Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins

I’ve been tagged with the Bookworm meme by Nathan KP over at Inkweaver Review. (This is my first meme, so I hope I do this correctly.) Here’s how this meme works: 

“Open the book closest to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.” 

I have Brandilyn Collins‘ newest book, Dark Pursuit, next to my chair because I was getting ready to post a review. So … here are the sentences, 
“Four months. And you’re only now coming to see me.”
“I’m sorry. I should have  “
“Only because you need something.”
Ouch! Sound familiar? Parent – child? Brother – sister? It seems we’ve all been on one or both sides of that conversation in our lives, right? Well, in this case, it’s grandfather – granddaughter. And the tension between the two doesn’t get much better throughout the book. 
In fact, Brandilyn is known for building suspense and tension in her books. She even has a fan group who can’t read her books because they’re too scared! Seriously!

It’s called the Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) and she has a rating system to let them know how suspenseful her books are – one chicken – not so bad; two chickens – read at your own risk; three chickens – bk, bk, bawk! 
This book should have five chickens listed beside it. Here’s the synopsis: a famed novelist, Darell Brooke, suffers a brain injury and severe writer’s block after a serious car accident. Two years later, he’d do anything to shake it off and churn out another best seller. 
Enter his granddaughter, Kaitlan Sering, whom he threw out of his house after finding that she was stealing from him to support her drug habit. They have the conversation above after Kaitlan comes running to his house after she finds someone dead – in her bed! She thinks her boyfriend, who is also a cop, may be a serial killer! Her grandfather is the only person she can turn to … surely after writing all those suspense novels he can help her out of this mess! Bk, bk, bk, baw-aaaak!
All the BHCC stuff aside, I think this book is Brandilyn’s best. I know, I know! I said that about Amber Morn back in April. (And I meant it then, too.) But this has so many levels of suspense going! You’ve got the suspense between the grandfather and granddaughter: Is he able to help her? Does he want to help her or is he helping himself? Can he trust her? Can she trust him? Then there’s the suspense between Kaitlan and her boyfriend: Did he do it? Does he know she knows? Did it even happen? Not to mention the normal questions you’d find in a murder mystery/suspense: Who did it? How? Why? Who’s next?

Most of you probably already know this, but here’s a short primer on mystery vs. suspense: In mystery novels, the goal is to find who dunnit, i.e., solve the puzzle of who the killer is and/or why they killed. In suspense novels, you usually know who the killer is and the main character goes from one perilous situation to another to bring the killer to justice, escape from the killer, etc. At the end, either the good guy or the bad guy survives. 
However, in Dark Pursuit, Brandilyn keeps you guessing until the end. Halfway through, I couldn’t even decide if this was a mystery, suspense or both! She has skillfully woven all the plots and subplots together to keep your interest from front to back. It was a hard book to put down. 
I recommend this book highly for those who love mystery or suspense and especially for those of you writers who question how far you’d go to clear a bad case of writer’s block. 
Now, back to the Bookworm meme: I pick 

7 thoughts on “Dark Pursuit by Brandilyn Collins

  1. Karen Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" says:

    I’ll plan to post mine on Wednesday. Thanks for the tag on this. I’ll share from the book I wrote which really is the closest one to where I sit at my computer.

  2. Page McManus says:

    Thanks so much, Karen! I always enjoy reading your posts. ‘Look forward to it.

    No prob. That’s fine. I’ll look for your personal blog, too. (Love your avatar!)


  3. Vivienne says:

    Hi Page, I posted my response. My closest book was Dean Koontz’s “The Darkest Evening of the Year”. I’m a big Koontz fan. This one combines his usual thriller with a love for Golden Retrievers. Pretty cool.

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