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Fade to Black (Black Cats) [Mass Market Paperback]

Leslie Parrish

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Book Description

3 Sep 2009 Black Cats (Book 1)
After transferring out of violent crimes and onto the FBI's Cyber Action Team, Special Agent Dean Taggert is shocked to encounter a case far more vicious than any he's ever seen. A cold and calculating predator, dubbed ""The Reaper"", is auctioning off murder in the virtual world and is about to kill again - unless Dean and beautiful sheriff Stacey Rhodes can stop him.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: SIGNET; Original edition (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451227484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451227485
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 6.7 x 1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,275,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Hold-your-breath romantic suspense with one of the most chillingly evil villains I've ever read." --JoAnn Ross

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite discoveries yet this year 7 July 2009
By H. Grove (errantdreams) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When a book can keep you pretty much glued to the pages even in an uncomfortable ER waiting room chair, at 11 pm on a Friday night, while you're worried about your husband, that's a great sign.

Both Taggert and Rhodes are excellent characters, and they have fantastic chemistry. The relationship that develops between them feels natural and delightful. It's easy to root for them, and it's really nice for once not to have two romance characters who are kept apart in the initial stages by personality conflicts; there's plenty going on in their lives without that. The other characters, even though there's quite a large cast, are also wonderfully complex, layered, and interesting. There's more than one viable suspect, and I kept changing my mind as to who the culprit must be!

The suspense and thriller aspects kept me glued to the pages. Developments in the case come quickly, and send things in all sorts of new and unexpected directions. The Cyber Action Team has a dynamic going on that makes things interesting: because of their mandate they have quite a bit of fantastic technology and resources at their disposal. But their head is unofficially highly disliked within the Bureau for having ferreted out corrupt agents, including his own mentor, and this often interferes with their ability to get approval for things they want.

This is a very dark suspense/thriller: there are reasonably graphic depictions of murder (not salacious, but dark), as well as themes of pedophilia and rape (Satan's Playground is definitely not a nice place). Certainly not for everyone, but if you prefer for your suspense novels not to pull punches, you'll find what you want here.

The adult romantic sexual content is moderate, sweet, and nicely done.

All in all, this is a very good book and I highly recommend it!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. I Wasn't Expecting THAT! 8 Aug 2009
By Tracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've never been so pleased to have stumbled across an author I'd never read before and given the book a chance based on nothing more than the genre (romantic thrillers/suspense are a favorite of mine) and the reviews. Fade to Black is one of the better ones I've read. I'm very happy I found it!

The genre itself presupposes a small amount of formula - there has to be a bad guy (or group of bad guys) that do bad things who need to be stopped from continuing to do those things as soon as possible. Given how many romantic suspense/thrillers I've read, I'm perfectly okay with the formulaic requirement. Often what separates the grain from the chaff in this genre isn't what's happening, it's HOW it happens and WHO it happens to.

That's truly what puts Leslie Parrish's Fade to Black a head above others I've read - especially recently.

Well-paced, carefully plotted, and not excessively gruesome while still being horrifying, Fade to Black offers up a solid cast of characters that don't FEEL like new characters. In fact, I was truly surprised this is a first book in a loose series, because the secondary characters in particular - the Black Cats - and their history seemed solid and fleshed out, and gave me more of a sense of history between them and in their work than I would expect for a first book. VERY well done, because reading Fade to Black felt like sliding on a pair of really comfy jeans already broken in.

And about those characters - THANK YOU, Leslie Parrish for giving your book and your readers a male lead who wasn't an overprotective, chest-thumping troglodyte and a female lead who wasn't a neurotic victim-in-waiting. Maybe I haven't been reading the right books, because lately I've been stuck in books with whiney, self-absorbed female leads who manage glaring moments of stupidity and self-destruction with males falling all over themselves to either save or protect them, no matter HOW much nicer it'd be for the reader if they just got dead.

And for the record there is a wide, thick line between "strength" and "bitch," people, and women can have one without being the other. I wish MORE authors would realize that. Parrish does.

Fade to Black's Sheriff Stacey Rhodes is an intelligent, competent, professional woman who handles herself and her job with aplomb. She has depth and carries some baggage, but nothing that cripples her...or the reader by being hammered over the head with it over and over and over. Stuff she needs to work through. Special Agent Dean Taggert is a better man than he thinks he is, and is also good at what he does, and his baggage from his recent divorce hasn't turned him against women or made him bitter against women in general. And he loves his son.

When these two meet under circumstances I'd image no law enforcement agent would ever want to contemplate, the sparks are instant, but the acting on them completely realistic and refreshingly adult. As their relationship strengthens and deepens, it does so in a healthy, real way that was such a...relief...after some of the overwrought emotional tugs-of-war that I've read. It was surprisingly satisfying and gave me something to smile about.

And believe me, given what's going on around them, I needed something to smile about. I've read darker in the genre, but Parrish doesn't pull any punches - she just keeps most of the gore from those punches off screen. If I had to guess, I think some people may be disturbed by aspects of this book, and the way in which certain scenes are dealt with. Personally I found it dark, but craftily written. Nothing damaging or haunting (I've read one or two that have given me nightmares...and I don't scare easy), but dark, so be warned if you don't like dark.

Though...if you don't like dark, perhaps this isn't the genre for you.

All in all, a solid read that I enjoyed VERY much, and I've already downloaded Pitch Black, to be read soon. I'll be keeping my eye out for anything else Parrish has written or will write. I really like how she does it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great romantic suspens 8 July 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
FBI Special Agent Dean Taggert leaves the Violent Crimes Unit to join the newly created Cyber Action Team; the mission is to investigate Internet-related murders.

Dean has seen a lot of ugliness when he worked VCU, but nothing in his experience has him prepared for the current web case. The Reaper, a psychopath, hosts Satan's Playground, where this maniac murders victims for his members to see live on the Internet. Shockingly Satan's Playground's groupies bid on the method of death that the Reaper employs. Clues send Dean to Hope Valley where he hopes to prevent another on line killing with the help of local Sheriff Stacey Rhodes.

The first Black Cats romantic suspense thriller is a terrific tale that uses the two lead characters even their attraction to one another to emphasize the gritty cyberspace serial killer theme; mindful of the movie Untraceable. The story line is fast-paced with Dean as the Black Cat agent working the case; he and Stacey are a formidable pair but their opponent is one hell of a villain and his groupies will remind the audience of the Manson family. Leslie Parrish opens her new saga with a great police procedural.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best romantic thriller series I have ever read 19 Sep 2009
By C. HAWKINS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow! I have never read anything by this author before but really like dark romantic thrillers by authors like Karen Rose and Allison Brennan. I found this book and the next two in the series to be exciting and suspenseful, mysterious and romantic. I had no clue who the bad guy was and every time I thought I had figured it out, the author threw another possibility at me. Really well done!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT SUSPENSE 6 Sep 2009
By D. Brothers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book contained a great suspense story. The characters are entertaining, the mystery is not easily guessed (actually I didn't see it coming at all), and the romantic side of it was really good. I highly recommend this book.
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