Book Review: That Darkness by Lisa Black
ashley | I haven’t read anything by Lisa Black, but when I saw That Darkness on Netgalley, it struck a chord with me and I immediately wanted to read it. The story flips back and forth between Maggie, a forensics investigator thrust into the middle of a string of murders and Jack, a vigilante cop who keeps killing these people in an attempt to rid the world of evil, leaving the reader to watch as these two characters’ lives become more and more interconnected as they share information and attend the same briefings on the cases.
The dynamic this situation creates is quite an interesting one. We get to see the case being investigated from so many different angles – forensically, through the eyes of the killer who is watching the investigation, through the eyes of the killer as a cop who is investigating his own crimes, sometimes the victims themselves before they met their demise. This was super interesting to me, and I really liked how this cycled through the entire story. I also really liked how this was kind of a mystery-thriller, even though you already know who the killer is. You don’t necessarily know from the start what his motivations are, you don’t know if he’s going to be caught, even when Maggie starts to close in on him. It was a really new perspective for me and I enjoyed it a lot.
What I really liked about Maggie was that she seemed to play off like an average employee; she didn’t seem to possess any super-human investigative instincts or a reputation for being this mystical force in the forensics labs. She just did her job, happened to stumble onto some extra cases and pick up slack from other officers who couldn’t be bothered to do the grunt work, made some pretty important friends along the way, and all of these seemingly normal situations came together to provide an opportunity for Maggie to really shine. We get to see her grow into her investigative skills, get to witness her familiarizing herself with a sort of out-of-the-box perspective of things. You can tell by the reactions other cops have and how they treat her in the beginning that none of this is expected of her, and yet, she’s the one coming through on pretty much everything. I don’t read a lot of cop/detective series like this where you get to see the character grow into their notorious reputation and I thought it was pretty cool.
Without giving away the ending, I really liked how it all came together. I liked how clever and quick Maggie was, how she was able to get herself into and out of situations that ultimately led to the climax. The ending itself satisfied me. It wasn’t a total cliff-hanger, but you can see it continuing if the author chooses to do so, which is seems will be the case. I’d like to read more about Maggie and watch her continue to fine tune these investigative skills.
april 26, 2016