Monday, December 20, 2010

Dark Prophecy - Anthony E. Zuiker with Duane Swierczynski

The second book in the groundbreaking bestselling trilogy, from the creator of the CSI franchise.

Steve Dark was once a lost soul, torn between his family and his one-of-a-kind talent for hunting and catching serial killers-especially those so-called "level 26" killers whose depravity exceeds law enforcement's official scale of evil. In his reluctant pursuit of justice Dark once crossed the ultimate line, a line that might cause a lesser man to lose himself completely.

Not Dark. When the world took everything from him, when it destroyed the very thing Dark once lived for, it brought a moment of clarity that few before him have witnessed, and sparked a transformation that, several years later, is only just complete.

Dark is now a man on a mission. A mission that no longer requires law enforcement support. A mission unbound by authorities, moral or otherwise, and supported by a mysterious benefactor with unknown goals of her own. A mission that, at long last, allows him to embrace his destiny. Dark is finally ready- ready to take justice to the next level.
(Synopsis taken from goodreads.)

Title: Dark Prophecy (Level 26 #2)
Author: Anthony E. Zuiker with Duane Swierczynski (Level 26 website)
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: October 14, 2010
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Laura from Penguin Canada for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
My rating: 4/5

Steve Dark lost almost everyone he has ever loved to a vicious serial killer. Now, 5 years later, he is still picking up the pieces, and is teaching university classes rather than work for the Special Circs division of the FBI. Just because he isn't working with the Special Circs division, doesn't mean that he still isn't keeping an eye out for ritualistic and gruesome murders. When such a case makes headlines, Steve can't seem to stay away from it, and when the case suddenly hits closer to home, he will stop at nothing to solve it. 
I jumped at the chance to review this book as it was written by the creator of the CSI franchise. I was intrigued at the aspect of this being a 'digi-novel' and wanted to see what it was all about. Unfortunately, my computer was acting up when I was trying to sign up for the site to view the footage that goes along with the story, and I couldn't finish the sign up process. Though I missed out on the digital aspect, I don't feel like I really missed out on anything. This is the second book in a series and it read like a stand-alone novel, leaving me feeling like I was up to date on the goings on in Steve's life. I may revisit this world and read the first book one of these days, but it is not imperative to read the first book before this one. 
Steve is a tortured character, making his way through the aftermath of having everyone, except his young daughter, taken from him. He's trying to find his way back from the edge, and has taken up a safe vocation as a part-time professor. He still has night terrors, and is constantly perusing the internet for any cases that are out of the norm. When a crime scene photo is leaked to the press, something triggers in his mind, and he can't help but try to puzzle out what is so familiar about the scene. He reads as the ultimate broken hero, rising up from the ashes of his old life, trying to reclaim some of his dignity and prowess. When he is approached with an offer that he can't refuse, he joins the search for the killer, or killers. With his benefactor under wraps, his colleagues from Special Circs are intently watching him, to see if he has snapped, or if he truly is working on the case. 
The only thing that grated at me in this book, is that for a character so savvy, it took him 3 crime scenes and 120 pages to figure out what seemed so familiar to him in the first crime scene photo. Other than that, I found his intellect astounding, and he made leaps and bounds over the Special Circs team. With the team watching Steve to see if he has made the jump from hunter, to killer, this makes for an intense read. Time is running out, and only Steve seems capable of puzzling out where the killer or killers, are going to strike next. Will he be able to stop them before they follow through with their plan, or will it come out that he is party to the killings? 
All in all, a thrilling, intense, and fast-paced read. Fans of CSI will enjoy this one. Graphic, ritualistic, and sadistic murders abound. This is not a read for the faint of heart.

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