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Romance and other things

This is the reworked review of the same book

Darkness - Kate Sherwood

You guys do not have to read it, I reworked the draft and posting it mostly for myself to teach myself certain things an make myself remember certain things.



A murdered prostitute. An obvious suspect. Clear evidence. For once, Jericho Crewe has a straightforward crime to investigate, and Wade Granger isn’t involved.
It all seems so simple, but Jericho’s instincts won’t let him rest. As he investigates, he finds troubling suggestions that the murder is a part of something larger and more sinister. But working within the boundaries of the law may keep him from finding the truth. If Jericho doesn’t break the rules, an innocent man may rot in jail while a killer remains free to strike again.
Inevitably, it all comes back to Wade. Because who else knows as much about breaking rules? And who else knows Jericho the way Wade does—not wisely, but far, far too well?
Dear Kate Sherwood, my first reaction after reading this third part of the four book series was that I really stopped liking Jericho as a romantic lead. Actually my reaction looked a lot like a long rant …
The readers who have read my review of the first two parts of this series know that while I was waiting with the baited breath to read the answers to the questions I had about Wade’s motivations and who killed Jericho’s father, I was torn about what seemed like inevitable reunion of Jericho and Wade as lovers.
As I said before, I do not like this trope at all as a rule. I think that cop getting together with the criminal, especially if such criminal is a suspect of your investigation/s ( and goodness knows Wade managed to become a suspect in many) makes the cop look stupid at best and corrupted at worst.
However the writer here managed to achieve the impossible – obviously it was hard to imagine any other outcome of the series except Jericho and Wade getting back together – and I found myself ready to start making excuses for them. Hey, it is not like Jericho fell for the suspect he never knew, Wade was his first love and Wade would do anything for him, anything. And good people do stupid things.
I was ready to start convincing myself and then this book came along and it was really surprising because now it felt like Jericho and Wade getting together was the least of my problems with Jericho as a character.
As blurb tells you in this book Jericho is investigating the case which is seemingly unrelated to Wade Granger. Prostitute is killed and at first it seems that Will, the guy both Jericho and Wade went to school with did it. Only Jericho starts doubting that Will is guilty pretty fast.  There is also the fact that Will is living with the brain injury now after the horrible accident he was in and one of the consequences of his specific injury that he cannot talk anymore and cannot really defend himself against the accusations. But at first they do not have any other suspects and while Jericho may be in doubt arrest Will he does.
Very soon he realizes that Will was framed and the guy who framed him maybe a serial killer who already killed before, got away with it and just as now framed a guy with intellectual disability (wording from the book) for the murder. Or maybe not because Jericho and sheriff’s office  have no evidence whatsoever to pin the murder on him. So Jericho decides that he needs to consult Wade on things related to investigation.
Have I mentioned that consulting with known criminal as to the sheriff’s office investigation counts to me as stupidity of massive proportions?  Well it seems like Jericho is aware of that, but he goes ahead and does it *anyway*.
"Jericho could physically hear the warning voice in his head. You can’t discuss an ongoing investigation with a known criminal, you idiot! The voice was right, obviously, but Jericho’s real voice said, “You give me your word, Wade? You tell me that this isn’t one of your games, it isn’t part of some new scheme to run drugs across the border using ex-athletes with brain injuries, it’s just—just you and me, having a conversation about my day?” Wade was still for a moment, then nodded. “I give you my word.” The word of a criminal, the word of the man who was the prime suspect in the death of Jericho’s own father—it was completely meaningless. Except it wasn’t, not with Wade standing there, staring Jericho right in the eye, unflinching."
Eventually Jericho takes the reigns of justice in his own hands and concludes this investigation in a way that made me want to punch him in the face and throw the book against the wall. I was honestly not sure if I wanted to continue with the story.  I mean I wanted to know the ending, but I just hated Jericho so badly at the moment that I was not sure what to do.
However a friend with whom I discussed the story (ranted about the story actually) pointed to me that a law enforcement officer administering his own brand of justice is a very common trope in westerns. And then a light bulb went in my head that I was reading this story completely wrong. I expected the law enforcement to behave as modern law enforcement does (and I am talking about honest servants of the law not corrupted ones  of whose existence in real life I am perfectly aware), or at least close to. I did not expect the need to suspend my disbelief that much.
But it looks like that this story is looking more and more like a modern western and this is what I should expect from the law enforcement in this book – we will do justice according to our moral views ( never mind the slippery slope we already entered) and not according to the laws which often do not work anyway and it is a small town anyway and the rules are different there.
I am still doing the mental adjustment as I am typing this review, but even though I have not read the last part of the story yet, the blurb sounds so wacky and reminds me of the western even more.
“Nobody’s a bad guy, nobody’s a good guy. It’s all just broken. And you can’t fix it, not with all the laws you could ever come up with.” “So what are we supposed to do? Give up? Stop caring, stop trying to make anything better?” It wasn’t a rhetorical question; Jericho really wanted to hear Wade’s answer. But Wade’s shrug was noncommittal. “Keep trying if it helps you sleep at night. But don’t get too worked up when it doesn’t do you any good, you know?” His smile was fond and gentle. “You were always too much of an optimist. I feel like I spent half my high school years trying to keep the world from disappointing you. You and your Laws of Jericho—even then, you wanted to impose order on chaos. And even then, I knew it couldn’t be done. But I wanted to believe, all the same.” Jericho stared at him, and Wade stared right back.”
So I don’t know  if I ever will be back to liking Jericho as much as I did before I read this book, but at least I am not as angry as I was after I finished reading it because I get now that the world he lives in maybe okay with the way he does his sheriff duties.
Another major disappointment I had with the revelation who killed Jericho’s father. It was just so predictable and so very boring , however Jericho’s reaction while pissed me off was once again very much in line with taking justice in his own hands.
Grade: C/C-