Find Me in the Dark (Detective Harlow Durant #1), by Dea Poirier

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Dea Poirier, and Bookouture Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Always eager to discover great authors that have never crossed my radar, I picked up this series debut by Dea Poirier. As I usually enjoy a dark police procedural with a strong backstory for the protagonist, Poirier pulled me in with the opening chapters and I could not get enough. A body found in a pile of snow could be a snowblower accident in upstate New York. However, when more bodies appear and Detective Harlow Durant receives messages instructing her to leave, it would appear that a killer is lurking in the shadows and targeting young women. Chilling and intense throughout, perfect for those who need something to keep them on edge.

While Plattsburgh, New York is no joy in the winter, when the Spring thaw commences, it is usually quite nice. However, this March may be the exception, when the body of a young woman is found sticking out of a snowbank. It appears as though she’s been there quite a while, encased in ice and preserved for all to see.

Detective Harlow Durant arrives on the scene to assess the situation before her. Part of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Durant has much to prove to her colleagues, as well as a number of secrets. For the time being, she’ll keep the case at hand and look for a break to make this a quick solve.

After identifying the victim from a list of missing person reports, Durant discovers that the woman lived two lives, depending on who knew her. Working alongside a new partner, Durant tries to piece it all together, only to find herself with more questions than answers. All the while, someone threatens her for being in town and investigating. Should she be heeding the anonymous advice?

When another body emerges in the snow, Durant knows that this is the work of the same person, but struggles to connect the dots. All the while, her secret past begins to emerge to her colleagues, some of whom are ready to pounce on her and cast her out. Durant will have to work through it all and find that one clue, buried out there, to tie the killings together, in hopes of locating a killer before it becomes a spree. A great series debut that has me wanting more.

While this was my first Dea Poirier book, it will certainly not be my last. This novel had all the elements I look for in a great thriller and kept my attention throughout. I found the narrative crisp and the plot ever-developing, which left me wanting to know more with each passing chapter. I cannot wait to see where Harlow Durant goes within the series.

Harlow Durant was a well-crafted protagonist with a great deal going on. If it’s not her sharp police work, it’s trying to handle many of the flashbacks to her fated childhood, with a father who led a double life and a mother who abandoned her at the worst time. Balancing these two areas of her life, Durant enriches the story with her presence and kept me wanting to learn more. Gritty as needed but also showing some slight vulnerabilities, she’s surely got a lot to show readers in the future.

Poirier knows how to write and deliver a strong thriller, of that I have no doubt. The narrative flowed well and kept gaining momentum at the perfect time, leaving the reader to wonder what was coming next. Using the small town setting, the story was not lost in the rush of the big city, allowing it to complement the plot as it thickened. Great writing and just the right number of twists keep the reader guessing until the final reveal, yet also opening new and chilling avenues for the next novel to come. I will be waiting anxiously, to see what Dea Poirier has for us next.

Kudos, Madam Poirier, for a stunning series debut that left me with some burning questions. I will certainly be back for more!

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