A mother and her son have been executed in their home and fingerprint matches show their attacker died twenty years ago. But how can dead serial killers return to haunt the present? The answers lie in the darkest shadows of The Dead Room.
When CSI Darby McCormick is called to the crime scene, it's one of the most gruesome she's ever seen. But the forensic evidence is even more disturbing: someone watched the murder unfold from the woodland behind the house - and the killer died in a shoot-out two decades earlier.
The deeper Darby digs, the more horrors come to light. Her prime suspect is revealed as a serial killer on an enormous scale, with a past that's even more shocking than his crimes, thanks to a long-held secret that could rock Boston's law enforcement to its core.
Is it possible to steal an identity? Or are dead men walking in Darby's footsteps? The line between the living and the dead has never been finer.
Paperback, 458 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Penguin Books
I'm a huge fan of crime drama series and movies. Despite my love for procedural drama and mysteries, I've never really read crime fiction before, except for a glimpse of Mary Higgins Clark. This is my first official crime mystery book, also my first Darby McCormick and the first glimpse of Chris Mooney book. With a title like that and a synopsis that compelling, I couldn't resist this book when BookDepository offered a 60% deal.
At first I thought the back story would be SWAT, with Darby undergoing SWAT training. And then it switched to a gruesome murder scene, reminding me of Beckett and Castle with unsolved murder mysteries and often gory scenes such as this one. The mystery went deeper as Darby encountered problem after problem, but readers got little breadcrumb clues and a different perspective.
The pace is quick and comfortable, the mystery is complicated and keeps us guessing, the characters are kick-ass and likeable enough. I just wish Darby has a better sidekick. Her co-worker Coop is missing from important scenes, and only shows up in the scenes related to him. And then we don't know if we can trust him. It's hard to tell.
As bad guys turn to good and good guys turn out to be bad, it's a fun mystery that gets more intricate the more the story progresses. I am in awe of how crime writers work - they need to do lots of research to make the scenes feel so authentic.
That being said, I feel like the ending falls flat. We're not sure about Darby's future, we don't really get a full satisfying conclusion, there's hardly any good romance, and there's a lot of action but it's a lot more fun in the first half. It gets a bit boring after that, as soon as we're introduced to Jamie's perspective. That also means Darby gets less pages and as we lose her, we find her fading away till we get to her next scenes.
While I had fun flipping through the pages to see what would happen next, I'm thinking I might enjoy it more if it's shown in visual - as in a movie.
3 out of 5 stars