Book Review: A Map of the Dark

Posted January 12, 2018 by Kara in book review, Kara / 0 Comments

Book Review: A Map of the DarkA Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis
Series: The Searchers #1
Published by Mulholland Books on January 2nd 2018
Genres: adult, mystery-thriller
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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two-half-stars

A girl, missingA woman, searchingA killer, planning...
A thrilling new FBI series for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter.
FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.She knows how it feels to be lost...
Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.
With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa's skin. Everything she has buried - her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death - threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.
In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself...and return to the darkness she's been hiding from for years.

This is the first book in a new mystery series, and oh how much I wanted to love it. The truth is, though, that it’s really dull. I don’t know how many mass market paperback thrillers I have read over the years by average authors, and 95% of those have been better than this.

Why? Well…

1. This is supposed to be a thriller. There should be some exciting element to it, but every single part of this book is predictable, with no surprises, and a truly linear plot line. You know exactly what’s going to happen when it’s going to happen. The ending shakes out exactly the way the reader expects it to.

2. I didn’t like Elsa at all. She keeps everyone at a distance and she has her reasons, but her character feels completely forced and unrealistic. I mean, who doesn’t WANT supportive friends? The way she shuns anyone that tries to befriend her is just odd, and frankly, off-putting. That made it hard to care for the terrible things that happened to her. Also, the writing keeps you at a distance from the characters, which doesn’t help any.

3. More than half the book seemed to be about Elsa’s past and her relationship with her dying father rather than a book about a serial killer. It feels like what I thought was supposed to be the main plot is hardly mentioned, and when it is, it’s quickly glossed over or wrapped up too quickly.

It’s not an awful book, but it’s average or below average, and I don’t suspect this will be a successful series, unfortunately. Although it was readable, I will not be continuing on.

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