This is the first book of a new series featuring Cleveland forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective Jack Renner, but this is not your typical detective story.
Gardiner is a complete forensic nerd with no real personal life outside of her job. She has become obsessed with the victims of several murders, all of whom were shot point blank in the back of the head, yet are seemingly unrelated. By using tapings – pieces of tape pressed against victim’s clothing that pick up threads, dust and fibers – she has literally picked up enough clues to find the place where all the murders took place.
And just in case you think that sounds far fetched, Black has worked as a forensic scientist at the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, where she analyzed gunshot residue on hands and clothing, hairs, fibers, paint, glass, DNA, blood and many other forms of trace evidence, as well as crime scenes. Now she is a latent print examiner and CSI for the Cape Coral Police Department in Florida, working mostly with fingerprints and crime scenes. In other words, she knows her stuff.
Renner is a vigilante cop turned serial killer, but he only kills people who need killing, somewhat reminiscent of the Dexter books by Jeff Lindsay. But Renner is no sadist; he kills quickly and cleanly in his quest for the justice often denied by the legal system.
While Gardiner is not a cop, she works hand in hand with the police as she narrows in on the killer. The surprising ending is sure to keep readers coming back for more.
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4/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THAT DARKNESS by Lisa Black. Kensington (April 26, 2016). ISBN 978-1496701886. 336p.