Book Review: That Darkness by Lisa Black

You know those weeks where there are twelve or so new releases in the theater, three of which are battling it out for #1, and then near the bottom of the list you see some generic titled Thriller that stars Kevin Costner that you’ve never heard of or even seen an advertisement for? And as you read the description of the movie, you realize why?

That’s sort of where this novel falls for me.

that darknessThat Darkness is a taut thriller about a cop who kills bad guys who get away with it, and the female fingerprint / fiber analyst who’s gunning to be a detective and figure out whodunnit with these unsolved murders. It’s extremely well-written and Black, a forensic scientist herself, clearly knows her stuff.

The problem is, I’ve seen it all before. But with better characters, better motivations, and better plots. As a stand alone novel, this might have worked, and Black continually strives to make us question the morality of letting a criminal go when you know he will commit all matter of atrocities vs committing murder yourself a la vigilante justice. But even these themes I felt have been better served and represented.

“Are they protectors of the innocent or psychos who have found a socially acceptable justification to gleefully lay waste to other human beings? What’s more important to them, social justice or the indescribable fun of getting away with breaking the rules? You can go round and round until you get dizzy.”

You can definitely do a lot worse, and for those of you who love diving into an episode of CSI 5000 or the newest buddy cop crime-spree investigative detective show, this will be a pleasant read. Pleasant, but unmemorable.

** I received a free copy of this novel through NetGalley. Thanks to the author and publisher. This in no way is reflected in my review **

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