A city in darkness. A building in lockdown. A score that can only be settled in blood…
Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.
An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.
When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.
And that’s just the beginning…
Hi and welcome to my review of Deep Dark Night, the fourth instalment in the Lori Anderson series! Massive thanks to Orenda books for sending me a proof copy!
Before you click the little x in the corner because you don’t need another series added to your TBR, know that you can read this as a standalone. If you insist. However, this series is absolutely outstanding, it doesn’t just go from strength to strength, it piles on, getting stronger with every instalment, and Lori has come a long way, she really has, and her current actions mean so much more when you known how she started out and you understand where she’s coming from. If you’re not familiar with this series yet, do check out my #Orentober spotlight post. I told you then and I’ll tell you again: Lori is the best protagonist!
Deep Dark Night takes us to Chicago on one hell of a ride. Chicago? Shouldn’t Lori Anderson be in Florida, hunting bounty and/or fighting gators and/or the Miami mob? Well, that’s where she wants to be, that’s for sure. Only problem is Special Agent Monroe. If Lori ever wants to be free of him and the constant threat to her peace of mind he represents, she needs to go to Chicago and take down the head of the local mafia, Cabressa. How hard can it be?! Well pretty darn hard apparently! I didn’t like Monroe in the previous instalments and I don’t like him in this one. Aren’t men of the law supposed to uphold the law, and protect and serve the people? I think Monroe may have missed that part of his FBI training, he just dumps Lori in the worst situations and leaves her to fend for herself. Thank God for JT, Lori’s partner, lover and the father of her daughter.
Lori and JT have been in the Windy City for barely two flipping minutes when it becomes crystal clear that taking down the Cabressa crime family won’t be cut and dried at all. The idea is simple enough: Lori has to entrap Cabressa using a priceless but stolen chess set. However, rumour has it that someone named Herron is trying to take over Chicago, so Cabressa is wary and even more suspicious than he usually is. The scene is set, the actual chess pieces and the figurative ones are in place, Lori is playing poker with Cabressa and a few other mighty men and then there’s a total blackout, the luxurious penthouse where the game is being played becomes a giant panic room, nobody in, nobody out, and we have a locked room trope on our hands, and not only that but a hostage situation too.
The thing with a series is you know the odds are in favour of the main character(s) because the author will probably want to write another instalment. Steph Broadribb, however, has proven more than once that she is more than willing to put her characters through the ringer, so I have given up on any faith that Lori and JT will make it out alright! I was completely gripped and I read most of Deep Dark Night in one sitting, until it became rather late at night and I forced myself to put it aside, for fear I wouldn’t get a wink of sleep with all the adrenaline coursing through my body!
I don’t pick up action thrillers very often. The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that I’ve been put off the genre by male authors, who tend to write the same kind of stories with the same kind of heroes. And I can’t deal with such stories reeking of male sweat, Old Spice and testosterone, featuring a hero who is smarter, cleverer, bigger and better than any other man in the history of mankind. No. Just, no. Enter Lori. She’s a badass too, and she’s smart and clever, but never ever is she larger than life. Never ever does she outsmart all the bad guys in seconds. That’s the kind of action hero I want to invest my time and my dime in! The action is high-octane and heart palpitation inducing but somehow also realistic, plausible, if not very likely to happen to just anyone. Steph Broadribb’s characters are well-rounded and three-dimensional. Lori kicks ass but she is also a caring mother. And JT… Well… I might have a teeny tiny bookish crush on him 😄
Deep Dark Night is an excellent addition to a great series, it has the best main characters you just have to root for and some flawlessly executed action scenes that had my heart beating a million miles an hour. I’m #TeamLori all the way! Recommended!
Read Deep Dark Night in eBook format right now, or wait for the paperback out on 5 March. Stay tuned for the blog tour next month, I’ll have an extract to share with you then.