Wednesday, January 6, 2021

ARC Review: Deep Into the Dark by P. J. Tracy

Deep Into the Dark

P. J. Tracy
Publication: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (January 12, 2021)

Description: New York Times bestseller P. J. Tracy returns with Deep into the Dark, a brand new series set in LA and featuring up-and-coming LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and murder suspect Sam Easton.

Sam Easton—a true survivor—is home from Afghanistan, trying to rebuild a life in his hometown of LA. Separated from his wife, bartending and therapy sessions are what occupy his days and nights. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. When the boyfriend turns up dead the next day, a hard case like Sam is the perfect suspect.

But LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam's troubles, and can't quite see him as a killer. She's more interested in the secrets Melody might be keeping and the developments in another murder case on the other side of town.

Set in an LA where real people live and work--not the superficial LA of Beverly Hills or the gritty underbelly of the city--Deep into the Dark features two really engaging, dynamic main characters and explores the nature of obsession, revenge, and grief.

P. J. Tracy is known for her "fast, fresh, and funny" characters (Harlan Coben) and her "sizzling" plots (People); the Monkeewrench series was her first, set in Minneapolis and co-written with her mother. Now with Deep into the Dark she's on her own—and it's a home run.

My Thoughts: Deep Into the Dark was an engaging mystery with well-developed characters. It introduces Detective Margaret Nolan who is a homicide detective. It also stars Sam Easton who is a former soldier who was badly injured in Afghanistan and who is now trying to rebuild his life with a badly scarred body, PTSD, and gaping holes in his memory. 

Sam has recently separated from his wife Yukiko who could no longer deal with Sam's issues. Sam works as a bar back at a club in LA and divides his time between work and visits with his psychiatrist. When a fellow employee begs for shelter after being hit by her abusive boyfriend, Sam takes her in. And, when the abusive boyfriend is murdered, the two soon become suspects in the case.

Suspicion grows even more when Sam's wife is found murdered after Sam had dropped by to check on her because of a bad dream and found out that she was cheating on him. Sam left without confronting her but this new information only added to the stress and hallucinations that he was already suffering. He is getting very tired of being visited by his fallen comrades in his very frequent nightmares.

Nolan, who recently lost a brother while he was serving overseas, wants to give Sam the benefit of a doubt but her partner really likes him for both murders. As they investigate these murders, they are also peripheral to another series of murders which feature a number of women and which took place near the club where Sam works. 

The story was entertaining and was also a complex mystery. I liked all the characters but had a special fondness for Sam who is fighting so hard to get over all the problems he brought home with him from Afghanistan. 

I recommend the story to mystery lovers.

Favorite Quote:
"You see people's lives change forever, for the worse, every day, don't you?"

"That's part of the job. Helping them is another part of the job. The good part, the best part."

"Finding the bad guys."

"Finding justice. We owe it to the living and the dead."

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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