Book Review

FADE TO BLACK
by Leslie Parrish

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Suspense

RT Rating

Man's inhumanity is on full display in the launch book of Parrish's Black CATs series. The diabolical plot yields a chillingly brutal, yet riveting, story. One team member takes center stage in the first book, but Parrish does a great job introducing the supporting players. When it comes to gritty and edgy suspense, she makes all the right moves.

FBI Special Agent Dean Taggert recently joined the newly formed Cyber Action Team, whose focus is Internet-related murders. Although he's seen plenty of violent crimes, nothing prepares him for the gruesome case before them. A madman calling himself the Reaper hosts a secret website called Satan's Playground, where he commits murders before the cameras. Even more disgusting, members participate in an auction to choose the method of death. Clues on the first victim lead Dean to tiny Hope Valley, where he enlists the help of sexy and serious Sheriff Stacey Rhodes. (SIGNET, Jul., 368 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Jill M. Smith

Publisher: SIGNET

Published: July 2009

Reader Rating

4.5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
(1 ratings)

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Fade to Black

Submitted by Robin in PA on August 8, 2010 - 1:44pm.

Special Agent Dean Taggert moved from the FBI's Violent Crimes Unit to the Cyber Action Team (CATs) thinking that he would be investigating internet fraud. But his first big case is the worst he has ever seen. A co-worker has found a secret web site called Satan's Playground. A mandman calling himself The Reaper, has murdered eight victims, taped the murders, and is showing them on his web site. He auctions off the means to his upcoming murders to the members of the site.

The investigation leads Dean to a small Virginia town where the first murder took place where he enlists the help of Sheriff Stacey Rhodes and her deputies. They believe the murderer has ties to the little town, and must work fast to uncover the culprit.

This was an interesting beginning to Parrish's Black CATs series. Both Dean and Stacey are strong, well-defined characters. Dean isn't one of those over-protective men who think women are incapable of doing the job. Stacey isn't the usual "victim" waiting to be saved by her hero. It's nice to have characters with depth who truly like each other.

The mystery itself is dark, but not too gross for the squeamish (me). There are several suspects and I found myself changing my mind about who the villain was. Of course, I never guessed the right person. My rating: 4.5 Stars.