Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Fear The Darkness by Becky Masterman

Fear The Darkness
By Becky Masterman
Published by Orion (5 February 2015)
ISBN: 978-1409143734

Publisher's description
Ex-FBI Agent Brigid Quinn thinks she has a second chance at life. After too many years spent in the company of evil, she's quit the Feds and is working out what normal is meant to feel like. She's swapped serious killers, stakeouts and interrogation for a husband, friends and free time. But when you've walked in the darkness for so long, can you stand the light?

When a local teenager dies in a tragic drowning accident, the community thinks Brigid might be able to help comfort the family. But when she does so, something doesn't add up. And it's no easier at home: after a bereavement in the family, Brigid has reluctantly taken in her niece to give her a break before  she starts college. Brigid's ever-patient husband Carlo tells her they must go easy on Gemma-Kate, the grieving youngster. Which is fine, until she starts taking an unhealthy interest in dissecting the local wildlife.

For Brigid, death still seems to be wherever she turns. But as she herself starts to feel unwell, it's her own mortality that is the most troubling. And as she tries to get to the bottom of a serious of allegedly accidental deaths and increasingly gruesome occurrences at home, she slowly realises that maybe this time, she's let the darkness inside the only place she ever felt safe. Sometimes, death is closer than you think.

My verdict
Fear The Darkness is set in Tucson, Arizona, which is one of my favourite US states. Ex-FBI profiler Brigid Quinn is asked to investigate the death of a teenage boy - the mother doesn't believe it is accidental or suicide. Meanwhile, Brigid's home life is disrupted when she takes in her niece, following the death of her sister in law. When Brigid starts to feel worse for wear, she wonders whether her niece is poisoning her or if it is related to the case.

Fear The Darkness is character led rather than crime led. Brigid Quinn is a very strong character and it makes a change to have an older sixty-ish female protagonist. She is physically fit and mentally sharp, with a dry sense of humour. This enjoyable thriller concentrates on Brigid's family, giving her a strong background and making the book quite personal.

After a slightly slow start, the pace picked up and then I couldn't put the book down. There's a great unexpected twist at the end. I haven't read the first Brigid Quinn book - Rage Against the Dying - but I will be doing so very shortly.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  1. It's a great book, isn't it? I loved it. Weird thing to say, but I found the tone really gentle and personal, like I was one of Brigid's neighbours chatting to her. So for me, it didn't always read like a crime novel - making the shocks come all the harder. Hats off to Becky Masterman for Brigid Quinn.

  2. You have summed it up. It wasn't as hard hitting as some other crime novels I have read recently, but that's what made it such an enjoyable read.