Spiral Into Darkness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

Are they random killings?  A professional businessman, school principal, stay at home wife, and a 15 year old boy are just some of the victims of a serial killer.  He walks up to them, assures himself they are indeed his target, then shoots them twice in the face and calmly walks away.

There are no clues .. no leads ... no witnesses.  Is he sending a message?  Are these cases connected?  And who could possibly be next?

This is a well written crime fiction, but there's a lot more involved. Not only the cops involved in hunting a killer, but the killer himself.  There's also a story line of young male adolescents trying to come to terms with their sexual feelings.  Throw in some exciting basketball drama, and it seems like everything is covered.

I felt that the family drama overshadowed the crimes being committed.  

Although second in this series, it is easily read as a stand alone.  There are so many characters to keep straight, I would recommend reading the first book before starting this one.

I did enjoy the police procedural part of the story ... it was tense, suspenseful.

Many thanks to the author / Black Rose Writing / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction/thriller.  Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

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The idea for this book seemed good and I generally enjoy this type of book. However, this seemed to try to cram too many characters doing too many things into one novel. Also, there were plot details that were just creepy (and not in a good way) and this carried over characters from prior novels (didn't know this until I finally looked at other sources), which explains why some characters are introduced with little introduction.
Not my favorite.

#SpiralIntoDarkness #NetGalley
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There were some aspects of the story that I liked, unfortunately, I didn't realise this was part of series so that threw me a little.  Also felt there were far too many characters introduced too quickly to keep track of.
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I forced my way through about 50% of Spiral Into Darkness and then quit.  It was so badly written; where was the editor?  In the first 10% of the book, the author presents no fewer than 34 named characters, including 14 cops or FBI agents!!!  By the 50% mark, none of the characters had been fleshed out and what characterization there was didn't ring true.  Beyond that, the subject matter was extremely dark, not just murder but the sex trafficking of young boys.  And I say that as someone who reads thrillers/mysteries almost exclusively,  Absolutely do not recommend.
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I really try not to DNF a book and I try not to write a negative review but this was a very difficult book for me.  
The overall plot is good but gets lost in all the extras.  There are way too many characters, most of which have absolutely no bearing on how the story plays out.  I don't feel like any of the characters get fleshed out, especially the central ones.

There is a whole lot of unnecessary information and repetition.  If all the unnecessary things were removed the book would be about half as long , but I don't know that it would help anything.  

The whole believability of the book was my main problem.  I did not believe that a single man who is a school counselor would be able to adopt 4 teen boys who have been through their own traumas.  I did not believe that the FBI and local police would enlist the help of teen boys to find a serial killer.  I also had a problem believing that the adoptive parent and biological parent would be ok with their 14-15 year old boys experimenting sexually with each other.  

Overall this is not one I would recommend unless you really enjoy disturbing story lines.

I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC and my honest review.
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I tried not to DNF this completely, but it was just so bad that I had to at least skim read this. At first I thought that this book was just going to be a regular mystery/thriller book, but boy was I disappointed.

I don't use the word "hate" very often, but this book made me hate my entire existence, and the fact that I had to keep reading this made me want to disappear from Earth. The beginning was super boring, but then we got introduced to these 6 half-brothers, who went through very terrible things in their lives, but then the author decided to make the "brilliant" choice to have some of them have sex with each other multiple times, which made me cringe so hard. And the fact that both of them had girlfriends and their parents encouraged them to have sex with each other brought things to a whole another level of weird.

If for some reason, all of that seems appealing to you and you're a fan of stories with too many characters, then go right ahead and pick this one up. If you value your brain cells and your precious time, though, please don't.
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I really liked this story, the suspense was there. At first, this seemed like random killings and this author kept me interested from beginning the very end. I found the characters were well written and that I cared about what happened to them. I have never read a book by this author, but I will definitely be looking for more to read.
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This is a thriller about about an adoptive family in Wisconsin.  I did not feel the family situation was believable and quite frankly it was an awkward  read.
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I loved this book!  Always fascinated by the psychological analyses of the cold calculation shown by serial killers, this novel depicts a ruthless killer who displays his "craft" in the most horrendous way.  The police seem to have nothing in the way of hard leads, and the lives of two adopted boys who are next on his warped list.  Suspense and action all the way through; a pulse-pounding read!
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A serial killer is on the loose, with the eight victims seemingly picked at random. As time runs out who will be the next victim and can the killer be stopped?

I was really irritated with Spiral into Darkness as nowhere on its NetGalley, Amazon or Goodreads page does it mention that this is part of a series and you really need a lot of context to understand the truly weird dynamics of the many characters in this book.

The story itself starts well - a police chief is called to join a large, specialist taskforce with the FBI to help catch a serial killer who has taken 8 lives so far. They begin profiling and investigating and that started to draw me into the story. At this point you know something bad has happened the previous summer but I assumed it was character backstory that you’d find out as you went along. 

Then at around 20% the book takes a sharp left turn and drops the investigation and police storyline to focus on 6 brothers and their daily lives. As far as I can gather these 6 brothers are central characters in the other books, kidnapped as part of a child sex ring and are now all adopted into the same family. The family dynamics are weird and uncomfortable; the teenagers seem far too overly familiar with each other and two of the adopted brothers are having an intimate relationship (which is often graphically described). This relationship is no secret – the entire family know about it including the parents (one of the boys is their biological son) and all they do is just reassure them that they are definitely not gay. It also really doesn’t help that the kids all have really similar names for some reason – Brian, Billy, Bobby, Brett and Brad which made it really difficult for me to work out who was who.

Inexplicably the boys are drafted in to help the police and FBI team with their investigation. They make them walk the crime scene with the body still present, where they give basic information that surely trained and experienced police officers should already know. They then are given a victim’s book of poetry to analyse as if it was an English Lit project - the whole prospect is just bizarre. This is all interspersed with the underage sex scenes, overly repetitive family arguments and far too much description of everyday events (why should I care what brand of running shoe and sock every boy buys at the store when it has no relevance to the story?) 

There are also far too many characters; the 6 brothers, their parents, all their friends, the 5/6 core members of the police team, their families and the killer themselves. I was desperate to DNF this book, particularly when I discovered it was part of a series but I persevered. I needn’t have bothered really - as there were so many characters, none of which got much ‘screen-time’, the final reveal wasn’t shocking or surprising at all – just ‘oh, that person, I’ve heard their name mentioned before’. The final show-down had some ridiculous decisions, unrealistic events and even a bit of the paranormal thrown in – it was all a bit ridiculous.

Overall if you’ve read the rest of the series perhaps you are used to the overload of characters, the uncomfortable family dynamics and the repetition of everyday events instead of a focus on the action. For a new reader however, Spiral into Darkness simply wasn’t for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for a copy of the ARC in exchange for a (very) honest review.
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DNF @ 40%

This is the first time I've failed to finish an ARC, however, I'll offer my thoughts on what I was able to get through.

The description sounded very intriguing as I really love serial killer stories. This ended up being more of a police procedural story which is not a genre that I favor with virtually no time spent with the killer at all. 

There are sooooo many characters in this book it borderlines on ridiculous. I'm talking more than a dozen, probably closer to twenty, honestly it could've been more than that. Like I said, it's ridiculous. 80% of them offering nothing towards advancing the plot. Every single cop and investigator, a group of adopted boys and all of their friends. I didn't care about any of them. The author didn't care to flesh them out whatsoever. 

These adopted boys were, I think, victims of a child sex ring. I mean, I can't really say for sure what happened to them and how they ended up being adopted because it's never really explained.

At one point, two of the adopted boys are called to the scene of one of the murders to help with the investigation. Really? I mean, wtf?

And then came the part where my eyes rolled so far back into my head that I couldn't have kept reading even if I had wanted to.

Are you ready for this?

I don't think you're ready but here it goes...the adoptive parents are disappointed in one of their adopted sons for having sex with his girlfriend. However, they are not only NOT disappointed in but ENCOURAGED the same older adoptive son to continue having sex with their younger biological son. 

So yeah, not much happening with the serial killer. I'm guessing it will all come together in the end. Maybe not. I don't care either way.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I had this book for one day and already finished it. From the first pages, it draws you in. Great story about a madman going around and killing people for no reason, or so we think. Another great page turner.
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