Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose
Series: The Cincinnati Series #2
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
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The New York Times bestselling author of Closer Than You Think returns with a breathtaking new novel of suspense in the Cincinnati series—one that crosses the line between danger and desire, and justice and revenge. Homicide Detective Scarlett Bishop has seen enough bad guys slip through the cracks and innocent victims go unavenged to know that good doesn't always prevail. So far she’s been able to lock away her rage and her vigilante fantasies. That lock is about to break. Former Army Ranger Marcus O'Bannion is a fierce champion of victims’ rights. His secret past gives him good reason. He believes he’s seen the depths of human depravity, but then his investigation into the murder of a young girl who once asked for his help lures him and Scarlett down a dark, dark road—and straight into the crosshairs of a dangerous, powerful underground ring that deals in human trafficking. To stop them, Scarlett and Marcus have to be just as cunning and just as ruthless. But first they have to make it out alive.
From the Paperback edition.
Karen Rose is amazing. Don’t let the 736 pages put you off. I read this book in two days. I would have read it in one, but I had a migraine. Even that barely stopped me from reading it. Rose has a way of sucking you into her world and not spitting you out until the very last page. She is one of those authors for me. She has been from the start. She’s gotten even better over time, which seems impossible.
Marcus O’Bannion was introduced the previous book, Closer Than You Think. I read it over a year ago, so I remember Marcus only briefly. In Alone in the Dark, Marcus is helping a young girl named Tala that asked for his help after weeks of shying away from him. When at last she agreed to meet him, she was only able to tell him a few things before she was gunned down and died in the alley. He immediately called Detective Scarlett Bishop, the only homicide detective he actually trusts. The one he’s had feelings for since nine months before when he was shot and she sat at his bedside.
Scarlett Bishop is far from okay as a cop. She thinks that she’s losing her edge and she will soon be kicked off the force. When she gets a call from Marcus, she immediately responds. Not only is the address he gave her close to her house, but she has had feelings for him since she sat at his bedside nine months before when he lost his brother to a serial killer.
As Scarlett and her partner, Deacon Novak, start looking at the scene and start gathering evidence, they both know (as does Marcus) that this isn’t a random killing. After looking at all the evidence, including the autopsy, they immediately realize they have a case of human trafficking. Marcus starts working the case with Scarlett even those he owns a newspaper, an occupation that Scarlett despises more than any other. Still, Marcus is so invested in the case because Tala asked for his help, she can’t kick him off.
The human trafficking angle is highly disturbing, but brings the book all together. Rose leads you into the minds to the traffickers themselves and how they have no empathy for their victims. To them, they are dollar signs. The torture that went on is highly disturbing. However, the book wouldn’t be the same without it. Plus the head trafficker starts having problem with his security team and he has no earthly idea why.
I loved this book. It makes me sad that we have to wait until next February for the next book in this series. There were very interesting secondary characters and I am very hopeful that the one I’m thinking will be next in the series. If you’ve never read Karen Rose, you’re really missing out!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.