Life and death have brought Maggie Gardiner full circle, back to the Erie Street Cemetery where she first entered Jack Renner’s orbit.
Maggie's ex-husband Rick is still on Jack's trail but also that of a shadowy, pill-pushing physician who is everywhere and nowhere at once, while Maggie and Jack uncover a massive financial shakedown hiding in plain sight. And when Rick’s bloody fingerprint is found at another murder scene, Maggie’s world comes undone in a violent, irreversible torrent of events . . .
But as the bodies pile up, the interconnected cases become more personal for Maggie, who finds herself enmeshed in a maze of crimes as twisted as they are twisty. First-rate plotting and a compelling cast of characters. - Kirkus [starred review]
... thriller featuring Cleveland PD forensic expert Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective Jack Renner (after 2019’s Let Justice Descend) deepens the connection between her two leads. - Publisher's Weekly
Three days before a key election, U.S. Senator Diane Cragin is electrocuted on her own doorstep—a shocking twist in an already brutal political race. Cragin’s chief of staff is quick to blame rival Joey Green, a city development director who’s had his hand in every till in town for over twenty years.
As Jack says, “Anyone can be dangerous, when they have what they think is a good reason.” He should know. Now a Herald reporter is perilously close to discovering the truth about Jack’s penchant for acting as both detective and executioner. With each passing hour, the stresses of the impending election expose new fractures and corruption at the city’s highest levels. And as one murder leads to another, and another, Maggie and Jack’s only hope of stopping a killer is an alliance that’s growing ever more fragile.
Let Justice Descend is the definition of psychological suspense! Superbly drawn characters, nonstop plotting and a style that’s downright lyrical keep us racing through this tale of crime, politics, power and journalism from first page to the last. This is a one-sitting read! - Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bone Collector.
The body of fifteen-year-old Rachael Donahue—abandoned by society, raised in foster homes, and violently unapproachable—has been discovered at the bottom of a stairwell at Firebird, the secure facility for juvenile offenders in Cleveland. And Rachael’s not the only resident at the center to come to a dead end.
As a forensic investigator, Maggie knows appearances can be deceiving. And Jack knows all about deceit. That’s why they both suspect a cold-blooded murderer is carrying out a deadly agenda.
As Maggie’s ex-husband gets nearer to uncovering the secrets that Maggie and Jack must hide, it becomes increasingly harder for them to protect a new and vulnerable victim from a killer with unfathomable demons.
The death of 15-year-old Rachel Donahue, a recalcitrant resident at a Cleveland juvenile detention facility, kick starts bestseller Black’s well-crafted fourth thriller featuring forensic expert Maggie Gardiner...Black keeps the suspense high throughout. -- Publisher's Weekly
With its solid grounding of information about child development, this fourth entry in the Gardiner and Renner series (after Perish, 2018) is instructional as well as being a well-plotted and -paced thriller with a pair of intriguing protagonists. - Booklist
The scene of the crime is lavish but gruesome. In a luxurious mansion on the outskirts of Cleveland, a woman’s body lies gutted in a pool of blood on the marble floor. Maggie knows that to crack the case, she and Jack will have to infiltrate the cutthroat world of high-stakes finance. But the offices of Sterling Financial seethe with potential suspects, every employee hellbent on making a killing.
Only Maggie recognizes the blood-soaked handiwork of a killer who has committed the most heinous of crimes—and will continue killing until he is stopped. Burdened with unbearable secrets, Maggie must make an agonizing choice, while her conscience keeps telling her: she’s next.
A solid position in suspense, a solid backbone of detection. --Kirkus Reviews
As always with Black, this psychological suspense is incredible. --Suspense Magazine
...the plot hurtles to an adrenaline-fueled conclusion that is sure to hook Black’s devoted readership.-- Booklist
The plot twists are woven into multiple threads, and mystery fans will be rewarded for their patience with this roller coaster of a story.– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
It begins with the kind of bizarre death that makes headlines—literally. A copy editor at the Cleveland Herald is found hanging—and when the evidence suggests murder, Maggie has no choice but to place her trust in the one person she doesn’t trust at all .
Jack Renner is a killer with a conscience, a vigilante with his own code of honor. He has only one problem: Maggie knows his secret. She insists he enforce the law, not subvert it. But when more newspaper employees are slain, Jack may be the only person who can help Maggie unmask the killer-- even if Jack is still checking names off his own private murder list.
Black does a good job contrasting the complex characters of her two leads. Given the devil-in-the-details character of her profession, Maggie is naturally drawn to minutiae. Jack’s idea of serving justice leans more toward ignoring the nuance and inconvenience of due process—to say the least—and it’s that divergence that both divides and, ironically, binds the two. - Publisher's Weekly
Solid mystery fare, though the real appeal here is to those who share concern over the fate of newspapers. - Booklist
As a forensic investigator for the Cleveland Police Department, Maggie Gardiner has seen her share of Jane Does. She and the detectives are determined to follow every lead, run down every scrap of evidence. But the monster they seek is closer to them than they could imagine.
Jack Renner is a killer. He doesn’t murder for any reason other than to make the world a safer place. When he follows the trail of this Jane Doe, his pursuit of her captor takes an unexpected turn.
Maggie Gardiner finds not only another body but a host of questions that will challenge everything she believes about justice, morality, and the true nature of evil …
Without giving away plotlines, let me say That Darkness left me thinking for days. I was left thinking about the intricacies of the plot, the beauty of Lisa Black’s writing, and the profound relationship between law and justice. - Suspense Magazine
Lisa Black always delivers authentic characters in riveting stories. That Darkness takes things to a spellbinding new level with a taut and haunting story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. - Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter series
The intriguing forensic details help drive the plot to its satisfying conclusion. - Publisher's Weekly
Black is one of the best writers of the world of forensics, and her latest introduces Maggie Gardiner, who works for the Cleveland Police Department....Although Cornwell is better known, Black deserves more attention for her skillful writing – and hopefully this will be her breakout book .– RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars (Top Pick)
This is the first book in a new series featuring Cleveland forensic investigator Maggie Gardiner and homicide detective Jack Renner, but don’t expect your typical detective story...The surprising ending is sure to keep readers coming back for more. - Booklist
A great choice for readers of psychological suspense, forensic investigations, and mystery. —Library Journal
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