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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Deep Dark Descending

The Deep Dark Descending

ISBN: 1633883558

Publisher: Seventh Street

Publication Date: 10/3/2017

Format: Paperback (Audio)

My Rating: 4 Stars Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whether he will take that last step and enact the vengeance he longs for. On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice.

My Review

Allen Eskens has developed an award-winning series of books alternating between Detective Max Rupert and Joe Talbert. The best of both worlds from crime thrillers, cop procedurals, to literary and historical fiction. He has proven time and time again, he can cross genres seamlessly.

To help keep myself and you guys on track, I am copying this from Allen's website which I refer to often:

The Life We Bury introduces the four main characters who appear in future novels:

Joe Talbert—the protagonist in The Life We Bury and The Shadows We Hide.

Max Rupert—a homicide detective in The Life We Bury is the focus of novels 2, 3, and 4.

Boady Sanden—an attorney, and a secondary character in novels 1 and 3, but will be the lead in novel 6.

Lila Nash—a supporting character in novels 1, 3 and 5, will likely be the protagonist of novel number 7.

In THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING, we catch up with Detective Max Rupert #4 from

The Life We Bury (Joe Talbert, #1; Max Rupert, #1)

The Guise of Another (Detective Max Rupert, #2)

The Heavens May Fall (Detective Max Rupert #3)

Homicide Detective Max Rupert has never gotten over his wife's death and, more importantly, is still looking for the real killer. It has been five years. He does not believe it was a reckless hit and run driver. REVENGE has taken over, and he will stop at nothing to locate his wife's killer.

He was once told: "There's an old saying that a person who goes looking for revenge should dig two graves. Meaning you are not solving the problem by getting revenge. You are only making it worse. You're making it just as bad for yourself as for the other person."

He is determined to make sure the man he kills understands why. Her name must be his last thought—its echo should be the last sound he hears before darkness chokes him.

He is out in the bitter ice of winter. He has an ax. Is he ready to kill him yet? He needs something more than just his death. He needs to hear him admit that he killed his wife!

It was only three days prior Max had first listened to the two men as they planned his wife's murder. The two men were talking about his, Jenni. How they were going to end her life, and they were doing it with the composure reserved for weather chitchat or reading a lunch menu.

Now Boady Sanden the friend and attorney he had crossed off his list (a homicide detective and a defense attorney do not make for a good pair. Now here he is, offering something. A CD. A CD that may hold the secret to Jenni's death.

She stumbled upon something she shouldn't have. Who would want to kill a hospital social worker? She did nothing but help people. He played it over and over. It never occurred to him she knew something. He always thought he was the target due to being a homicide detective. He was the one who had enemies, not her.

There is a fine line, and he must not cross it. OR will he? There were rules. He was the victim's husband. He cannot be digging into the files regarding his wife's death. She had been walking through the medical center ramp and been hit by a yellow Toyota. He was frozen out of the investigation. However, when he turned the evidence over, he kept a copy.

He is consumed with rage and anger and wants revenge, no matter the cost. On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice.

This is one INTENSE BOOK! Max remembers all the Christmases and News Years and their life together. He recalls his childhood, his brother Alexander, his dad, his mom's death. And then, Nancy. The falling apart of their family.

Fast forward to the present. Can he do it? Does he possess the power to kill? He needs a strategy. He has his captive held miles from everywhere in the middle of a frozen lake in subzero January temperatures. You can feel the brutal winter winds and cold. It is dark and bleak.

Is it the correct person? Will he strike the final blow? If he does, what will happen next? Will, he quit being a Detective and remain on the run?

Wow, my nerves are shot! This book reminds me of a Blue Bloods series with Detective Danny Reagan when his nurse-wife, Linda Reagan was murdered and his reaction and consumed with rage and revenge to track down the murderer who ruined his life and family. Every time I think I Max, somehow I picture Danny.

I cannot wait to see where Allen Eskens will take this character next or if there will be a followup. A brilliant writer, he is becoming one of my favorites!

Fans, you are in for a rare treat when you read NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS, coming Nov 12, 2019. It is out of this world good and his best yet! Look for my Elevator Q&A with the author coming Nov 12, 2019. I cannot wait!

It appears we may get the next book #7 featuring Lila! It is time she gets to shine, right? I am looking forward to it. If you have not read Allen Eskens, get on board the train.

I purchased the e-book and the audiobook narrated by R. C. Bray. I enjoy reading/listening as it holds your spot, and you can pick up where you left off, either reading or listening — the ultimate experience.

PS Everyone asks me if I like Joe Talbert or Max Rupert the best. I will have to vote, Joe. Even though I like the thrills, I enjoy literary fiction, as to why you will see higher ratings for those books. However, Allen is a multi-talented writer, and he can balance both genres. It is more about the reader's individual preference or taste.


"Thought-provoking and elegantly told, The Deep Dark Descending shows how far one man will go to avenge his wife's death. With this smart, heartbreaking mystery, Allen Eskens keeps readers gripped until the very last page." MARY KUBICA, New York Times-bestselling author of The Good Girl

"A tense, high-stakes game of chicken makes The Deep Dark Descending a can't-put-down thriller. Superb storytelling keeps you guessing until the very end." ROBERT DUGONI, #1 Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and New York Times-bestselling author of My Sister's Grave

"Eskens infuses the old this-time-it's-personal trope with raw urgency, righteous indignation, and enough scorching action to melt every trace of the Minnesota snow in his finest hour to date." Kirkus STARRED REVIEW

"Fine crime fiction that captures the chill of its setting as it explores issues of life and death." Booklist Book Reviews

"...engrossing. [A] well-constructed plot and a sympathetic lead will keep readers turning the pages." Publishers Weekly

"The Deep Dark Descending was good, like really good, in a tough guy, gritty, dark kind of way. Allen Eskens has now turned in to an author that I will be watching from here on out." The Pages in Between Book Reviews

About the Author

Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another and The Heavens May Fall. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Minnesota Book Award, Rosebud Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar® Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His debut novel, The Life We Bury, has been published in 16 languages and is being developed for a feature film.

Allen has a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from Hamline University. After law school, he studied creative writing in the M.F.A. program at Minnesota State University-Mankato, as well as the Loft Literary Center and the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival. He is represented by Amy Cloughley of Kimberley Cameron and Associates Literary Agency, and published by Seventh Street Books.

Allen grew up on the hills of central Missouri. He now lives with his wife, Joely, in out-state Minnesota where he has recently retired from his law practice to devote the entirety of his energy to writing novels. To learn more about Allen, click on the video links below. Read More






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