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Book Author: Patrick Lee

DARK SITE by Patrick Lee: Book Review

Danica Ellis, a forty-one-year-old divorcée trying to put her life together, and Sam Dryden, a former Special Forces operative, would seem to have nothing in common.  In fact, when they meet each believes the other to be a total stranger.  But it turns out they do share something–on the same day, someone tried to kill both of them.

Dark Site opens with Danica shopping for groceries at two in the morning, just after she completes her second-shift job.  The store is empty except for a single cashier and a young couple just behind her in the checkout line.  After paying for her purchases, Danica heads to her car and is about to begin loading the purchases inside when the man and woman come up behind her, and the man strikes a savage blow to her neck.

Somehow managing to escape, Danica runs into the woods.  When she hears the couple’s van pull out of the lot and speed away, she tries to imagine who would want to abduct her, or worse.  There’s only one person she can think of who could help her, the stepfather from whom she has been estranged for more than two decades.

Carl Gilmore is a retired FBI agent, and when Danica arrives at the house they had shared when her mother was alive and tells him her story, he knows exactly what is happening.  He gives her an envelope that her mother had given him and made him promise never to share with her daughter.  But now he thinks it’s time for Danica to understand her past and why she may be an assassin’s target.

Miles away, Sam is looking at an old house he is considering buying and fixing up for sale.  He tells the realtor he’ll make a decision and will call him soon.  As soon as the agent drives away, he hears another car pull into the driveway.  When Sam turns to look, expecting that the agent has returned for some forgotten item, a man opens the driver’s side door with a pistol pointing at Sam.

Sam is able to overpower his assailant and in the ensuing fight is forced to kill the man.  He looks through his pockets for some identification but finds none.  And then the man’s cell phone rings.

Sam ignores the call but texts to the number.  The person on the other end is the one who ordered the murder, and now, thinking that the assassin has succeeded, the man orders “the killer” to go to another location and murder the woman he will find there. Sam doesn’t know who this woman can be or why either one of them has been targeted for death, but he races to the address to rescue her.

By the time Sam arrives at Carl’s home, Carl has been shot to death and Danica is seconds away from the same fate.  Sam is able to kill her would-be assassin, and Sam and Danica run from the house and drive away with the sound of police sirens in their ears.

The answer to why someone wants the two dead goes back nearly thirty years.  The only clue they have is contained in the file that Danica now possesses.

Dark Site is a nail-biting thriller.  Its plot is exciting, its characters well-drawn, and the motive behind the attempted murders of Danica and Sam are all-too-believable.

You can read more about Patrick Lee at this website.

Check out the complete Marilyn’s Mystery Reads at her website.  In addition to book review posts, there are sections featuring Golden Oldies, Past Masters and Mistresses, and an About Marilyn column that features her opinions about everything to do with mystery novels.