Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman

Author: Becky Masterman
Publisher: Penguin
Series: Brigid Quinn #2
Format: Paperback
Genre: Mystery | Suspense

Back Cover Blurb

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn has seen more than her share of psychopaths. She is ready to put all that behind her, building a new life in Tucson with a husband, friends, and some nice quiet work as a private investigator.

But sometimes it isn’t that simple. When her sister-in-law dies, Brigid takes in her seventeen-year-old niece. There has always been something unsettling about Gemma-Kate, but family is family.

Meanwhile, Brigid also agrees to help a local couple by investigating the death of their son—which also turns out not to be as simple as had been assumed. Her house with her husband isn’t the sanctuary it used to be, and new dangers—including murder—seem to lurk everywhere. Brigid starts to wonder if there is anyone she can trust, or if the devil has simply moved closer to home.

What I Thought

This is the second outing from Masterman in her Brigid Quinn series, and while it doesn’t have the great pacing that Rage Against The Dying did, it’s nonetheless an absorbing read. I would have liked to have seen a little more action, but Fear The Darkness does have a more psychological cat and mouse edge to it.

Ex FBI Agent, Brigid, has retired to Tucson, Arizona, with her new husband intent on taking life easy, though she’s still trying to keep her physical and mental skills sharp because, you never know. As in, she’s still casing a joint for threat assessment, even if it is just the church hall after Sunday prayers. It’s this kind of behaviour and activity that are the source of some droll, dark humour, as well as wry observations from Brigid’s husband, Carlos—a priest turned philosophy professor. And while she’s making new friends, and trying at least on the outside, to look normal. Not everything is as it seems.

There are threats lurking in the most unexpected places and hiding just beneath the surface of the most unlikely people. Everyone is covering up a secret they’d far rather no one found out.

Fulfilling a promise to her dying sister, Brigid agrees to take in her 17 year-old niece, Gemma-Kate. But, even as a typical Quinn, she’s oddly unemotional and, when strange things start to happen after she moves in with Brigid and Carlos, Brigid begins to suspect the worst of the young woman. As Brigid’s unease mounts, she begins to wonder who she can trust, especially when she agrees to investigate the suspicious death of a neighbour’s son. Things start to get complicated, fast, and people start turning up dead—will Brigid be next?

The plot relies on the unexpected and clicks over, slowly, as the tension mounts. But despite it taking the long, scenic route to get there, I found the ride to a twisted ending, an enjoyable one.

With some droll, witty observations, snarky dialogue, unexpected twists, and nifty characterisation, Fear the Darknessdelivered an over-all satisfying read.

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