“The moment detective Reed Novak steps onto the crime scene, he knows the case is going to rock his world. A beautiful young woman murdered at home. No sign of forced entry. No motive. She’s obviously not the killer’s first victim, and Reed’s instincts tell him she won’t be his last. Reed’s first clue comes via a mysterious text that links to a dating profile, but even more intriguing than the clue is the person who sent it.
As a white-hat hacker in the Delphi Center’s cyber investigation unit, Laney Knox sneaks into some of the deepest, darkest corners of the Internet looking for predators. Laney would prefer to stay away from Austin PD’s most recent murder case, but she can’t ignore the chilling similarities between that crime and her own brutal attack years ago. Laney offers to help the sexy lead detective, but he wants more from her than just a promising tip—Reed wants her trust. Laney resists, but as their relationship deepens she’s tempted to reveal the closely guarded secrets that could make her a key witness…or the killer’s next victim.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
*light spoilers below*
I read Deep Dark in a whirlwind binge-read last weekend. I’ve found that it’s the only way I can read the Tracers books because they are so good, so suspenseful, and the chapters always end of cliffhangers and I just can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Laney and Reed
Deep Dark introduces us to Reed Novak, a detective with the Austin PD, and Laney Knox, a hacker who works for the Delphi Center. If they were mentioned in passing in previous books, I must have missed it, so they were brand new characters to me. I kind of liked that though because it’s a chance to get to know more people within the Tracers world.
The story starts with a flashback of Laney’s attack three years ago, from which she escaped, by only barely. The first chapter has Reed on the scene of a murder that, based on the descriptions of the crime, the reader can already tell there are similarities between what happened to the victim and what almost happened to Laney.
I thought Laney was such a great character. She doesn’t fit the stereotype of a typical hacker or computer geek and she does her job because she truly cares about bringing criminals to justice. But she is pretty closed off from people and the world around her and is understandably reluctant to get involved in the murder case.
I thought the way she initially got in touch with Reed, through hacking of all things, was pretty funny. That definitely became a trend for her throughout the book: only revealing information pertinent to the case, or herself, a little at a time and not showing Reed any of the cards she had up her sleeve.
Reed was a bit more predictable but I still liked him throughout the book, and actually ended up really loving him by the end. He is devoted to this case and unwilling to blindly follow his superiors when they are insistent that he not investigate further. He is even pressured to question a witness solely for the purpose of “catching him in a lie” in order to make an arrest just for the sake of it. Reed refused, knowing it was wrong. He trusted not only his instincts, but Laney’s as well. Even though there is friction between their personalities, they are a good match when it comes to investigating.
Surprise Ending (s)
In between, we also have some character development with secondary characters who work with Reed at the Austin PD. This was fun to follow as well, and something else I love about the Tracers books. Everyone has a part in the story and plays a role in the plot whether you realize it or not. In this case, the two characters Jay and Veronica play a huge role in the ending of the book that had me so surprised and shocked in the best way.
The ending was so good. If you’ve read this book and feel the same way about the ending, let me know! The Tracers books always seem to have a double twist at the end. Not only does Laney find herself in trouble, but something even worse happens after that. Everything appeared to be wrapping up and then wham! See what I mean about not being able to stop between chapters? My only option was to continue reading until the very end.
I loved the last chapter especially. Laney and Reed are actually pretty perfect together, which they eventually realize after the investigation. I was smiling at those final pages and how cute they were!
I now have only three Tracers books left and I’m going to be pretty bummed when the series is over, but I’m still glad I have those next three to look forward to!
Goodreads rating: Five stars