Author: Allen Eskens
Performed by R.C. Bray
Published by Tantor Audio, released on Audible October 2017
Category: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife’s death, even when he believed that a reckless hit-and-run driver was to blame. Haunted by memories both beautiful and painful, he is plagued by feelings of unfinished business. When Max learns that, in fact, Jenni was murdered, he must come to terms with this new information—and determine what to do with it.
Initially believing his wife had been killed by a hit and run driver, Max Rupert was devastated to learn she had been targeted and her murder planned. He is consumed with anger, grief and a desire to make those responsible pay for their crime. He is totally out of step with the person he has always been, even taking into acccount the bad days since Jenni’s death.
Torn between wanting retribution for his wife’s murder and his innate decency and moral code, his obligations as a detective and decent man, Max is driven and desperate, searching for answers and following the leads initially offered up by a recording given to him by his erstwhile friend, Boady Sanden. In doing so, more is uncovered than Max was prepared for.
I try to clear the tar from my thoughts. One more hit will put him to rest. One more swing of the ax handle is all I need. My fingers tighten around my weapon.
It’s then that I hear the whisper of her words, faint, mixing with the breeze that’s whistling through the nettle. She’s speaking with that same tsk of disappointment that she sometimes used when I was a child. Is this what you’ve become, Max Rupert? Is this who you are?
The story alternates between the present and the preceding few days as Max gathers information and follows the trail, allowing the reader or listener to really get to grips with Max’s conflicted and anguished state of mind, which is compounded by the corruption he’s encountered in the police force. The scenes in the frozen northern wilderness are chilling in ways beyond the obvious.
The Deep Dark Descending is an intense and compelling tale — a thriller liberally laced with tension and suspense. I was surprised that the author decided to take Max down this path and had no idea how the story would go or how it would conclude. I enjoyed Max taking centre stage in The Deep Dark Descending. He’s a character I liked very much from the off. I hope this series will continue and he’ll feature in more stories.
R.C. Bray, as always, delivers an excellent performance with realistic and relevant emotions and character distinctions.
Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and his debut novel, The Life We Bury is being developed for a feature film.
Allen lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota and is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, and is published by both Seventh Street Books and Mulholland/Little Brown. To learn more about Allen, go to www.alleneskens.com.