Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: DARK COUNTRY by Darren E. Laws

Dark CountryFrom the back of the book:
The second novel featuring FBI agent Georgina O'Neil finds her faced with her most challenging and disturbing case yet

Susan Dark, a singer on the verge of stardom, goes missing. Her mother and grandmother, both country and western stars, were kidnapped and murdered 20 years apart as they were about to hit the big time. Is there a connection or is this the work of a copycat? Is Susan Dark about to follow the family tradition? FBI agent Georgina O'Neil and ex-detective Leroy La Portiere find themselves embroiled in the investigation to find Susan Dark, when a sudden and catastrophic illness leaves Georgina on the outside of the FBI, fighting for her life while struggling to save the singer and hold on to everything dear in her life. 

My Review:
Plagued by a violent family history, country singer Susan Dark has lost her mother and grandmother to murder. Now she finds herself the third victim of a generational murderer hell bent on repeating history. Trapped, confused, bloodied, and without hope, Susan's family ghosts haunt her, their sickly sweet whisper on the winds of the reaper omnipresent as each passing day in captivity drives another nail in her proverbial coffin. 

FBI Agent Georgina O'Neil and private detective Leroy La Portiere are tasked with finding Susan before she descends to the grave joining her murdered family members. 

The narrative embraces the dark nature of the plot with the characters themselves equally haunted by the threat of impending violence; a mood well captured both in the descriptive nature of the place-setting and the characters' dialogue: 

"I am heading to a dark country and there are people who will dance on my grave when I am gone."

"Just before drifting off into unconsciousness the notion occurred to [her] that she might be dead, the corners of her mouth raised slightly, trying to form a smile."

While following the traditional path of the popular crime fiction formula, DARK COUNTRY does up the ante in terms of its evocative nature to shock and awe readers with scenes not for the feint of heart - making it appealing to readers of darker fiction and mainstream crime fiction alike. 

DARK COUNTRY is the second book to feature FBI Agent Georgina O'Neil and is new-reader friendly, a key element I look for when jumping into series books post that first volume. There is enough back-story to gain an appreciation of what came before without it hindering or diverting attention away from the events of DARK COUNTRY. 

I enjoyed DARK COUNTRY and will look to nab a copy of its predecessor TURTLE ISLAND. 

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