|Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 29, 2012)
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Emilie Davis: A young woman being stalked by a man who is willing to kill to be with her.
Nathan Madigan: A Swat Cop involved in saving Emilie, he finds himself drawn to her.
A two-hundred-mile labyrinth of dark storm drains serves as a refuge for the delusional stalker who will go to any lengths to possess fragile, emotionally isolated Emilie Davis. To survive, Emilie will have to confront the secrets of her past she has kept locked away from everyone, including herself. Emilie is a master escape artist—she’s fled a manipulative mother and a controlling ex-husband. But it’s impossible to evade a stalker who uses a bank robbery as a ruse to kidnap her.
He’s still out there, hiding in the Las Vegas tunnels and dodging police. Emilie’s life careens out of control as her assailant continues his pursuit. She has nowhere to turn but to Nathan Madigan, the hostage negotiator who worked the robbery. Nathan is haunted by his failure to protect a loved one fourteen years ago and dedicates his life to saving others. Determined to catch the lunatic hunting Emilie, he finds himself losing his professional detachment. He fears history is about to repeat itself if he cannot protect Emilie from the Taker’s obsession.
The police close in on the Taker’s identity as Nathan and Emilie grow closer to each other and to resolving the misery of their own pasts. At the height of The Taker’s madness, his attempt to replace someone he’s lost will either kill them all or set them free.
I think this book had something to appeal to a lot of audiences. There was a little romance, there was a psychological thriller. There was the damsel in distress with the night in armor (okay actually a Kevlar vest) riding in to save her.
The story alternates between Emilie and the view of The Taker. The reader gets exposed to his life, his thoughts, and in the end you may or may not have the same opinion of him that you had in the beginning. I think he’s actually one of the more developed characters in the story.
While I was okay with the relationship of Emilie and Nathan, One small drawback I felt was it seemed at times to be a bit rushed. There was very little conflict, and in some ways that kept it from being very realistic. * Spoiler * I’m not sure a cop would risk his entire career for someone he’d just met. It seemed a love at first sight kind of thing, and may appeal to some readers.
Overall though, that one issue aside, I found the story and the plot very entertaining and it was a book I couldn’t put down. When the whole conflict finally comes to a head, it keeps you turning the pages until the conclusion. As far as the audiences go, I’d say it’s for older teens and adults. For a debut novel, I think Ms. Green did a very good job and I look forward to her next book. If you pick up a copy, stop back by and let us know. Also be sure to enter our giveaway here and see our interview with Ms. Green here.
Nathan peered through the chain link fence. “Is that it?”
“I didn’t even know this culvert was here.” Chris started to climb.
“I drive over it every day, too.”
“That’s why they call them box culverts,” Johnson said from the other side of the fence. “You don’t see them unless you’re walking inside.” “Why couldn’t we just cut this thing down?” Nathan huffed as he made the short trip up and over the wobbly chain link barrier. They were several blocks north of the raucous Freemont Street Experience and looking into the mouth of one of the storm drain entrances.
“Because no one in Metro wants to deal with the city officials over it,” Johnson said.
“Talk about spook central.” Nathan shined his light toward the culvert. Bathed in shadows, it stood silent and empty. A chill of foreboding washed over him. “Watch yourselves.” Johnson led the way as the three men entered the culvert, weapons ready. “Anything could be lurking.”
Standing water covered the toes of Nathan’s boots. The air was thick with mildew. “Drain’s over there.” He shined his tactical light on the flood map. “To the right.”
The temperature dropped as they entered the large drain. Darkness engulfed them.
Chris’s whistle cut through the eerie stillness. “Wow. It’s a hell of a lot cooler in here. Place smells like feet, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Nathan shined his light on the walls. Colorful graffiti decorated the concrete.
“Someone’s a talented artist.”
The darkness thickened with each step. The odor grew increasingly foul. “Jesus, I can taste the stench in my mouth.” Chris gagged and spit into the dirty water.
Nathan didn’t respond. He was too busy trying to keep the contents of his stomach down and wondering how the people who lived in the tunnels stood the smell and the constant dangers. The drains provided relief from the sweltering desert heat, and free housing, but they were death traps. Large portions ran directly underneath the city streets and inhabitants risked carbon monoxide poisoning and the frequent threat of flooding. Growing up poor in North Las Vegas gave him a better perspective than many, but he couldn’t imagine having no other alternative than to live minute-by-minute.
“We shouldn’t run into any camps,” Johnson said. “They’re deeper in. One of the biggest is right under the Strip.”
“You know we aren’t going to find shit,” Chris choked out. “It’s too dark. Guy planned this for months. He knows his way around. We need to get out of here and check on Adam.”
“Medic called me when they got him to the hospital,” Johnson said. “He’s going into surgery. All we’d be doing right now is sitting around waiting. Still have to do our jobs, Holt.”
“He’s just a rookie. I should have been in front of him.”
“Stop,” Nathan said. “You followed protocol. That was a lucky shot.”
“Doesn’t make it right.”
Silence fell over the men as they moved farther into the stinking drain. Something hard crunched underneath Nathan’s boots. He nervously shined his light into the black water. Crawfish swam around his feet, probably on their way to the Las Vegas Wash. A mushy white glob looking suspiciously like used toilet paper floated by, and he focused his light away from the stream. Better not to know what he was stepping on.
A loud splash ahead brought all three to a halt.
“You hear that?” Johnson asked.
“Sounds big.” Chris stepped in front of Johnson and raised his Glock.
“Las Vegas SWAT,” Johnson shouted. “Identify yourself.”
“Maybe it was an animal,” Nathan said.
“That’s even worse than a junkie,” Chris said. “With my luck, Cujo’s man-eating cousin will show up and give me rabies.”
“They have shots for that now.”
“No shit, Sherlock.”
A second loud splash was followed by the distinct sound of footsteps plodding through the water.
“That’s no dog.” Chris sprinted after the runner with Nathan and Johnson closely following. The beams of their lights flashed haphazardly against the walls making the tunnel even more ominous.
A strange brightness glowed several yards ahead of them. Their quarry came into view. He was too short and stocky to be their man, but he could have information.
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About the Author
Raised in southeastern Iowa, Stacy Green grew up watching crime shows with her parents, so her love of suspense and psychological thrillers is no surprise. She’s fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind and explores true crime on her popular Thriller Thursday posts at her blog, Turning the Page.
After earning her degree in journalism, Stacy worked in advertising before becoming a
stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. She rediscovered her love of writing and wrote several articles for a city magazine before penning her first novel. She shelved the long drama and began working on a suspense book set in Las Vegas, featuring a heroine on the edge of disaster, a tormented villain, and the city’s infamous storm drains that house hundreds of homeless.
Into The Dark is suspense with a dash of romance, and Stacy is hard at work on her next book, a darker, grittier thriller set in the Deep South.
When she’s not writing, she spends all her time with her precocious daughter, supportive husband, and their three obnoxious but lovable canine children.
*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Gina at Partners In Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.