Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review: The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen

The Darker Side
Author: Cody McFadyen
Publisher: Bantam (Sept. 30, 2008)
Hardcover, $24.00
ISBN-10: 0553806947

ISBN-13: 978-0553806946

Smoky Barrett is no stranger to violent crime. She sees it every day in her job as an FBI Special Agent, but she has also experienced it firsthand. Three years ago, her husband and daughter were killed by a serial killer Smoky was chasing. The same man brutalized Smoky, leaving her face horribly disfigured. Her personal tragedies give Smoky a unique insight into both the mind of a killer and the sorrow of a victim.

When the transsexual son of a prominent United States Congressman is killed on a on a passenger plane – in mid-flight – the President himself wants Smoky and her talented investigative team on the case.

The investigation leads them to a twisted and prolific serial killer who calls himself the Preacher. Serial killers are collectors and the Preacher is no exception. However, precisely what he collects sets him apart. The Preacher is collecting the darkest secrets of his victims, forcing them to confess their sins before he murders them. He’s also taunting Smoky and her team, telling them that “time is life” and they must catch him before he kills again.

In The Darker Side, Cody McFadyen has created a compelling, gritty crime procedural. I frequently found myself re-reading passages, not to deepen my understanding of the story, but to savor McFadyen’s writing style. This is not a bare bones thriller with little prose or character development. The descriptions and characters are rich and well-formed, and the plot never stalls. I was truly sad to finish this book, and I can’t wait to see where Mr. McFadyen takes Smoky Barrett next.

Rating: 8/10.

Buy The Darker Side:
Indiebound | Powell's | Amazon


  1. That book sounds so good. Thanks for a great review.

  2. I have it a great review as well. All three of the book in this series are great, and while you can start with this one, for maximum enjoyment I would start with the first.

    But then I an a serial serial

  3. This is a series I really want to try. Thanks for the great review, Ruth!

  4. the only complaint i have is that he started the series after smoky's story. i originslly thought i'd bought part 2. wish he'd done her story first but i really love the first 2 books and cant wait to read this one.