Synopsis: As Darkness Falls is set in the isolation of a small town on the edge of the New South Wales outback. Haunted by her failures, country police officer Detective Isabelle O’Connell is recalled to duty by Detective Alec Goddard to investigate the abduction of yet another child from her old home town.
With the killer playing a game of cat and mouse and targeting Bella, they have only days in which to find the girl alive, but they have very few clues, a whole town of suspects, and a vast wilderness to search. For Bella, this case is already personal; for Alec his best intentions to keep it purely professional soon dissolve. He starts to think of the missing child as if she were his own, and his anguish over Bella’s safety moves beyond the just his concern for a colleague. Their mutual attraction leaves them both vulnerable to their private nightmares – nightmares that the killer ruthlessly exploits.
Review: Why has it taken me so long to pick up a title by this author? After recently getting into the Aussie suspense romance genre, I decided I would check out Parry’s work. I loved As Darkness Falls. There’s crime, suspense and romance all wrapped up within a tight plot and strong characters.
When Detective Alec Goddard turns up on Detective Isabelle (Bella) O’Connell’s doorstep to recruit her on a current missing person’s case, it interferes with her decision to quit the force. It has been twelve months since a little girl was murdered in her hometown in the NSW outback and all she wants to do is forget about the case, the trauma she experienced during the investigation and the people she grew up with. But Alec tugs at her heartstrings, and they both know she cannot say no. A little girl is missing and if they don’t find her she will end up murdered as the girl did the year before. Bella has to face her fears and regain her strength to help Alec lead the investigation and save the little girl.
As Darkness Falls has an intriguing storyline, filled with mystery and small town intrigue that leads to an inevitable climax. Bella is strong woman who has learnt to hide her vulnerabilities- until Alec came along. He seems to see straight through her and the intimacy of their emotional connection is too threatening and scary for Bella to indulge. Parry creates strong characters with many layers of depth and realistic motivations and conflicts. I felt connected to both the leading characters and enjoyed seeing the romance between them unfold.
I will definitely read more from this author in the future. Highly recommended read for suspense/ crime romance fans with an outback Australian flavour.
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