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Darkness Bound

by Larry Brooks

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902228,137 (2.63)None
" A twisting thriller that taps into a deep well of erotic obsession, sexual betrayal, madness, and murder, Darkness Bound goes to fearless extremes to become an authentic and shocking suspense novel. In Darkness. Two strangers meet. A woman without inhibitions. a man without limits. for a private game between two consenting adults. In Darkness. They indulge in every secret fantasy, cross every boundary of sexual deviation. But one of them has a secret yet to be shared, a desire yet to be explored. In Darkness. Fear will become the ultimate pleasure. Revenge, the ultimate reward--and reality, the deadliest fantasy of all. Now the real games are about to begin"--… (more)

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"She sat very still in her husband's favorite chair, sipping an exquisite Pinot Noir as she watched him die." That is the first line of this book. First time author, Larry Brooks, weaves a wonderful tale about people who are, except for two of them, pretty normal but who end up doing some pretty twisted stuff. The book has some 1st novel awkwardness but is pretty darned good otherwise. I'm looking forward to his next one. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
I spent a great deal of time while reading this book agonizing over what I was going to say about it when I was done. I first grabbed it, almost at random, thinking that the cover and the description sounded like a thriller and murder mystery. Going in, after the first thirty pages, I was almost ready to toss it aside as unbearable trash. After another 60 pages or so, I had been hooked and demolished the rest in a single marathon session, save for the last 30 pages or so. Those last 30 pages very nearly destroyed the affection I'd developed along the way.

Now, to be fair, the book is well written and an engaging read, once one gets past the initial veneer of fetish romance. Honestly, this section could have been omitted almost entirely and not hurt the final manuscript much. All we need to know about our hero, Dillon Masters, is that he's into things that are a little kinky. There are sections in the middle that get into his twists a little more, explaining them - as much as he or his psychologist are able to, at least - and that would have served. Instead we have to hear about his collapsing marriage - apparently a side effect of his perversions - and his troubles at work, in great detail. Some trimming here would have done wonders, but slogging through it leads us to the actual meat.

Once Dillon and his beautiful "Dark Lady" really get down to the nitty gritty and their "game" turns lethal, things pick up quite a lot. Several judiciously used sections with unreliable narration and all of the characters drawing on their deepest "survival of the fittest" instincts lead to an intricate dance and cat-and-mouse game, and the author keeps us hanging as to who's really playing with who until near the end. He does an admirable job, and all of the characters are well fleshed out and have (if not rational) good reasons for doing what they're doing and how. Several small vignettes featuring one of the characters as a child, laying the groundwork for their later troubles, are well done and paced and the manner in which the author describes them leaves it up to your own discretion as to who he's talking about. The punchline, when revealed, is immensely satisfying.

Then comes the downside. Once the real danger has been dealt with, and all our characters are safely in their designated holding patterns, things have to be spoiled by an entirely too sugar-and-spice ending. This seems to be a common theme... hmm. Regardless, it's entirely possible that it's just my own prejudices - those that say a crime is a crime, and inflicting pain and suffering should result in punishment, not reward, regardless if the individual so rewarded carries the title "protagonist" or not - that spoils this kind of ending for me. But I was not pleased with the "happy ending," nor the manner in which it was executed, though the author did at least acknowledge and create several extenuating circumstances that make for a handy package rather than ambiguity or ruin.

Overall, I'd say it's worth checking out. Beginning and end aside, there's still 340 delicious pages between them, with fast and well-written prose alongside too many double and triple crosses and shifts of character that are actually appropriate to count. ( )
  KaineAndrews | Apr 15, 2013 |
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" A twisting thriller that taps into a deep well of erotic obsession, sexual betrayal, madness, and murder, Darkness Bound goes to fearless extremes to become an authentic and shocking suspense novel. In Darkness. Two strangers meet. A woman without inhibitions. a man without limits. for a private game between two consenting adults. In Darkness. They indulge in every secret fantasy, cross every boundary of sexual deviation. But one of them has a secret yet to be shared, a desire yet to be explored. In Darkness. Fear will become the ultimate pleasure. Revenge, the ultimate reward--and reality, the deadliest fantasy of all. Now the real games are about to begin"--

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