up finding the real truth about her mother Clare's background.
The book is written in the present time about Samantha's predicament and in the past about Clare's life, her sexual abuse as a young girl, her interactions with a sociopath in the prison as a psychologist, and her love affair with him, a toxic serial killer.
The book by Ellery A Kane, started off well, the plot was intriguing, a case of mistaken identity till the mother Clare's story touched the pages. Then it took an ugly turn, and I lost all interest. I skimmed parts of the book to get to the gist of the story. With a title like Daddy Dearest, I did expect the story to have darker overtones, but I wanted the main characters to be well etched, generating pathos. Unfortunately, they come across as annoying. Both the mother daughter duo are not likable. Samantha is too naive and Clare insecure. Where the characters should have been bold and strong, they come across people who need therapy themselves. The book does come together for the ending, but by then I have lost interest, and it is more of a case of too little too late.
2.5 stars rounded up to 3
Profile Image for D.S. Mac.
Author 1 book29 followers
October 10, 2020
"I wish my first plane ride had ended in a crash. An unforeseen plunge to Earth. A few minutes of white-hot terror, followed by a rising ball of fire. And no survivors. Sure, I’d be gone at eighteen. She was so young, they’d say, but at least I would die believing my life was my own. Not a lie somebody else concocted. Then, it was simple. I was still small-town girl, Samantha Bronwyn."

A complete and utter unputdownable Thriller. I enjoyed every second of this.

We start of with a young Sam, going on a weekend away soon finding out her life is a lie and almost everyone wants here dead.
With flashbacks of her mum as a psychologist and a life she worked hard to lock away. These felt like the best parts of the book and had a lot more sustainance. However both parts were very enjoyable and the overall story was brilliant.

Very much recommend and will be reading more of Ellery's work 😁
Profile Image for Kelli Martin.
214 reviews12 followers
March 27, 2020
With a title like Daddy Darkest, I am not sure what exactly I was expecting. But I do know it wasn't what happened in this book. This book was very gripping. I enjoyed the different plot lines woven throughout this book. Sometimes when you get so many sub plots, the story kind of gets lost. But not in this book. It actually gave it more depth and understanding of the why's and how's. Clare's past really set her up to be a messed up individual. I can see how she came to make the choices she made. But I actually would have liked a little more. It seemed like the story built up so much throughout and then it just sort of seemed rushed to the end. So many things left open ended. I would have liked more answers. I know this is a series but from the descriptions I have read, it doesn't look to be a continuing story, which makes me sad. I am not exactly sure what a standalone novel in a series is? I already have the next novel so I guess I will be finding out shortly.
Profile Image for Jessie Rae.
416 reviews34 followers
February 4, 2021
"received an arc exchange for an honest review"

i couldn't finish this i only got like 10% i just couldn't do it
Profile Image for Mary.
1,467 reviews493 followers
July 2, 2022
2.5/5 (rounded up)

Daddy Darkest is Ellery A. Kane's debut adult novel, but for some reason it had a bit of a young adult feel to me. I am guessing that is because a lot of the book is told from the viewpoint of Samantha (Sam) who is Clare's daughter. However, there are definitely a lot of very adult subject matters and plenty of darkness for the adult readers of this book. I thought it had a very promising start thanks to Ginny's disappearance, and there were a lot of elements in here that really worked for me. It was a nice touch to have the viewpoints toggle back and forth from Sam in the present and Clare in the past, and I love that Kane used what she knows to write this story. I thought it was well done as an audiobook as well with Kristin James narrating, but it would have been even better if there had been a separate narrator for Clare.

I can't say I loved Clare all that much and honestly, Sam's was my favorite of the 2 viewpoints although she is a pretty naive MC due to her age. There is plenty of action though, and even though I didn't like either of them or the way they were written, both of their POVs kept things interesting. The biggest thing that kept me from loving Daddy Darkest besides my issues with the way Sam and Clare are written was the length, and I thought that a lot of it was drug out way too much. The only thing really keeping me going was the audiobook and I am sure that if I would have read it, I would have ended up either skimming or DNFing. This is the first of a series (where I think all the books are standalones?) and I doubt I will continue on with any of the rest. I think that if you find the synopsis interesting though, it would still be worth checking out! Please don't let my review stop you since there are definitely people who have loved it, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Brandy.
360 reviews40 followers
November 30, 2018
He loves you, he loves you not.

He loves you, he loves you not.

But the real question is - does he love you enough to let you live? Ekk! Cue the dark, creepy music and for heaven sakes lace up your running shoes kids! Cause’ you’re gonna need them to keep up with this fast paced thriller! Daddy Darkest sets the pace at a sprint from page one; leaving your huffing and puffing - utterly breathless in the end. I give this a much deserved 5 stars!
Profile Image for Yellagirlgc.
402 reviews42 followers
April 21, 2018
There's so much I want to say about Daddy Darkest but after giving it a LOT of thought I'd hate to spoil anything for current and future readers. Ellery Kane and James Patterson make a good combination. All of the elements of a good psychological suspense are included in this book.
Profile Image for Alja Katuin.
369 reviews29 followers
March 30, 2018
Pretty awesome and quick read! I loved the changing POVs, all the side stories and the constant thrill and I’m looking forward to book 2!

With a title as Daddy Darkest I suspected a book about this very wrong dad, doing things that no dad should ever do. In some way, that expectation was met when Samantha flew to San Fransisco with her best friend Ginny. On the plane Sam and Ginny met Levi; a handsome stranger warning them about the dangers of SF..
Shit hit the fan pretty quickly in this one, Ellery A. Kane does not play around. From the moment Sam and Ginny land and retrieve their luggage, things go south.

In Daddy Darkest we follow Sam and Levi in the present and Clare in the past. We find out why Ginny is abducted, why her abductor calls Sam Clare and why someone got abducted in the first place.
After a few chapters it becomes painfully clear that mommy dearest hasn't been completely honest with her daughter, which eventually lead to crazy adventures including maffiawars, drugs and a - very- obsessed serial killer.

I never expected daddy darkest to be thát dark. To be so manipulative, creepy and yet.. so polite. It frightened me a little to finally figure out what was what and who was who in the end. The plottwists did not dissapoint!

I'm really looking forward to the next book in Doctors of Darkness.
Profile Image for Rishika S..
Author 2 books12 followers
January 22, 2018
More like 0.5 stars, instead of 1!

The Bottom Line:

A terrible waste of time, Daddy Darkest is a story that does not (even remotely) do justice to the psychological thriller claim and is actually painful to read at most parts.

My review:

A big ‘Thank you’ to NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (‘honest’ being the key word here).

Daddy Darkest begins with a lot of promise. It starts with Samantha and Ginny traveling to San Francisco, Ginny’s disappearance, and a shifty but somewhat-trustable man coming to help Samantha. All intriguing factors, and all with great promise.

Then, it goes back to the past, to the story of Clare Keely, which (as it’s painfully obvious in the first three sentences) is the story of Samantha’s mother. It’s about two chapters into the past when everything gets really bad.

At the outset, I should probably state that I don’t really have a problem with characters who are anti-heroes or anti-heroines. No one is categorically black or white. And gray makes books and characters interesting. I think ‘gray’ was what Ellery Kane was aiming for with Clare (Bronwyn) Keely. What she ended up with, instead, is a very whiny, annoying, selfish, bratty b***h of a main character.

Sure, Clare has a past – one that’s not too nice either. It messes her up a bit. But that is really not enough of a foundation to become the person she does. In fact, most of her personality traits were highly conflicting with one another. And much more than the ‘this is who I need to be, but this is who I really am’ conflict that complex characters have. Plus, who she needs to be and who she is are both really annoying. To put it down in some discernable order, this is what she’s like:

Oh! I’m so pretty, it’s such a curse. Oh! I’m so pretty, every man lusts after me. Oh! I wish they wouldn’t. Oh! I need some information from this guy, let me just flirt with him and sleep with him and he’ll tell me. Oh! I wish he wouldn’t touch me. Oh! Come, let’s jump into bed together again so I can get you to do what I want. Oh! I wish every man didn’t lust after me, it makes me feel uncomfortable. Oh! I’m so bad. And I love it. No, I hate it. Oh! I’m such a good girl, why don’t people just let me be? Oh! My beauty is my curse. Oh! My beauty is my power. No, curse. No, power. And so on and so forth. Until Clare Keely whined about everything she didn’t like, and everything she liked too.

There are characters who are tainted but who you call still sympathize with – but Clare Keely is not such a character. She’s just annoying, and there is a point where you just want her to shut up.

And Samantha isn’t the brightest bulb either. Likable at first, you can sympathize with her for a bit. Until Kane seems to absolutely lose the shape of the character and Samantha melts into some kind of mix of her old self and her mother.

As the book proceeds, all characters other than Clare sort of slip away from the limelight and become secondary, to the point that the book doesn’t even wrap up their story cleanly. The story actually had the potential to be multi-arced, but all of it is pushed to the sidelines while Clare Keely rambles on and on, until you just don’t care about any of those promising angles.

That, unfortunately, is how this book makes you feel – uninterested. I actually found myself physically straining to push ahead instead of just giving up (a lot of people gave up, so I know I wasn’t alone in this struggle). Then I reached a point where I started fast-reading a lot of the book to remain informed of the points that mattered (skimming over the whining and lamenting, which made up for a surprisingly large amount of the book throughout). I did this in the hope that the book somehow redeemed itself. Short answer? It does not, in any way. I actually think it just gets worse as it goes on.

So all in all, this book has no redeeming factors. There’s nothing dark or psychologically thrilling about it. The story isn’t really twisted like the blurb states. And the only thing criminal in it, is Clare Keely’s character.

I would recommend this book to:
- No one.
- Seriously. Pick up any other book. Literally, any!
Profile Image for ZoraYuna.
136 reviews
June 5, 2021
I expected a lot from this book, because both the synopsis and the beginning of the story made me believe so, but suddenly it was like entering another world, one that was confusing, boring and to top it off with characters lacking emotions.
Profile Image for Michelle Scott.
Author 50 books394 followers
January 7, 2018
I'll be up front about this.  I did not like most of this book.  Although the writing itself was solid, and the story was gripping, the themes of child molestation turned me off.

Daddy Darkest is divided into two stories - that of eighteen-year-old Samantha and that of her mother, Clare.  Samantha's story is in present time, and her mother's is a series of flashbacks to the time before Samantha was born.  I thought that stories worked well together, and I was never lost when I read.  I was also very interested in both stories, so I didn't mind jumping from one to the other.  Not once in this book did I ever lose interest.  I simply had to read to the end.

I also liked Samantha.  She was a bit naive, but at the same time, she was a fast learner.  She coped with a great deal of trauma without whining or becoming bitter.  She was a strong character - not necessarily a bad ass - but still a force to be reckoned with.  There's a bit of a love interest in her story, and I thought that worked well in the book as well.  Levi, her companion, didn't have a lot of depth, but I did like what I saw of him.

So far, so good.  But now, it's on to Clare.

I can't state strongly enough how much I hated this character.  Yes, she had a terrible childhood, and yes she was the victim of a child predator, but instead of using her past to turn her into a stronger person, she becomes a beast herself.  Every choice she makes is a bad one.  She throws aside all the good advice she's given.  She is nasty and manipulates everyone she meets.  At one point in her life, she does something so heinous that I could never forgive her for it.  I had no sympathy for this character whatsoever and was actually rooting for her demise.

So there you have it - the good and the bad.  I'm not sorry I finished the book, and the ending did come together nicely, but I'm not planning on reading the rest of the series.
1,223 reviews6 followers
June 10, 2017
Ellery Kane has created a world that is reminiscent of CSI, the Mentalist, and SVU rolled into one. The characters are credible and you get attached to them very quickly. Often times you're trying to figure out if and how things are connected as more layers are revealed. You'll want to make time to read this straight through because it hooks you right from the start. Fantastic start to the series.
Profile Image for Molly.
1,202 reviews52 followers
April 7, 2018
A suspenseful, page-turning thriller, Daddy Darkest is the story of teenager Samantha Bronwyn, who is trying to sneak away for an adventurous little vacation with her flirty friend Ginny before the two of them graduate. Ginny disappears before the two girls even leave the airport, however, and Samantha is left trying to convince the police that something has gone very, very wrong. When the police won't listen, Samantha is forced to call her mom, Clare, and fill her in on the details - but things only escalate when Clare enters the picture.

The narrative shifts between the present-day story of Samantha and Ginny and Clare's hidden, complicated past as a prison psychologist. I appreciated the attention and accuracy of certain details about prison life in this novel, but was skeptical about some of the devices that made the plot possible - for example, an inmate in a locked office with the psychologist? I had a lot of trouble buying that one.

I did appreciate the complex picture of Clare's own psychology, as a victim of childhood sexual assault, and the fact that her abuser does get his comeuppance. There are a few threads in this plot that are a little too neatly resolved, and some of the writing is clunky - there were a lot of basketball metaphors that really didn't work for me, and one fishing metaphor that really put me off. I'm going to have to find that one to update this review, because it was unfortunate enough that I made a specific note about it.

Overall, though, this was a fast-paced and relatively satisfying thriller - it's just not one I would be likely to read again.

I received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for HeartBreaker.
306 reviews12 followers
January 7, 2019
At first I thought that this book will be "a case of mistaken identity",but no,this went into entirely new direction.

Ok,so Samantha and Ginny are on the plane,heading to San Francisco when Ginny disappears.Sam quickly realizes that she was the target and not her friend.Alone and in the city she doesn't know,Sam is on the run for her life.There is someone after her,who know some things about her life that even she is not aware of.
All of this lead me to believe that this will be a case of mistaken identity.
But,no.This book quickly shifted from Sam to Claire.And you can quickly realize that Claire is Sam's mother.
My problem is this,I don't mind secondary characters having big role in a book,but if you turn you'r secondary characters into main characters then I will probably lose interest.And that's what happened here.Claire,was annoying to read about,there was nothing about her that poked my interest and Sam was naive,really naive.
Also this story was not so much of dark tale as the blurb says.Sure,it does have dark thems,but honestly I read romance books with this themes too.
I just lost interest,that's all.
Profile Image for AKA.
559 reviews1 follower
April 23, 2020
Ellery Kane is really good at creating screwed up women. I didn't like Clare but I liked seeing how her mind worked. When people do awful things, I often wonder how they talked themselves into it, you know? What was the thought process and how did they justify their actions?

I definitely got a bit of that with Cullen (I didn't really buy his mommy issues, at least not the way he tried to sell them originally) but with Clare, I got a treat. More often than not she had to talk herself into doing and saying the right thing.😂

Sam was fun because she was as green as any 18 year old but there was always a sixth sense with her. Nature versus nurture if you will. I didn't really care about her flirtation with Levi but with everything she went through I couldn't be mad.

As fun as this was there were WAY too many plot conveniences (Levi being involved at all felt like too much) and I wish we'd spent more time with Clare in the present. Overall, this was a good read.

I know the DoD books stand alone but man I want to read what happens next. Sam is definitely going to be one to watch. And that ending!
Profile Image for Melissa Yoder.
59 reviews129 followers
April 25, 2018
I wasn’t sure what to expect starting this book. The beginning was a bit confusing and I was wondering if I had settled in to read a teen drama. However after a few chapters you’re taken back in time to learn more about Sam’s mother and her past. This is a thrilling suspense novel that you will thoroughly devour. Highly recommend!!
Profile Image for OpenBookSociety.com .
3,832 reviews116 followers
March 16, 2018

Daddy Darkest
Doctors of Darkness, Book #1
By Ellery A. Kane
ISBN# 9780692880968
Author’s Website: http://ellerykane.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Samantha Bronwyn leads a normal, albeit boring life in a small town in Texas, where she lives with her mom. She never knew her dad since he died when she was a baby. Sam’s a basketball wiz on the court and will be heading to Baylor soon.

Her best friend, Ginny, has talked her into going on a girls trip to San Francisco before they head off to college. A trip that Sam’s mom was against. Shortly after getting to San Francisco Sam wishes she had listened to her mom as a nightmare unfolds before her. Ginny went into the bathroom at the airport and disappeared. Her phone was found in the trash with a message to Sam’s mom displayed to ‘come find me’. Ginny was wearing Sam’s Letterman jacket (with Sam’s name on the back) and they soon realize that the kidnapper had intended to grab Sam instead!

Sam is alone in a strange town while trying to find answers and running into trouble at every turn. She knows Ginny is quickly running out of time with an escaped serial killer, Clive ‘Cutthroat’ Cullen on the loose and he’s the most likely suspect for the abduction. Sam does find an unexpected ally in Levi, who sat next to the girls on the plane. But can he be trusted? He did carry a gun on the plane after all.

Sam’s mom is making her way to San Francisco, but she is acting strange. What do you do when everything you’ve ever known about your life turns out to be a lie? And when the sins of your parents truly do come to haunt you …

I actually really enjoyed this book! I liked it a lot better than I was expecting to as it sucked me in from the very beginning. I do love an exciting mystery and this one kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked that I didn’t know who to trust. Is Levi a good guy or will he lead Sam to those that want to do her harm? Although I quickly, fell in love with him and his humor, I would have been devastated if he’d been a bad guy!

“Levi didn’t seem surprised by my accusation. “I guess that bedsheet wasn’t as soundproof as I thought.”

I also actually liked the flashbacks to Claire’s past as the truth was revealed to us bit by bit. I enjoyed watching the interactions between her and Clive and how things developed. Clive was definitely a charmer and you could see how he reeled women in to do exactly what he wanted! I was definitely rooting for him and desperately wanted to see him be redeemed in this book! I do love my bad boys! But Claire was a bit nuts herself and kind of a slut so maybe they were meant to be … crazy does attract crazy.

The timing of reading this book couldn’t have been better. My oldest daughter is getting ready to start college this year and we’re making all those plans now. She has fallen in love with her psychology class in her senior year of high school and has decided to major in psychology in college. She absolutely loved doing the case studies and criminal profiles of known serial killers so this book made me think of her. I have already recommended the book to her. I think Kane’s background in forensic psychology shines through in her writing and makes this book even more interesting and it has a ‘real’ feel to it. I think this series on serial killers could be rather fun.

My only complaint about this book is that the story doesn’t feel complete to me and I saw that the next book is about completely different characters. It feels like there should be another book with these characters because there is more story to tell. The relationship between Levi and Sam has just begun, not to mention I would love to see more of Clive and Claire as their story has a lot of potential as well. I so want to see their happily ever after. Besides, Clive needs to meet his daughter!

I absolutely loved this book and hope to get my hands on the next book, The Hanging Tree once it’s released! If you love dark and slightly twisted psychological thrillers, you should definitely give this series a try!

*OBS would like to thank the author for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Jo.
237 reviews22 followers
January 2, 2019
Title: Daddy Darkest
Author: Ellery Kane
Publisher: Amazon
Release Day: Jun 1, 2017 -- the eBook on Amazon is currently $3.99
Rating: 4 out of 5
First Sentence: I wish my first plane ride had ended in a crash.

Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review!

Summary: A month after her high school graduation, small-town-girl Samantha "Sam" Bronwyn boards a plane with her best friend, Ginny. Destination: San Francisco. But when Ginny disappears inside an airport bathroom wearing Sam's letterman jacket. A past where secrets aren't all that's buried and where revenge comes at the highest price.

About the Author: Ellery Kane is a Forensic psychologist and her work inspires her stories.

My Review:

It's an interesting story that starts in the present day with Samantha Bronwyn. As the story progresses it's discovered that Samantha's current problem has something to do with her mother's past. Once we find this out we jump to 1996 following her mother Clare down her path that leads us to Samantha's problem.

Some of the information that, to me, could have been shocking reveals are told to us and then we learn how that information came to be in later chapters. Usually in the flashback chapters with Clare.

We go between the past and the present to explain how and why we are where we are. It's well written and fun to read. Some parts I wish she wasn't that great at writing because holy shit vivid imagery was not something I needed for certain scenes.

As everything happens Samantha learns that she doesn't know her mom like she thought she did. When the book ends she still has learning to do and wonders if her mother will ever open up about everything that went down.

This was a fun and different read I bought the next book after finishing this.
Spoilers Ahead:
In Clare's chapters we find out that she was a victim of molestation when she was a teenager by her friends step-father. We see how the stepdad's actions/grooming effect her into her adulthood and her behavior and expectation of the men in her life.

She is a new psychologist in a men's prison. She meets and falls in love with a serial killer that is known as Cutthroat. They connect somehow on an emotional level due to her committing neonaticide when she was a teenager.

Clare's relationship with Cutthroat almost gets Samantha and her friend, Ginny killed. Clare feels freed from Cutthroat and then she finds a note at her house saying to find him. It ends there.

It's learned because Clare wanted Cutthroat to know that she had Samantha that she sent McKinnon (shady FBI lady) ultrasounds of Samantha. I think this was talked about to establish that Cutthroat's mom had been keeping tabs on her granddaughter and that's how he discovers that Sam & Ginny are going to San Francisco.

The thing that's confusing me though was how did they know where she lived and what her name was? Did Clare let it slip when she sent out the ultrasound of her new name and location? I must have missed something because I don't remember that being addressed.

Because from my understanding she sent the ultrasound to the FBI lady when she lived in Oklahoma. She ends up moving to Texas and that's where she raises Samantha. So, how did Cutthroat's mom get more information???

Also, if she's keeping track of her granddaughter how did Cutthroat mess up that he grabs the wrong girl? Did they not find a picture of her on social media? I feel like I missed something there. It's established that Samantha looks like her father -- unless Cutthroat only realized they looked alike when he finally meets her later on in the book.

End of Spoilers
Recommend?: If you can handle stories that involve serial killers, child molestation/rape,neonaticide, suicidal thoughts/attempts and messed up characters...then, yes, it's recommended.

It's part of a series called Doctors of Darkness. But as far as I can tell the second book has no relations with the first book in regard to characters. It's called The Hanging Tree. The eBook is currently as I'm writing this 99 cents.

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Profile Image for Carmen.
471 reviews14 followers
November 25, 2017
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Best friends Samantha and Ginny take a trip to San Francisco. It was supposed to be their pre-college trip of a life time, but things go awry shortly after landing: Ginny is abducted from the airport bathroom. Armed with her luggage and Ginny's cell phone, Sam is on the run for her life after realizing that she was the target, not Ginny. Told through rotating narrators, we learn about Sam's mom, Clare, and why her secret past just caught up with Sam.

I love when authors have rotating narrators, so it was exciting to see that the book is written from Ginny's perspective in the present as well as Clare's perspective in the past. The closer we get to the end of the book, the closer the events in both perspectives collide. Clare has no idea about her mom's true past. She just knows her as her strong doting and protective mom who also hates psychology. However, Clare's past reveals that she was once a green psychiatrist working at a prison. She's a survivor of abuse who feels broken and blames herself for what happened to her and for the way men respond to her. What Ginny knows of her mother clashes with the life that Clare shed when she fled and started a new life.

Ginny and Clare are very different characters, so it's interesting to jump back and forth between the two and see what's going on in their minds. Clare's young, getting ready to enter college, and is terrified while running for her life and trying to save her best friend at the same time. She went from living the small town life that she's always known to being thrown into this whole new world where she has to trust a guy she just met, try to save Ginny before she gets killed, and face the fact that her father is far from who she thought he was. Meanwhile, we jump into the past every couple of chapters and read about Clare's life, the long term havoc that her attacker has left her with, and how she fell for the charming murderous man, Cutthroat Cullen. It's also interesting that Cullen is so charming because it echoes reality. We're taught to get away from the people who look like "weirdos" when the suave guys are often the ones who we should be weary of.

It was an interesting mystery to get sucked into because the true mystery is not what it appears to be at the beginning of the book. I thought I had everything figured out when one final mystery, one that has been fueling Levi for years, is the one that pulled the wool over my eyes. It is a difficult read because of the nature of Clare's chapters, which are very dark as well as sad, but Kane put together a story worth reading. I will definitely be back for the second installment in the series.
Profile Image for Lynda Kelly.
2,038 reviews83 followers
October 11, 2020
This began with promise for me but then got a little too unbelievable. I stuck with it till I'd reached 40% but I'd seen enough by then. As far as I was concerned Clare was a liar and a tart with no regard for anyone but pleasing herself and she had sex on the brain all her life. Thank goodness Sam seemed a lot more sensible, so let's hope she got out from under her mum's roof and set out on her own in the end.
I liked Levi, he was a nice character but didn't really care enough about any of them to stick with it. A lot you could see coming as well.
Love the author's name. She sounds like a 50s spy ! The cover's a very eye-catching one as well.
I think bold-faced is usually bald-faced and I'd write Veterans' Day not Veteran's but that was it for any errors which is great going.
I got to a part where Clare was having it off with someone because "it was the least she could do" like she was the best thing that ever happened to mankind and I'd read enough, though. I need to go back to a tried and tested author next read as I've had a lot of disappointing new authors downloaded in recent weeks and none have been particularly terrific.
Profile Image for Myreadbooks.
1,456 reviews18 followers
March 19, 2018
On the cover there is a scene in the night forest with a shovel backed to a tree, a hole in the bottom with the title of the book indicated in the hole. A catchphrase is below the title: "Bury your secrets, bury them deeply"

The Hispanic takes place in the present with Samantha who graduated a month ago who after a plane flight to San Francisco sees her friend Ginny disappear into a bathroom at the airport. Because she was wearing Sam's jacket, she knew right away that she was the target. Who is she really, who can she trust? Who's hiding a gun in his backpack? Someone's mad at him, want to make him drool. A race against the clock is going to get her to find the truth.

I loved this first book with endearing characters a story that holds the road, too anxious to read the sequel that comes out soon.
Profile Image for GothicMom'S Reviewers.
114 reviews1 follower
January 22, 2018
Plenty of twists make this a riveting and unforgettable book. I absolutely loved this! There are few suspense authors that I love, and now this one is ranked right up there with my favorites. Yes, there is disturbing subject matter in here. The entire plot works here, and it's page-turning suspense.

Right from the start, we have Samantha's friend Ginny being abducted. There are no clues as to what happened. Samantha must decide if there is anyone she can trust or if she's on her own. A killer is at large and the hunt is on.

This is a dark psychological thriller that will have you on the edge-of-your-seat. Be prepared to be up all night. Is book two ready yet?

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team
Profile Image for Beverly Laude.
1,751 reviews23 followers
May 12, 2018
I enjoyed reading this book. Was it perfect? Of course not. Was it great? Maybe not. Did I find parts of the book unbelievable or annoying? Yes. But, was it entertaining? YES!!

I liked the way that the author intertwined the present day with Samantha and Levi with the past of Clare and Clive. The story kept me reading long after I needed to be doing something else.

Clare is obviously a very confused person (understandably), but I also found myself feeling sympathy for her. Samantha is just a normal young woman, getting ready to start college in a few weeks. She and her friend, Ginny, take a trip to San Francisco before college starts and Sam's life is quickly blown apart.

The book moved at a fast pace and the writing drew me in to the lives of these flawed characters. I liked the way that the author tied all of these seemingly unconnected people into a well-crafted whole. This is just the type of book to read when you are lying on the beach, just trying to get away from the real world.

I was gifted a copy of the book and chose to review it.
Profile Image for Ashy Khaira.
364 reviews52 followers
March 27, 2018
the book centers around samantha and clare bronwyn nee keely.the lies told by clare places samantha and her friend ginny in danger as they go on a vacation.the story keeps you hooked with its forbidden love story,the lies and betrayals caused over misunderstanding,the yearning for the one person who you will always love as a plus point.samantha finding out her father is a criminal finds it hard to accept the lies and come to terms with who her mother truly is.love the psychological aspect to the story
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,637 reviews161 followers
March 23, 2021
“There are worse things than murder, Dr. Keely.”

Definitely a case of it's me and not you, dear book. I just didn't like Clare. The synopsis makes it sound like this will be from Sam's POV and, right from the get-to, she was definitely the POV I liked. But it felt like the book was mainly about Clare, who was thoroughly unlikable, completely awful at her job and had odd. . . tastes. The plot was interesting and did keep my interest but I tended to cringe through Clare's chapters. I wish I'd liked it more.
Profile Image for Amanda  Lee.
1,192 reviews42 followers
February 21, 2019
I really enjoyed this, I thought the plot was fresh and really enjoyed the dark elements. I got confused a few times with the back and forth but it was a really intriguing story. I felt some parts lagged in comparison with others.
Overall it was a good suspenseful read that I didn't want to put down.
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