Aussie Book Review: Darkening Skies by Bronwyn Parry

darkeningDarkening Skies (Dungirri #3) by Bronwyn Parry

Paperback

Review copy provided by publisher

Hachette Australia, September 2013

Synopsis- Award-winning investigative reporter Jennifer Barrett never planned to return to Dungirri, the dying town she’d escaped at seventeen. But the shock resignation and startling revelations of local Federal MP Mark Strelitz have reopened the police investigation into the long-ago accident that killed her cousin, and Jenn is determined to find the truth, even if it proves that the close friend of her youth has become just another politician with a convenient case of amnesia.

For eighteen years, the hole in Mark Strelitz’s memory has concealed the truth: that he was the driver of the car in which Paula Barrett died. The investigation was corrupt, another man framed and sent to prison, and now Mark needs to set things right, whatever the personal cost.

But as Jenn and Mark ask questions about the old crime, new crimes occur; the murder of witnesses, the destruction of evidence. Despite the risks, neither of them can give up their search for answers but the further they delve into the district’s seedy past, the more questions they find – and the more danger. Someone wants the past to remain buried, and those investigating it to be stopped – permanently.

Review- Darkening Skies is the third (and hugely anticipated) book in the Dungirri series (see my review for As Darkness Falls and Dark Country) by Australian romantic suspense author, Bronwyn Parry. Each book focuses on a new hero and hero and in this one, its investigative journalist Jenn Barrett and teenage sweetheart Mark Strelitz.

Jenn Barrett escaped the small town of Dungirri when she was an adolescent, following the tragic accident that resulted in her cousin’s death. She set her feelings for Mark aside and moved to the city where she was able to build an exciting and varied career in journalism.

Dungirri is home for Mark, who’s made a career in politics. But when he discovers he was the driver and that a young, troubled teen (Gil Gillespie) was framed for murder, he resigns from his employment and makes a public declaration of his guilt. This is the catalyst for Jenn returning to Dungirri and it’s also the start of a perilous investigation into the series of murders occurring in the small town following Mark’s admission.

Jenn and Mark are reunited in Dungirri, thrust into an adrenaline bursting scene where a man’s life is at risk. Past hurts and the separation between them is momentarily forgotten until the adrenaline wears down and they are both faced with the reality of their current circumstances. Jenn has conflicted feelings for Mark, who claims he was the driver of the accident that killed her cousin, but she can also see that the evidence isn’t quite adding up. Is Mark really a murderer? It quickly becomes obvious that they are wrapped up in this investigation together whether they like it or not and their former bond is reinforced amidst the life-threatening situations they face each day.

From conspiracies to secrets to betrayals and a surprising underground crime ring, Darkening Skies is a worthy addition to the Dungirri series that is easily one of my favourites in the genre. Parry predictably delivers an unthinkable amount of trials and tribulations in the way of her hero and heroine and as a reader, you just have to trust that they’ll come out the other side stronger, emotionally intact and able to have the happily-ever-after that is expected of a romance. Of course, even once all the dramas have settled down, Parry still makes the reader wait for that HEA… this book is not short of tension.

If romantic suspense and small town dramas are  a guilty pleasure of yours, then pick up a copy of Darkening Skies.

Overall Rating

4/5

“I loved this book!”

Darkening Skies can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge:

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