Book Review of Gathering Dark by Candice Fox – Amazing Read
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – Gathering Dark
I first discovered Candice Fox as an Author quite a few years back, when I read one of her collaborations with James Patterson, possibly for her Harriet Blue series or for one edition of the Women’s Murder Club Series. Then I had noticed that among all of James Patterson’s collaborations, her contribution looked good enough to be read independently as well. Since then, I have been reading quite a few of her books and have come to love her work!
“A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop. Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope.”Gathering Dark
Candice Fox introduces the characters in this book one by one and then goes slowly to a point where their paths cross. Dr. Blair Harbour, a well-renowned Surgeon in LA, has served her time in a Woman’s prison for a crime, the details of which are made known to us much later in the book, and is now trying to claw her way back to normalcy. But one day, her cellmate from those dark days, Sneak Lawlor, comes to her looking for help in finding her daughter.
Two other diametrically opposite characters join in the search for Dayly Lawlor – Ada Maverick, a fearsome Criminal figure from LA’s underworld, and Jessica Sanchez, a marginalized Cop from LAPD. All the four main protagonists are so different from each other, that it’s a major surprise that they can even talk to each other, leave aside the search for a missing girl.
The characters are brilliantly built up, and their backstories come out slowly but each with a unique poignancy of its own. Jessica is routinely mocked within the force for coming into a 7 million dollar mansion, after nabbing a killer others couldn’t. Why Blair was convicted and whether she was guilty of the crime she was accused of or not is another story that comes out later. Blair and Sneak reach out to Jessica for help in locating the missing girl, while Ada continues her search in her own blustery manner.
Conclusion – Gathering Dark Book Review
The novel is written in Candice Fox‘s trademark frenetic pace (something that she may have picked up from James Patterson), and the different story threads are interwoven beautifully. Blair’s despondency and Sneak’s drug-addled, but genuine desperation in finding her daughter, come through very well. The crooked motive of one of the characters comes as surprise much later and that suspense and twist are what keeps it so very exciting!
As in another one of Candice Fox’s solo series, Crimson Lake (starring Amanda and Ted), all the protagonists are imperfect people. Their flaws are traits we all identify with, either because they exist in us or we know someone who does. That keeps the story grounded and makes it easy to identify with them, empathise with at times or sigh at their apparent shortcomings.
Those qualities are what makes the author of Gathering Dark – Candice Fox, stand out. All the books of hers that I have read, carry this common thread – flawed central characters with dark backstories, which once revealed endears the reader to them. I recommend this for a read, particularly at this time of the year when the going is so slow, in terms of New Book releases