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Saturday, October 29, 2016


4.5 stars out of 5

Is this one good? Yes, actually - so much so that I read the whole thing on a day when we were having guests for dinner (well okay, it was just slow-cooker veggie-beef soup, crusty bread and store-bought brownies with ice cream washed down by easy peasy apple cider mimosas, but still...) 

Once I started, in fact, I really didn't want to put it down. So, it helps that it's under 300 pages which - according to the running tally on my Kindle Fire that turned out to be accurate - would take me just over 3 hours to finish. While I'm thinking about it, I'll give a big thank-you to the author and publisher (via NetGalley) for the opportunity to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Amanda Sinclair is a lab technician at an on-the-brink of big-time breakout cosmetics company in Chicago. She loves her job, and she's happy that no one there knows her real identity: The daughter of a woman who murdered her young son (Amanda's brother). As a result, for the past decade, her mother has been confined to a psychiatric hospital. Then out of the blue, Amanda gets a dreaded phone call; apparently, despite the hospital's tight security measures, her mother has committed suicide.

As Amanda sifts through her mother's meager belongings, she finds a couple of items suggesting that her mother was upset about the upcoming parole of charismatic leader Patrick Collier, who was convicted of embezzling substantial funds from his cult to which her late mother, and Amanda herself, once belonged. Not a bad theory, obviously, but since this isn't the first time her mother has tried to kill herself, Amanda - and her mother's hunky psychologist - question how was she able to succeed on this  go-round.

Meanwhile, Amanda's work life is taking an unexpected turn as well, with questions arising about the efficacy (and safety) of an about-to-be-launched product that's been generating considerable buzz in the industry. Could it be that someone - one of Amanda's trusted co-workers, perhaps - is trying to put the kabosh on a potential company takeover that would mean a financial windfall for the entire team?

Needless to say, everything gets resolved in nail-biting fashion - but you'll just have to read it for yourself to learn the details because I'll never tell. FYI, Rendahl also writes under the names of Eileen Carr (romantic suspense) and Kristi Abbott (cozy mysteries). Well, guess that means I've got a few more of her books to check out!

Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl (Midnight Ink, December 2016); 264 pp.

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