Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere

April 2nd, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 20 Comments

2nd Apr
Under Dark Skies  by A.J. Scudiere
Under Dark Skies
by A.J. Scudiere
Series: Forensic Files: Under Dark Skies #1
Published by: Griffin Ink
Genres: Crime, Paranormal, Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever be allowed to work for the FBI again, so the special FBI division of NightShade seems like an amazing opportunity. But all too soon, her chance to start over starts to disturb her. When the FBI offers Donovan a chance to leave his job as a medical examiner and try his hand at something new, he takes a chance on the NightShade division. Somehow, he has to try to escape from his shadows, but can he trust Eleri with the truth? Thrown together on their first case, Eleri and Donovan must deal with a charismatic cult leader and his true-believers. The cult is mixed up with several decade-old kidnapping cases and the missing daughter of a prominent FBI Agent. As Eleri and Donovan dig deeper, they discover that NightShade’s mysteries aren’t coincidence. Their secrets will save them . . . or destroy them

What a delightfully interesting beginning to a series Under Dark Skies, by A.J. Scudiere turned out to be. This is the first book in the Nightshade Forensic Files series. At its heart  the story is an FBI thriller but Scudiere weaved in paranormal elements within this special unit of the FBI.

We meet Eleri Eames as she is waiting outside of a psychiatric hospital. On her last case, her insight into the killer found her being detained as a possible accomplice. She has just learned the FBI has assigned her to the NightShade division and secured her release. Donovan a former medical examiner has just completed his training at Quantico. Eleri is appointed lead and the two are assigned their first case.

The case focuses on a secluded cult and their leader. They are believed to be responsible for several kidnapping cases and most recently the abduction of an FBI agent’s daughter. As the two dig deeper and get to know each other each notices odd things about their partner. For example, while on recon Donovan wearing a GPS device, clocked thirty-two miles an hour. Was it a glitch? Instinctively Eleri knows who to question and where to search for clues. None of these things quite add up and the NightShade division may just be more than either of them expected.

From the mysterious NightShade division to the characters, I found myself slipping right into this case. The tale was well balanced and the paranormal elements had a plausibility to them. It is somewhat how I imagine those different from us living among us. The procedural aspect was not overwhelming as NightShade follows its own guidelines. Any forensics was light on procedural details and focused more on the abilities of certain characters. I loved that the focus was on the case itself and it read like an FBI thriller. The concept of this special FBI division is not a new one, just look at the Krewe of Hunters series by Heather Graham but Scudiere adds twists and I quite enjoyed it.

It took me a little time to connect with Donovan and Eleri. Given the burden/secrets they have been carrying, it was understandable. There is no romance in this novel, although one could develop going forward. I am curious to see if we will get to know other members of this unit and the cases, we will encounter.

Because the paranormal elements are, low-key Under Dark Skies will make a lovely crossover book for those interested in trying an FBI thriller and those wanting to dabble a little in paranormal. I myself am looking forward to reading the next case.

About A.J. Scudiere

It’s AJ’s world. A strange place where patterns jump out and catch the eye, very little is missed, and most of it can be recalled with a deep breath. It’s different from the world the rest of us inhabit, but anyone can see it – when we read. In this world, the smell of Florida takes three weeks to fully leave the senses and the air in Dallas is so thick that the planes “sink” to the runways rather than actually landing. For AJ, texture reigns supreme. Whether it’s air or blood or virus, it can be felt and smelled. School is a privilege and two science degrees (a BA and MS) mean less than the prize of knowledge. Teaching is something done for fun (and the illusion of a regular paycheck) and is rewarding at all levels, grade school through college. AJ is no stranger to awards and national recognition for outstanding work as a teacher, trainer and curriculum writer.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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20 Responses to “Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere”

  1. Melliane

    Oh this one sounds so interesting! FBI paranormal thriller? I just love the mix and the story sounds really good too! I want to try! You always have many new books to me, that’s so much fun! Thanks for the review!

    Melliane recently posted: Shadows of Fate by Angela Dennis
  2. Ramona

    This one sounds delightful! The whole FBI agent let’s-solve-the-case thing doesn’t really speak to me, but add to it a sprinkle of paranormal happenings & clues and I’m your girl for the next 250 – 400 pages 😀 Really good review, Kimba.

    Ramona recently posted: Fool For Books Giveaway Hop
  3. Katherine

    Something about the way I glanced at this picture in my feed made me think it said R.L. Stein which surprised me a bit! This does sound interesting and I like that the paranormal aspects are fairly light. I’m okay with there not being a romance. Sometimes in thrillers a romance just doesn’t fit!

  4. Chelsea

    I just finished this book too! I loved it! I’m actually really excited to see what happens next. Great review 🙂

  5. Rita

    This sounds like fun! I like FBI books, Criminal Minds-type shows and sometimes a bit of paranormal. Good combo and I might give this a try.

    Rita recently posted: March 2015 Recap