The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

December 12, 2008

Phyllis Sessengood: Audiobooks offer riveting thrillers

‘The Darker Side’

By Cody McFadyen (Compact disc audiobook)

The transsexual son of a prominent Congressman is found murdered on a commercial airplane. No one witnessed the murder or saw the murderer, despite the fact that the murder occurred during the flight.

An autopsy reveals that the killer left a signature — a small silver cross inserted into the wound. At the request of the Congressman’s grieving wife, the FBI director himself summons FBl Special Agent Smoky Barrett and her team from L.A. to Washington, D.C. to work this extremely sensitive case.

Smoky and her team determine that the attacker has killed before. Another body is discovered with the murderer’s trademark cross in the wound.

As they probe further into the case, they realize that all the victims had something in common: deep secret sins that the killer made them confess before he killed them.

“The Preacher,” as Smoky and her team dub him, has taped all of his victim’s confessions and murders, and he begins putting them on a You-Tube-like Internet site. Clues also indicate that he has been killing for years and wants to be stopped. Smoky and her team race to find out how the Preacher discovered his victims’ secrets before he kills again and before the media discover the Internet videos.

“The Darker Side” is an intense, suspenseful thriller with well-developed characters and vivid descriptions. Joyce Bean lends her usual excellent narrative abilities to this thriller.

This is the third in the Smoky Barrett series, and I highly recommend reading the other books in the series, “Shadow Man” and “The Face of Death” first. Those thrillers give insight into Smoky’s deep emotional and physical scars.

The Joplin Public Library also owns the print version of “The Darker Side.”

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