Gone To Darkness

Mysterious Book Report No. 406

by John Dwaine McKenna

In the soon to be released fourth episode of her popular, bestselling Sydney Rose Parnell series, award-winning thriller writer and fan favorite Barbara Nickless leaves no doubt that she’s on the fast track to A-list stardom.

Gone To Darkness, (Thomas & Mercer, PB, $15.95, 384 pages, ISBN 978-1542092869) by Barbara Nickless will be released June 2, 2020.  It finds Iraq war veterans Sydney Parnell and her Belgian Malinois K9 partner Clyde, have moved on from being railway cops to the Denver Police Department.  There, she’s the youngest homicide detective in the Major Crimes Unit . . . and partnered with Len Bandoni, an old adversary who’s now her mentor and the sole judge who’ll determine if she’ll stay in the elite division.

The story begins when a prank by Sydney’s old supervisor on the Denver Pacific Continental Railway—a man named Greg Heinrich—goes awry at her farewell party and he inadvertently leaves with her badge.  When she attempts to retrieve it in the early morning darkness, she finds Heinrich lying beside the railroad tracks with a head wound after being clubbed, a confusing report of a murdered woman . . . but no body . . . a blood splattered dress and a mysterious shrine, also bloody.  Acting only on a hunch prompted by gut instinct, Sydney tracks down the train engineer who first spotted the missing mystery woman, and much to the displeasure of Bandoni, who tells her to “Start thinking like a cop.”  If no one’s reported a crime or found a body, there is no case as far as the grizzled old veteran detective is concerned.  But she persists, and finds the savagely beaten dead body of a young man in an open railcar full of boxes of defrosted, and rotting frozen chickens.  Her discovery sets off a terrifying hunt for a savage killer through the local underbelly of homeless rail riders, criminals and punk runaway teens.  And, as if that’s not enough, all the publicity she’s received has generated a demented stalker who’s determined to capture Sydney Rose Parnell and keep her . . . for always, if he can just figure out what to do about the damned dog . . .

The action never slows and the suspense ratchets up in every chapter of this delightfully twisted and energetic page-turning thriller from the mind of a budding superstar!

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