Every Dark Corner – Karen Rose

“When FBI Special Agent Griffin “Decker” Davenport wakes from his coma, he is desperate to find the missing children he knows are in danger. At the end of his last investigation, when he thought it was all over and justice had been served, he discovered that not everyone had been rescued, but he was shot before he was able to tell anyone.

Special Agent Kate Coppola has recently moved to Cincinnati. She says she’s chasing a promotion but she’s actually running away from heartache. She’s found the recordings from Decker’s time undercover and has been at his side in the hospital while she tries to put together the pieces of the crime he was investigating—and what connection it has to his own mysterious past.

When someone tries to kill Decker in his hospital bed, he and Kate realise that the children are not the only ones whose lives are threatened, and that they must stop at nothing to hunt down the perpetrators. And danger is waiting in every dark corner.”

Every Dark Corner is the third book in the Cincinnati series, and the 15th book I’ve read written by Karen Rose.  I am a massive fan, Karen Rose is my ultimate guilty pleasure, and I was over the moon to be given an advanced reader copy of her newest offering to review.

The story picks off where Alone In The Dark ends.  A gang of human traffickers have been exposed, most of them killed in the process.  With this group out of the picture you would think the streets of Cincinnati were safer, but you would be wrong.  There is another predator more dangerous than you could imagine, and he is preying on the innocent children of the city.

The opening scenes sees a girl in her late teens, Mallory, grocery shopping.  She is anxious and scared, because she needs to get home on time without any hiccups.  Mallory is being held against her will, taken as a child and forced into taking part in videos showing her being abused.  Now Mallory is 18 she is too old for these videos, but she is still a slave, held by coercive control.  Her keeper, known as The Professor, is one of the most elusive criminals I have ever came across.  No one knows his real identity, and his forte ranges from high quality drugs, to human trafficking, to child pornography, to murder.  This man knows no bounds.

Enter Special Agent Kate Coppola and Special Agent Griffin “Decker” Davenport.  Both  of these characters briefly made an appearance in the previous novel, and take centre stage in the race to track down The Professor.  Only a few hours after Decker awakes from his medically induced coma, an attempt is made on his life.  Someone is intent on snipping off any loose ends left after the human trafficking gang was exposed, and Decker who was undercover, is one of them.  Soon enough, the body count starts to rise, The Professor always managing to be one step ahead of the FBI.  Who exactly is this criminal kingpin that seems to have contacts in every walk of life?  Can Kate and Decker track him down in time to save Mallory and stop him recruiting his next intake of young children into the business?

I absolutely LOVED this book!  Karen Rose never fails to amaze me.  This is darker than a lot of Ms Rose’s books, there is the familiar serial killer element to it, but the child abuse and trafficking gives it a more sinister edge.  If you are familiar with Karen Rose you will know most of her novels feature characters from previous stories, making cameo appearances, and there is always some steamy romance between the main characters, and this one is no different.  Her formula is predictable, but it’s a winner.  If it aint broke, don’t fix it!  The intricate plot is exquisitely planned out and is so finely interwoven with many strings going several different ways.  The pace is kept up from start to finish, which is a hard thing to do with a book as lengthy as this, but it grabbed me from the beginning, sinking it’s claws in and not letting go till the end.  The intensity of the story keeps you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out how all the clues fit together, what would happen and who did what.

The romance was well done too.  Rose leans more to the suspense side of romantic suspense, but there’s still a good romance in this story.  I liked Kate and Decker, both complex characters haunted by the past.  They had to deal with their issues and trust each other all in a couple of pressure cooker days.  The chemistry between them was great, I could really feel the connection between them.

The book is written from various points of view, Decker and Kate, Mallory and The Professor, giving you insight into his dark and twisted world.  Even the reader does not know his true identity until the end.  The characterisation is superb, it immediately sucks you into the minds of the determined detectives, the terrified victims, and the despicable murderer.

It is easy to see why Karen Rose is an award-winner and a best-seller.  She has an extensive understanding for both the dark and light side of human nature and a true gift for displaying that in her books.  Be prepared…very prepared.  You won’t put it down from your trembling hands until it’s over.  If you want a fast-paced, chilling, intense, and unforgettable book then Every Dark Corner is perfect for you.

I cannot praise this book highly enough, overall rating five stars from me.  Thanks to Karen Rose, Headline and NetGalley for sending the ARC.

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