The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Maurice White

Maurice White
Maurice White: My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen- Feature and Review


A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US is the debut novel of co-authors Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Hendricks, a former book editor with a major New York publishing house, lives in Manhattan with her family. Pekkanen, the author of seven bestselling solo novels, lives in Maryland with her three sons. THE WIFE BETWEEN US has been sold in 30 countries and optioned for film by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners. It is a Book of the Month Club Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and an Indie Next Pick. Hendricks and Pekkanen are currently at work on their next novel, also a psychological thriller.





The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wife Between Us is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Engrossing domestic thriller!

This book got such a tremendous response from my fellow GR friends, I shot it up to the top of my TBR list, ignoring my usual cautionary optimistic approach to well received popular books, because I just had a feeling this one would deliver.

Richard’s first wife, Vanessa, was dumped for a younger woman after many years of marriage. Gone were all the trappings of wealth she had enjoyed as she struggles to put her life back in order.

Forced to live with her aunt and take a job at Saks, Vanessa’s thinks obsessively about Richard’s new girlfriend, Nellie, while consuming large quantities of alcohol. When she inadvertently finds out that Richard plans to remarry, her fragile state of mind spirals out of control. The only thing she can think about is confronting Nellie for a face to face showdown.

Nellie, by all appearances, seems like a sweet girl, perhaps a bit naïve, completely smitten with her fiancé, Richard. She can’t wait to start her new, ‘dream come true' life with her dashing, successful husband. But, she, too, may have a few dark secrets lurking in her past. But, unbeknownst to Nellie, she is being watched, even stalked by a woman whose driving force in life is to prevent her wedding from ever taking place.

The author did a fantastic job of doling out just the right amount of information at key intervals, subtly changing the dynamics of the story by giving the reader another possible angle to explore.

My initial impressions of the situation presented to me, morphs little by little, as pieces of the puzzle are slowly revealed. Once the entire jigsaw puzzle is complete, the picture staring back at me, looks nothing at all like what I was expecting.

This story has a few surprises I never saw coming. The only minor let down was that the plot had a few similarities to another book I’d read just a few weeks ago, which deflated the balloon a little, but not too much, because it didn’t become obvious until I was already very deep into the book.

The truth is, the author kept me guessing and on my toes pretty much from start to finish. I was a bit conflicted about the final turn of the screw. I usually love all that added relish on top, but lately those late minute plot twists are becoming all too common, making them more tiresome than anything else and falling flat, as a result. In this case, the story could have ended quite satisfactorily without that final revelation, but I suppose, since it was a complete shock to me, I must grudgingly concede my approval for sneaking that one by me completely undetected.

Overall,  I may not have gushed over this one quite as much as my contemporaries, but this is a pretty solid and entertaining domestic thriller, certainly worth checking out.





Greer Hendricks spent over two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. Prior to her tenure in publishing, she worked at Allure magazine and obtained her master's in journalism from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. The Wife Between Us is her first novel.

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of the novels THE PERFECT NEIGHBORS, THINGS YOU WON'T SAY, CATCHING AIR, THE BEST OF US, THESE GIRLS, SKIPPING A BEAT and THE OPPOSITE OF ME. 

Her upcoming novel THE WIFE BETWEEN US is a twisty psychological tale co-authored by Sarah and her former editor Greer Hendricks. It will be released in January 2018.

Please find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @sarahpekkanen! 

BIO: Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. Please visit www.sarahpekkanen.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

MONDAY'S MUSICAL MOMENT- Maurice White: My Life With Earth, Wind, & Fire- Feature and Review


The late Grammy-winning founder of the legendary pop/R&B/soul/funk/disco group tells his story and charts the rise of his legendary band in this sincere memoir that captures the heart and soul of an artist whose groundbreaking sound continues to influence music today. 

"To the readers of this book you need to know that EW&F is simply the greatest living group in my lifetime. No one put together lyrics to a melody like they did; no one put harmony to sound and rhythm like they did; no one added horns in the way that they did and no one, but no one messed with our minds about love and life like they did. . . . EARTH because they grow on you; WIND because it moves you in one loving direction and FIRE because they consume your heart in a single flame of love."—Steve Harvey

With its dynamic horns, contrasting vocals, and vivid stage shows, Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the most popular acts of the late twentieth century—the band "that changed the sound of black pop" (Rolling Stone)—and its music continues to inspire modern artists including Usher, Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, and Outkast. At last, the band’s founder, Maurice White, shares the story of his success.

White reflects on the great blessings music has brought to his life and the struggles he’s endured: his mother leaving him behind in Memphis when he was four; learning to play the drums with Booker T. Jones; moving to Chicago at eighteen and later Los Angeles after leaving the Ramsey Lewis Trio; forming EWF, only to have the original group fall apart; working with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond; his diagnosis of Parkinson’s; and his final public performance with the group at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Through it all, White credits his faith for his amazing success and guidance in overcoming his many challenges.

My Life with Earth Wind, and Fire is an intimate, moving, and beautiful memoir from a man whose creativity and determination carried him to great success, and whose faith enabled him to savor every moment.


My Life with Earth, Wind, & FireMy Life with Earth, Wind, & Fire by Maurice White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maurice White: My Life with Earth, Wind and Fire is a 2016 Amistad publication.

To be completely honest, I have no recollection of checking this book out of the library. I got a notification from my Overdrive library letting me know a book I had on hold was ready to be downloaded. To my surprise, this book, along with the one I had been expecting, was sitting in my queue.

I almost returned it, but then decided it might be a good choice for my ‘Monday Musical Moments’ feature on my blog.

I’m very glad I decided to go ahead with this book, even if I had to work it into my tight reading schedule.

In the beginning, the writing was a little rough, mainly because I felt like things were moving along at a breakneck speed, which left little room for an intimate look at Maurice, his music, his relationships, and so on.

However, as the book progressed, the frenetic pacing did slow down a little and a rhythm developed. The more I discovered about Maurice, the more I started to like him.

He was a smart, well read man, very spiritual, with an open mind, and was refreshingly honest about the way he lived his life.

Despite his having glossed over large chunks of time, I could relate to White’s introverted nature, and could understand his mindset, and picked up on how uncomfortable he felt about divulging personal aspects his life.

I always liked EW&F, but was more of a casual fan. While Maurice may have been the founder of the group, the person I always associated it with was Phillip Bailey.

However, this book did remind me of just how many hits the group had, how influential they were, and what a huge impact they had on fans during some very turbulent times.

Earth, Wind & Fire has been around for many years, and even today, they made an appearance on the 2018 Rose Bowl Parade, and I’ve had ‘September' in my head ever since.

But, while the band is still out there doing their thing, sadly Maurice is no longer with us. His death, from Parkinson’s Disease in 2016, gives this book, which is a memoir/autobiography, a haunting tone.

Overall, it is too bad the book wasn’t fleshed out just a bit more, but I still found it enlightening, interesting, and of course poignant.







Maurice White was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He is the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. White served as the band's main songwriter and record producer, and was co-lead singer along with Philip Bailey. Earth, Wind & Fire was famous for spanning the musical genres of R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, rock, and more. White won seven Grammys, and was nominated for 21 Grammys in total. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire in 2000.

Friday, January 12, 2018

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- Them Bones by Carolyn Haines- Feature and Review


No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth's situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she's flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother's nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state--or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend's prize pooch to raise some cash.

But soon Sarah Booth's walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she's hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself...and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.



Them Bones (Sarah Booth Delaney, #1)Them Bones by Carolyn Haines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Them Bones by Carolyn Haines is a 1999 Bantam publication.

I’m going to love this series!

Sarah Booth, from Mississippi, and born into old money, is haunted by her great, great, grandmother’s nanny, has defied southern tradition all her life. Now past thirty, unemployed, and most importantly to society- still single, she has returned to her southern roots, but finds herself in extreme financial straits.

But, with her family estate on the line, she has begun to resort to desperate antics to keep her debtors at bay. When one of her friends hires her to churn up some dirt on the Garrett family, who is known for having more than their fare share of skeletons in the closet, Sarah discovers she has a few natural investigation skills.

I don’t need to start another long running series, but I happened to stumble across nearly the entire series of books at my local used bookstore this past summer, and I’ve been itching to get started on it.

This first book was not a disappointment and has me considering something I never ever do- binge read an entire series!

Haines captures the peculiarities, atmosphere, and mentality of the deep south, perfectly. Sarah is open minded, big and soft hearted, but desperation has her doing things she never would have dreamed of. I enjoyed watching her deal with the conflicting emotions she wrestled with, with one foot firmly set in old southern traditions and the other foot firmly devoted to her determination to maintain her independence.

The paranormal aspects are fun, and the light romantic tones added a nice touch, as well. But, the mystery is very interesting, and will expose a sordid family saga and finally pave the way for long overdue justice.

I can’t wait to see how Sarah’s character develops over time and what kind of adventures she will get herself involved in next!




Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of over eighty novels in a number of genres, including the acclaimed Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series, the Pluto's Snitch mystery series, and the Familiar Legacy romantic mystery series. 

Sign up for Carolyn Haines' newsletter and receive a free short story as a welcome gift at www.carolynhaines.com/subscribe

Haines was honored with the prestigious 2009 Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. Haines was also 2010 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished writing. Her novel BONE TO BE WILD was named best suspense for 2014, and the Sarah Booth Delaney series was also named best amateur sleuth. Two of the Sarah Booth books were included in the "Best 5 mysteries of the year" by LIBRARY JOURNAL. 

Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of! She has been an animal advocate and activist her whole life and urges all pet owners to please spay and neuter.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille - Feature and Review

From the legendary #1 New York Times bestselling author of Plum Island and Night Fall, Nelson DeMille’s blistering new novel features an exciting new character—US Army combat veteran Daniel “Mac” MacCormick, now a charter boat captain, who is about to set sail on his most dangerous cruise.

Daniel Graham MacCormick—Mac for short—seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he’s living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don’t tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac’s finances are more than a little shaky.

One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this and turns it down. The price then goes up to two million dollars, and Mac agrees to hear the deal, and meet Carlos’s clients—a beautiful Cuban-American woman named Sara Ortega, and a mysterious older Cuban exile, Eduardo Valazquez.

What Mac learns is that there is sixty million American dollars hidden in Cuba by Sara’s grandfather when he fled Castro’s revolution. With the “Cuban Thaw” underway between Havana and Washington, Carlos, Eduardo, and Sara know it’s only a matter of time before someone finds the stash—by accident or on purpose. And Mac knows if he accepts this job, he’ll walk away rich…or not at all.

Brilliantly written, with his signature humor, fascinating authenticity from his research trip to Cuba, and heart-pounding pace, Nelson DeMille is a true master of the genre.




 The Cuban AffairThe Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille is a 2017 Simon & Schuster publication.

Fast paced adventure and international intrigue-

Daniel MacCormick, formerly of Maine, is a military veteran, now residing in Key West, and is the proud part owner, along with the bank, of a boat he has cleverly dubbed ‘The Maine’. When he is approached about a possible job, he knows immediately this is not an ordinary client out for a fishing expedition or romantic cruise.

Sure enough, Daniel is offered the chance to hit pay dirt, with a multi-million -dollar payday attached. Naturally, there is a catch- a big one.

Daniel will have to take his clients into Cuba in search of a huge stash of cash. His partner in crime is the beautiful Sara Ortega, whose grandfather hid the cash they are out to retrieve, now that there has been a ‘Cuban Thaw’.

Thus, begins the harrowing, but life altering adventure that will end up meaning a lot more than the promise of instant wealth.

I’ve read several DeMille novels over the years, but this one has a slightly different tone to it, but still employs some of the DeMille’s trademark themes. Daniel is a character I was slow to warm up to. I wasn’t quite sure how to take him at first, as he seemed immature one minute and an old soul the next. But, I eventually caught on and soon began to appreciate his internal dialogue, which was often sarcastic, witty and funny and kept the mood from becoming too somber or heavy.

The story takes on a very serious tone, however, once the setup is complete, but I liked the noble cause behind the adventure, which made the mission seem more important and more suspenseful. The story paints a very complex and complicated and eye opening view of Cuba, which is not altogether flattering. Sara and Daniel are constantly tip toeing around potential land mines, as they are monitored very carefully, while they also find themselves coping with the unexpected feelings developing between them.

The story is filled with international intrigue, and adventure, pulling off a caper or heist-like tone, which kept the pace moving along at a brisk pace, and kept me engaged in the story from start to finish.

Overall, this is a quick, suspenseful, and entertaining read. I think I’d enjoy hearing from Daniel MacCormick again someday.





DeMille's first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978, and is still in print as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, and is past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of International Thriller Writers and was chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year 2015. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Quackery-A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, MD and Nate Pedersen- Feature and Review


Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the '60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history's most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.

A humorous book that delves into some of the wacky but true ways that humans have looked to cure their ills. Leeches, mercury, strychnine, and lobotomies are a few of the topics that explore what lengths society has gone in the search for health.



Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure EverythingQuackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia King is a 2017 Workman Publishing Company publication.

A jaw dropping collection of gruesome and ghastly concoctions and procedures guaranteed to cure whatever ails you… if it doesn’t kill you first.

Before there was an FDA to weed out potentially dangerous ‘snake oil cures', the market was open to all manner of experimental potions and concoctions sold to an unsuspecting public.

This is a fascinating look at some of the most horrifying cases where strychnine and arsenic found its way into tonics designed to cure specific ailments or used for beauty treatments.

As the title suggests this is a very brief history of incredible cure-alls, medical treatments and procedures- It is not a comprehensive tome, full of dry material. Instead, it hits upon the most outrageous instances in history and as such, it makes for an informative and interesting read and is a book that you may want to keep around for reference.

It is unbelievable and shocking at times, and could make some readers a little uncomfortable. While some of these methods may have been well intentioned, none of these so -called cures were proven, studied, analyzed or deemed safe for human use, especially in such large doses or frequency.

But, even when proof surfaced of the danger some of these chemicals posed, cover-ups were not unheard of- such as with the tobacco industry, which cleverly employed doctors to advertise their products.

The chapter on tobacco was particularly interesting on several levels, as was the chapter on cocaine.

But, the second half of the book was dedicated to procedures such as performing a lobotomy, bloodletting, leeches, and the tools! - Which was akin to using torture devices.

Thank goodness, the author chose to use humor as a way of off- setting the more cringe worthy areas of the book.

In fact, I found myself chuckling a few times at the author's dry wit and jokes, which took gallows humor to a whole new level. But, maybe I just have a warped sense of humor.

Even though we do have agencies that test products for long term side effects and safety, and one could go on a long diatribe about the frustrations the FDA can cause when erring on the side of caution, slowing down the process for potentially life- saving drugs, or, on occasion they miss potential dangers, or allow carefully worded descriptions on food labels that are very misleading, there are still many products lining shelves today that promise quick weight loss, miracle cures, and don’t even get me started on the claims many beauty aids try to sell you. Although they are normally safe to use, they hardly produce the dramatic results as advertised.

When you see a disclaimer on a bottle of vitamins declaring it is not backed by the FDA, you may want to do a little research. Many of these over the counter pills, herbs, and tonics could interact with medication, or they just don’t work- period. I’ve used these natural herbs, many times, with various degrees of success, but I do urge caution.

My point, is that charlatans, swindlers and con artists are still as plentiful as they were back centuries ago, often catering to and taking advantage of people who are desperate, looking for a quick beauty or weight loss fix. So, despite our many advances some things never change.

However, I for one, am glad it is a bit harder to poison people with Arsenic, Antimony, or Strychnine. I am also happy we know the dangers of tobacco use and that cocaine is addictive, and surgeons wash their hands and wear surgical gloves, and that their tools are sanitized- so there is that.

Overall, this is a fascinating look back at practices, rituals, and chemicals we once thought were okay to use, but as it turns out- not so much. It also makes me appreciate how far we’ve come medicinally, and thankful we don’t use bugs, snakes, or animals based medicine- (or use them for testing), or depend upon the touch of a King to cure us.

This is a quick read, replete with photographs and drawings, and sketches. This book will appeal to history buffs, science and medicine enthusiasts, or anyone who likes to read educational material, or trivia.

The book is well organized and utterly fascinating!





Lydia Kang is an author and internal medicine physician. She is a graduate of Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, and completed her training at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She lives with her family in the midwest. Follow her on Twitter @LydiaYKang and Instagram @LydiaKang.

NATE PEDERSEN is a librarian, historian, and writer in Oregon. He is the co-author of Quackery: The Worst Ways to Cure Everything with Lydia Kang, forthcoming 10/17/17 from Workman.

Nate is a Community Librarian with Deschutes Public Library and serves on the Board of Directors for the Deschutes County Historical Society & Museum. He is a member-at-large, representing Central Oregon, on the Oregon Heritage Trees Commission. He also lectures frequently on historical topics around the state.

Nate’s journalism has appeared in The Art of Manliness, The Guardian, Trail Runner and The Believer. He is a blogger with Fine Books & Collections. His scholarly publications have appeared in the Oregon Historical Quarterly and the Oregon Encyclopedia.

He lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife and two dogs, enjoying spending as much time as possible in the mountains and desert.

Naptime with Joey by Laura Izumikawa - Feature and Review


From viral Instagram sensation, lifestyle photographer, and mommy blogger Laura Izumikawa (@LauraIz) comes Naptime with Joey, a ridiculously delightful photo book of her now internet-famous daughter dressed up in various pop culture costumes—a perfect gift for new parents everywhere.

Lights, Camera…Nap!

Joey Marie wears many hats (or, rather, wigs): she’s dressed up as Inigo Montoya, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Pikachu, Anna Wintour, Moana, and Barb from Stranger Things. She’s taken trips to Hawaii, baked croissants, and blasted off to the moon as an astronaut (at least, in her dreams). She’s held occupations such as pizza chef, aerobics instructor, and handy-dandy-fixer-upper (figuratively, of course). She’s inspired a parenting blog, been the face of her mom Laura Izumikawa’s Instagram account—and for the first time, she’s taken the leap from the ranks of internet-baby-snoredom to the pages of a book. Naptime with Joey is chockablock full of over a hundred deliciously adorable photos of Joey dressed up as various pop culture characters, movie stars, musicians, vacationers, and holiday-goers, making this the most fun, festive, and downright delightful gift under the sun!


Naptime with JoeyNaptime with Joey by Laura Izumikawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Naptime with Joey by Laura Izumikawa is a 2017 Gallery Books publication.

This book was a gift from Simon & Schuster to members of the XOXO After Dark street team. I am not a regular Instagram user, and because my kids are grown, I don't relate to mommy blogs. So, this book is not one that would fall onto my radar under ordinary circumstances.

I plan on giving the book to a friend of mine, but before I pass it along, I wanted to let everyone know what an adorable picture book this is.

This book came about due to viral Instagram photos from Mommy blogger- Laura Izumikwa. The photos compiled in this collection are of Laura’s adorable daughter wearing her stylin’ clothes, while napping, and includes pop culture captions for each photo.

It’s just too cute!

Anyone following Laura’s Instagram posts, or her blog, will delight in this book, and it would also make a great gift for new parents.





Laura Izumikawa is a stay-at-home-working-mama to Joey and wife to the 'funniest guy I know.'  Her photos of her napping daughter dressed up as pop culture icons became viral one day and now she blogs about her life, because it turns out, 'people want to know more about us which is totally crazy to me!'

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens- Feature and Review


Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whether he will take that last step and enact the vengeance he longs for. 

On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice.



The Deep Dark DescendingThe Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens is a 2017 Seventh Street Books publication.

Atmospheric, unconventional police procedural-

Detective Max Rupert discovers, in a stunning manner, that there is evidence backing up his suspicions, that the hit and run that killed his wife four years ago, was in fact, premeditated murder.

This information coincides with a perplexing case he and his partner, Niki, are working, involving a car fire which includes a dead body.

Despite his full plate, Max’s desire to catch the people responsible for his wife’s death overrides all. He becomes a man on a mission, fighting all the powers that be, in his single- minded purpose.

The book starts off with Max in the midst of exacting his revenge, but the story flashes back to ‘present day’ where we must now follow Max's progress towards that heart stopping point in time, with a few updates sprinkled in, depicting a troubling escalation, which also cast a few doubts in my mind at the same time.

This is an effective tactic, on one hand, I found myself growing impatient, wishing things would hurry along so that I find out the who and the why, and what on earth will happen with Max once all is said and done.

On the flip side of that coin, Max’s poignant memories of his wife, the happiness they were sharing, and the blow her death was to him, is very compelling. I wanted to firmly stand on Max's side, but he also made me very nervous, which created a very thought provoking character analysis. Hero or anti-hero? I was never quite sure until the end, but naturally, Max is a very sympathetic character, and his crisis of conscience is very convincing.

The plot is more complex that it appears at first glance, and Eskens did a terrific job of bringing all the various threads together before creating an incredibly gripping, yet bittersweet, climax.

The story has both action and suspense, and although there were a few implausible spots, the plot is complex and smart.

Overall, this was a fast-paced, action packed story that any thriller fan will enjoy.





Allen Eskens grew up in the wooded hills of Missouri and, after high school, migrated north to pursue his education. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. He honed his creative writing skills in the M.F.A. program at Minnesota State University and took classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.