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Happy Bookaversary! A Review of "Edge of Darkness" by Karen Rose

TitleEdge of Darkness
Author: Karen Rose
Publisher: Berkeley
Series: Cincinnati Series
Price: $5.98 (Paperback) $7.99 (e-book) $28.28(Audible)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It seems like I've been reading Karen Rose novels my entire life.  I remember the day I came across Count to Ten in the Duane Reade on Queens Blvd.  I'd finished the paperback I brought with me to school that day while sitting in the Dining Hall eating lunch and needed something for the long bus ride home.  I almost didn't buy it because it was $9.99 and I hadn't gotten my financial aid money yet, but the cover copy called to me.  Not even the 500+ page count could scare me away.

I recently learned that Edge of Darkness is Ms. Rose's 20th book and in a strange way, I feel like a proud mama watching her child cross the stage to get their diploma.  I'm just a big ball of happy nostalgia, thinking back to all of the other books I've read by her and hopeful about the ones to come, so before I get to the review, I feel like a little celebrating is in order.

With that out of the way, it is probably time to get to the review.  Don't you think?

From the Publisher:

A Cincinnati detective questions everything he knows--and everyone he trusts--in the new novel of romantic suspense from New York Times bestseller Karen Rose.

Homicide detective Adam Kimble is no stranger to battling demons. But Meredith Fallon is a different kind of weakness: one that could actually be good for him, if only he would let himself depend on her. Meredith has loved Adam for a year, and seeing how hard he's worked to deal with his PTSD makes her feelings only stronger, but she respects his needs. Her work keeps her busy anyway: she counsels sexually abused women like Mallory Martin to help them reintegrate into the world. 

But someone doesn't want Meredith helping women like Mallory, and Meredith finds herself in the crosshairs of a very determined killer. Adam would risk anything for her, but they'll soon find out she isn't the only target...
The Review:

Ever since he first appeared in Closer Than You Think, I've been curious about Detective Adam Kimble.  He was a complete asshole to Faith (and Deacon) and I couldn't help wondering why he was behaving that way.  I have to admit the glimpses we got of him in the other books in the series, especially Every Dark Corner had me intrigued, so I was glad to see we would finally be getting his book.  The fact that his heroine is Meredith Fallon was just the icing on the cake.  Of course we knew that she was going to be his heroine from their interactions in Every Dark Corner, but still...

Like Adam, Meredith is also a returning character.  Her first appearance was in Scream for Me, the second book in the Vartanian trilogy, which is my favorite series Ms. Rose has written.  In that book, we don't get much of Meredith other than the fact that she's the cousin of the heroine, Alex, and a child psychologist, who liked to use coloring as part of her therapy with Hope, Alex's young niece, whose mother, Bailey, was missing.  It was nice to see all of these characters return in Edge of Darkness, and what made their cameos even better was that they felt natural to the progression of the story.

I loved the relationship aspect of this book.  From the very beginning, it was obvious that Adam was head over heels in love with Meredith and miserable because he can't do anything about it.  There were a few clues as to why he couldn't do anything, but these were mostly subtle.  Once he admits what was keeping them apart everything he's done over the last several books makes sense and if you're like me, you spent a few minutes wondering how you didn't connect the dots sooner.

Another thing that really worked for me was the introduction of Meredith's grandfather, Clarke, a big, bald, tattooed teddy bear of a man, who collects people like my cousin collected Beanie Babies back in the day.  I particularly loved the interactions between Clarke and Diesel, one of the members of the Cincinnati Circle, and hopefully the hero of the next book in this series because I absolutely need his and Dani's book.

(Seriously, I need their book right now.  An HIV+ heroine and a hero who I'm fairly certain was molested as a child?  Yes, please!)

There were only two weak points in the book for me.  The first is that Adam never really deals with his parents.  His father, especially, is a big part of his issues and aside from one short scene in which Adam and his father talk (and by talk I mean Jim slings invective after invective at his son as a means of tearing his self-esteem down) at the police station we don't really get a satisfying confrontation.  I have to admit that it was nice to see Adam's boss and colleague tell his father he's an asshole, it would have been better coming from Adam, himself.

Unfortunately, the weakest part of the book was the mystery.  As soon as the antagonist was introduced I knew that he would turn out to be the bad guy, although I hoped I was wrong because having this person be the mastermind behind the murders was lazy.  I can't adequately explain why without spoiling things, so I'm going to try hiding it behind some code, fingers crossed that it works.

I wish this was handled better and that this character was simply a red herring.  At one point, I thought he was, but it was almost immediately revealed that he was, in fact, the killer.  While I enjoyed this book, I wish I hadn't figured out most of what was going on by the 30% mark.

4 Stars


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