Title: Darkness at the Edge of Town
Series: Iris Ballard #2
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group- Alibi
Release Date: November 14, 2017
A complicated, charismatic forensic psychologist tries to rescue her brother from the clutches of a maniacal cult leader in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the author of Beautiful Maids All in a Row.
After catching an infamous serial killer, Dr. Iris Ballard has become a TV sensation. Exhausted from her appearances on the talk-show circuit, she’s looking forward to some quality time with Luke Hudson, her former FBI partner and on-again, off-again lover. The last thing Iris wants is to get pulled back to her dying Rust Belt hometown, but after the frantic call from her mother, she doesn’t have a choice.
Iris is a disgrace in Grey Mills, Pennsylvania, but her twin brother has gone and outdone her. Billy has abandoned his fiancée, drained their checking account, and quit his job to join a cult called the New Morning Movement. Expecting to find something sinister at play, Iris is eager to destroy the quixotic hold they have on her brother. And that means outwitting the cult’s cunning, sadistic founder, Mathias Morning.
Iris has logic and reason on her side. But Mathias doesn’t play by society’s rules. Just as Iris begins to lose hope, her investigation leads her to cross path with the DEA. And now she needs to save Billy’s life before they’re both caught in the crossfire.
"I'm here if you need me, you know. Day, night, always, forever."
I read Beautiful Maids All in a Row just a few weeks back. I had these characters fresh in my mind and I was glad to be back in their world.
Dr. Iris Ballard survived her second encounter with a psychopath (barely) and this close encounter catapulted her back into notoriety. She has been asked to speak on many TV shows keeping her schedule super busy in the last few weeks. She's ready to relax and enjoy a date with Luke when her mother calls her begging her to come home. Her brother has joined a cult and Iris needs to come home and help save him.
At first, Iris is not sure that what her mother is saying is accurate since she has a tendency to take things out of proportion but she knows she will sleep better if she finds up what's really going on in her childhood home of Grey Mills, PA.
Going home is not easy to Iris. She and her twin brother Billy were called names growing up since they are both bastards. Their half-sister is responsible for most of the name calling. As a teenager, Iris made a decision that impacted her life and thanks to her half-sister, everyone found out. Yet, Iris won't back down. She's determined to know more about Mathias Morning, the guy in charge of the New Morning Movement.
In all honesty, cults really do scare me. They prey on vulnerable people. They know the right thing to say to attract people to their lair and then indoctrinate them. Sad, really.
I believe Jennifer Harlow did a great job portraying the way a cult works. She made me hate Mathias and I wanted Iris to bring him down. I felt sorry for Billy. He was so lost. He made HUGE mistakes but I still felt sorry for him.
Let's talk about (hottie) Luke Hudson. Oh my, he was amazing on this one too. I was devastated when he was not with Iris from the beginning but I understood why it was important for him to be away. He melted my heart when he finally had that serious conversation with Iris. MELTED ME!
What can I say about Iris that I haven't said before? She's an ex-addict (alcohol and pills) with some serious self-destructive issues. She knows her own weaknesses and at least is trying to help herself now. What no one can deny is that she knows how to profile very dangerous individuals and she's great at it. Faults and all, she's a character that I won't forget anytime soon.
Don't hesitate and buy Darkness at the Edge of Town. It's definitely worth it. A page-turner for sure. I do encourage readers to read Beautiful Maids All in a Row first to get the full spectrum.
I really wish the next one was out already. I hate waiting for a good book.
A complimentary copy was provided by Random House Publishing Group-Alibi via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.