The beauty of Hawaii is legendary with the island of Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, being one of the most exotic. In such a place of beauty and solitude, murder should have no place, and yet no one place remains immune to the intemperance of death.
In Dark Mind by Jennifer Chase, we visit the island paradise with her protagonist Emily Stone. Emily is not there for the beauty though; she is there following the lead of a missing young girl taken by slave traders. She is not alone, however; she is accompanied by her partner and lover, Rick Lopez. Both have backgrounds in law enforcement, but they now follow leads to stop the unthinkable. In their haste to save this young girl, they come under the radar of local law enforcement.
Sergeant Lani Candena is new to the force and is fighting his own battles. There are undercurrents within the Island department, and he finds he must go outside of his sources to search for the truth. Unsure what to do about the interlopers from California, he finds them to believable. As they find the young girl, it seems like now everyone can relax and enjoy a real vacation in the islands.
Little do they know there is a serial killer now stalking the young women of this most pristine of islands. As bodies begin to turn up, butchered and posed in the most brutal of ways, Emily finds herself in the middle. The murderer is someone close to the islands, using his tracking abilities and island lore to choose and offer his victims as sacrifice. Emily cannot leave the islands until this killer is stopped. With the help of Rick, Sergeant Candena and another friend from off island, they take you deep into the paradise to find the most sadistic of killers. Can they find him before he takes another victim? What drives Emily to put her life on the line time after time? Will the answers serve to save further victims?
Chase’s characters are strong and bold, unafraid to face their fears as well as the unknown. Emily has heart, and yet she often wears her feelings where others can see them. She is very in love with Rick and their interplay only adds to the danger and beauty of Dark Mind. The identity of the killer is unexpected, and his mind is a bit warped. The evil inherent in his thoughts is all about sacrifice and what his place is. Each character is well fleshed out and quite human, yet courageous as well. They put the lives of others ahead of themselves and refuse to give up.
The beauty of the island paradise is shown throughout the story; you can see the jungle and the waterfalls. You can feel the danger in the quiet of the area, but you can also feel the breathtaking panorama, even during dangerous scenes. The heat of romance sizzles and the danger of the events create coldness inside. The mix is very exciting.
I would recommend Dark Mind for the romance lover but for the serious thriller reader as well. The suspense is superb and well written, and the romance is electric. This would be a great book for the reader in your home.