Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty-hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection.
An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare.
When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die.
It feels very apt that as I sit down to write this review, Facebook has just reminded me that six years ago today I was in Chicago. Walking the streets that Lori does in Deep Dark Night, in awe of the magnificent sky scrappers and whiling away time near The Bean in Millennium Park. Chicago is my favourite place in the world (apart from my bookshop!) and when I discovered that the latest Lori Anderson book was set there I was ecstatic! What could be better than one of my all time favourite fictional ladies kicking ass in my all time favourite city – nothing I tell you, nothing!
Right from the get go your adrenaline starts pumping, there is no time to breathe with Deep Dark Night, it’s full on edge of your seat action. I would expect nothing less from Lori and with this case she really has to keep her wits about her. This book follows directly on from Deep Dirty Truth and you can read it as a stand alone, but I do recommend you read the other books. They are woven quite tightly together and you will get much more enjoyment reading them in order.
There is no time for Lori to recover from her last intense mission, she’s had to say goodbye to her daughter once again in order to work for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe who is determined to keep Lori and her partner JT, under his thumb. This time entrapment is the game and poker novice Lori, has to take part in an exclusive high stakes poker game. As someone who has never played poker, I could completely understand Lori’s apprehension and it made me nervous. I know she’s good at getting her guy but could she really convince a table full of poker die-hards that she deserves a seat at the table?
And now we come to my third favourite thing – a locked room mystery. A black-out sweeps the city and Lori along with JT, become locked in the lavish penthouse suite where the poker game is held. I adored the little nod to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, when a mysterious voice is played over speakers, demanding that the captives discover each others secrets. The claustrophobic tension oozes from the pages as this group of strangers start to turn on each other. They are trapped, they are in darkness and the ventilation has been cut off. This is a powder keg just waiting for a spark.
Trust me when I say this is a one sitting read, the action does not stop and the short punchy chapters really keep you hooked. I read this furiously, desperate for the outcome and full of enjoyment that I was back in Chicago. Steph Broadribb has brought this beautiful city to life and delivered another taut, suspenseful read. I could not get enough.
‘Deep Dark Night’ is out now in paperback published by Orenda Books. A huge thank you to Orenda for my reading copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for my blog tour invite. Make sure you head over to the other stops