Read Into the Dark by Alison Gaylin Online


In USA Today bestselling author Alison Gaylin's latest book, Missing Persons Investigator Brenna Spector is back, this time on the case of a performance artist, whereabouts unknown-a case that strikes dangerously close to home...

Title : Into the Dark
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780061878251
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 370 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Into the Dark Reviews

  • Janet Robel
    2019-06-16 08:20

    This is the second book in the Brenna Spector series. Brenna is very unusual. She has a memory of recall that most of us wish we possessed. I definitely recommend reading the first book so you can follow Brenna as the books delve deeper into her past. Of course, this has a mystery that is the main focus which Brenna and her partner Trent have to solve. I happened upon this series by chance, and I'm so glad that I did. I love discovering new suspense authors, and I definitely have to read the third book since this one leaves the reader with more questions.

  • Julie
    2019-05-19 07:19

    I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book on Goodreads. So, first of all I want to say "Thank You" to Goodreads, the author and publisher.I also hope I'm not committing some kind of faux pas by posting the review before the book is released. However, I just couldn't sit on it that long. This book is not to be missed.Brenna,is a private Detective, mother of a 13 year old daughter, divorced, and lives with a condition that causes her to remember every moment of every day in vivid detail. However, her memories of childhood remain fuzzy before the disapperance of her sister, Clea.Now, a web sensation calling herself Lula Belle, begins repeating phrases that Brenna's mother used, and telling stories about her childhood that mirror Brenna's memories. Could Lula Belle be her missing sister?When Brenna is hired by her former boss to look into the case, Brenna becomes as obsessed as the men addicted to watching Lula Belle's performances. One lead takes her to another lead, to a murder, then another murder. Brenna herself becomes a target as she gets too close to the truth.I love this trend of mixing literary prose with the mystery novel. This is a dark, moody, mystery/psychological thriller combined with a rich, lush prose that sucks you into the story so deeply you don't even realize you've read half the book already.Brenna's hyperthymesia (or something like that),is a blessing and a curse. It is useful as a PI, but mostly, it causes her to go off into her own world as she relives each detail of her memories. This makes Brenna a very interesting character. Her personal and professional lives are often difficult to balance. In this case it's even more personal. Brenna hopes to find answers to the questions that have haunted her all these years about her sister. I think we should be keeping our eyes on this author. I see this author hitting the best seller list in the future. This a very good mystery and then some.I believe this is the second Brenna Spector novel. I went to and ordered the first book right after I finished this one. . This one gets an A!

  • Renita D'Silva
    2019-06-15 11:17

    Loved this book. Thrilling and unputdownable. Love Brenna.

  • Johnny
    2019-05-27 13:01

    WON THIS GIVEAWAY COURTESY OF GOODREADS FIRST READS!Post-Thoughts:I'll like to start off by listing a few grammatical errors. Since this giveaway book I received is an ARC, I didn't let the mistakes play huge part into my rating.Pg.88 : "No. That closed I think. This place is called Bacon."Pg.147: "But I should get home to Maya, and she wouldn't appreciate it if came in trashed."Pg.263: "Anyway, I'm thinking his not answering me is a little over the top..."Pg.368: "When Gary had received the phone calls from Gary and begged...Besides the errors, I found this book quite enjoyable due to its suspenseful mystery and mundane references. The beginning dialogue had me hooked and entertained initially. I was actually anticipating something humorous to be said at every turn than anything else for a time. And that anticipation involved Trent being in the story. I don't think there was ever a moment when Trent appeared and not say something amusing. The inferences he made about coke bottles, the resemblance of Diandra's (DeeDee) as Jessica Alba only from the neck down, and etc... His facetious remarks are those of a fatuous stereotypical male playboy, but nonetheless he is intelligent, or as he would described himself, "God".There are other references I would like to point out, such as RJ's supposedly appearance resembles that of Steven Spielberg but he was more of Michael Moore look-alike. There were also instances of Justin Beiber and Rhianna being brought up. Pg. 331 "He heard his own voice in his head-like those drunk Mel Gibson tapes people were making ringtones out of." Having the story based in a contemporary setting made it easier to grasp and provided a upbeat connection to the book.One huge problem for me regards to the lack of information explained from the previous book. The Neff's case, Lieberman's book, and the televised show Maid of the Mist had me left in the dark wondering what was they were about. They all played a significant role in a sense, like puzzles, to solving the mystery that I didn't know much about.Overall, an outstanding book!Cover:First thing I notice, her ginormous name that takes up a third of the cover. I'm proud of my name as well but that doesn't mean you should make the font size 200 and everything else microscopic. I wish she switched the font size of her name with the title of the book, but then I realize, that kind of ruins the augury. The girl exhibits a subtle eeriness striding along a dirt road into the foggy dark forest alone. I also notice behind her there are two beams of light, much like from a car, possibly insinuating a stalking predator perhaps. I like how the girl and her bike are marked blue, providing a great contrast to the darkness environment making her stand out. This is probably why the title is lower cased and the font size being smaller than her name. My main problem with the cover is the light green spiky circular symbol labeled "Great New Read, Great Low Price!" That just kills the cover. I know that symbol is just an advertising stint, thus the cover would do better without it. Instead, just wait and cover that insert with an award or medal. Until then, that needs to removed. A very inconspicuous cover and yet very provocative. I'm excited and curious about reading this mystery! Conclusion:First time reading a book by Alison Gaylin and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As well as what Harlan Coben said, "label me a big fan." "★★★★"

  • Rhonda
    2019-05-27 05:51

    " That's the question that haunts Brenna Spector when she first sees footage of missing webcam performer Lula Belle. Naked but hidden in shadow, the "performance artist" shares her deepest, darkest secrets with her unseen male audience . . . secrets that, to Brenna, are chillingly familiar.Brenna has perfect memory, able to recall in astonishing detail every moment of every day of her adult life. But her childhood—those carefree years before the traumatic disappearance of her sister, Clea—is frustratingly vague. When Brenna listens to the stories Lula Belle tells her audience, stories only Brenna and Clea could know, those years come to life again in vivid detail. Convinced the missing internet performer has ties to her sister, Brenna takes the case—and in her quest for Lula Belle unravels a web of obsession, sex, guilt, and murder that could regain her family . . . or cost her life. "*** Spoilers***This book is actually a 3.5 stars for me but since we can't do halves right now I just went with 3.This is the second Brenna Spector book I have read. The story line was good and for the most part interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat but there were some story flaws I didn't like- or they were flaws to me.A few things were never explained and seemed to have just been forgotten about.And in this book, just as in the first book, Brenna is constantly searching for some link to her sister who went missing when they were kids and all these clues keep turning up to her sister yet turn out to be dead ends.The whole missing sister angle is the part I didn't like. Every time that subject was reintroduced into the chapter I kept thinking... "here we go, back to Mulder and X Files again ". (For those of you who don't' watch X Files, the whole show is based around his sister who was kidnapped when they were children and he is constantly looking for clues to where she might be ).Alison has great ideas for good books but the continuing search for a missing sister (since childhood) has put me off and I doubt I will read anymore of these books.There were also a lot of repetitive flashbacks from events that had happened in the first book, but also flashbacks that had been flashbacks in the first book as well- not even new writing, just the same flashback I had read about before.

  • Yasmin
    2019-06-12 07:58

    Into the Dark was a fast read for me because I wanted to know what happened to the sister...but I'm not sure I ever connected with the author's writing style. Something was off, missing for me. Not sure if it was the quirky characters, the slap stickiness, the crazy ending, some of the dumb things that Brennan did esp. as it involved her daughter, Trent...although he was a goofy geek I did like him, or that humor was trying to be infused into what I thought was supposed to be a novel of suspense. Understand that Into the Dark is part of a series but not sure I'll be taking the plunge to read other books from this author as I'm not sure her writing style is for me.

  • Brooke Banks
    2019-05-30 06:11

    [ARC Review] Into The Dark: Alright Thriller With An Interesting Protagonist Oops...It's a series. Damn. I have not read the first book with Brenna Spencer, And She Was. I’m a Random Order Reader this time around. Into the Dark works as is reading out of order with no previous knowledge of the author or the characters. Of course, I cannot answer how it works as a series and I can't know how different reading it would be, if I had done it in order. The Neff case, the first book's mystery, itself isn't discussed at all (just referenced to) but there's personal character flashbacks. While reading I kept thinking “This feels like a series...” I wasn’t lost or confused though. Just curious and wondering a bit: “Why this other case is such a big deal?” and “Why everyone started acting differently because of it?” As of now, I do plan on reading the first book and continuing the series, but it's not a burning need. Just keeping an eye out and if I get into the mood for this kind of read, I know which books to turn to. Brenna's condition is an interesting condition for a protagonist to have and it's a difficult one to include in text, as you'll find out.Can a stranger share your memories?Series: Brenna Spencer #2 Genre:Mystery, Suspense/Thriller, Age: Adult Format: MMP ARC, 384 pgs. Source: Goodreads First Reads Giveaway for review purposes Rating: 2.5 Recommendable? ConditionallyThat's the question that haunts Brenna Spector when she first sees footage of missing webcam performer Lula Belle. Naked but hidden in shadow, the "performance artist" shares her deepest, darkest secrets with her unseen male audience . . . secrets that, to Brenna, are chillingly familiar. Brenna has perfect memory, able to recall in astonishing detail every moment of every day of her adult life. But her childhood—those carefree years before the traumatic disappearance of her sister, Clea—is frustratingly vague. When Brenna listens to the stories Lula Belle tells her audience, stories only Brenna and Clea could know, those years come to life again in vivid detail. Convinced the missing internet performer has ties to her sister, Brenna takes the case—and in her quest for Lula Belle unravels a web of obsession, sex, guilt, and murder that could regain her family . . . or cost her life. How can you forgive and forget when you can never forget?The GoodThe Bad & The OtherIntriguing twist on the “perfect memory” or similar “perfect trait for case-solving with personal drawbacks”but the execution made it a hard read. Flashbacks were annoying at first and hard to get used toTense mystery and suspense, guessing and uncertainty til the endbut if I paid attention and tried solving it while reading, I don't think it'd be as successfulLast sentence rockedBrenna was stupid and whiny sometimes. Needs character progression or I'm done with the seriesThe coverTacky “Great new read, Great low price!” sticker that ruins the cover Missing common sense at times, raising minor issues The opening scene I had to re-read it because it was so jarring trying to figure out WTF. Re-reading and flipping back pages was common because of the massively detailed, hard to parse, constant flashbacks out of nowhere. Most often the flashbacks were pointless, except to properly show what Brenna had to cope with. In that sense, the flashbacks were effective. I was just as tired, bored and frustrated with the flashbacks as Brenna. It was a rocky start but I pressed on though because I was intrigued by the story. It became more enjoyable further along. I adjusted to Brenna's head and it picked up a bit after 100 pages. Then it really ramped up after another hundred. The ending was as solid as the beginning was unsure. Brenna & Cast: Great If You Can Get Past Things Like Sexism Brenna, and I didn't really mesh at first because all the flashbacks. After adjusting, I liked her and wasn't completely annoyed with all her whining due to the problems caused by her hyperthymesia, except about things that were all her fault. Then there were times where I questioned her judgment and wanted to smack some sense into her. All in all, Brenna was just okay. Considering how it ended I'm hopeful for her character progression in the next book, which shouldn't be such a battle for me to get into. But if it's more of the same, I'll probably DNF it. Maya, Brenna's daughter, I like and feel for considering she's stuck loving her mother and hating what her mother does. I hope Brenna does step it up in the next book because I don't know if I can deal with more of Brenna's neglect. Yeah, yeah, extenuating circumstances and Brenna means well but it seems like a pattern of behavior to me. And fuck that nonsense. Trent is a douchebag, even Brenna thinks so. He'd belong on the Jersey Shore with the rest of the Guidos but he's a smart tech geek. Vin Diesel, Trent's idol, is a D&D nerd (I love swooning over THAT guy, seriously) but he's not a douche about dating like Trent. Trent is an often disgusting player, and doesn't stop hitting on women, even after they repeatedly say no. Creepy, harasser, much? I'd like to get to know Trent under all that false sexist bravado and there's glimpses of him being decent but unless you're a cat or his friend, steer clear of Trent. He's got that “bad boy with a heart of gold” crap going on under all that spray tan and hair gel, which I loathe because far too many people give sexist shit a pass because of that.  Sure, some of the funniest moments comes from Trent (dearly needed in the sad ass case and MC) and he's helpful on the case. However, every time he talks to or about women, I want to smack him quiet. And that's a hard feeling to shake, even when he's not actively spouting bullshit. Now, Nick I liked except for his "Men do this, women do that" attitude. Gods, far too much sexist crap in this book and coming from characters we're supposed to like no less. Worse yet, I'd like them with no hesitation if it wasn't for this. Brenna isn't having any of it at least. For now anyways, there's some playful banter between the two. I hope it stays this way but a woman MC hardly ever stays single for long and I'm not seeing any other possibilities. (Un)Surprisingly, I Liked the Mystery but…. The mystery had me turning pages as improbably twisted and convoluted as it was. Perfect crime show hype, just ignore the junk behind the curtain. I didn't guess til the end how it would all come together. Hindsight shows I could have seen it coming but meh. I didn't pay attention to all the pieces when reading. I wouldn't be surprised if someone else does though and finds it obvious. Parts of the ending just rocked, others made me go "Ohhhhhhhh" but nothing really shocked. The last line is killer though. While I did have to adjust to time jumping, the writing itself was great. Here's some quotes I like: On page 40,The day had gone where it always went - in and out of wormholes, with Brenna swallowed up by memories, then snapping herself back to reality. Back and forth, back and forth.On pg. 57,She would've been hard-pressed to find any item of apparel that tried half as hard as that bag did.On page 80,It was a Tudor three-story walk up on a street that happened to be full of them. But it stood out from the others in that it was literally crawling with ivy. Brenna normally liked a little ivy on old buildings - she found it cozy and collegiate-but in this case it just seemed liked a symptom of decay, the plant devouring the frail building, pulling it back into the earth. Someone had put a wreath on the front door, a big, clumsy thing, dripping Christmas bells. But it only added to the feeling-the Ivy Monster's bejeweled sidekick. Minor Things That Bothered Me: ....How do they expect to keep these violent happenings (with police involvement, no less) hidden from Maya's father and stepmother? They don't watch the news? For crying out loud, Faith (the stepmom) is a reporter! Speaking of which, the police force seems awfully incompetent since they didn't really investigate, didn't ask anyone any questions. Of course, it doesn't help that Brenna didn't report half the stuff either. Yeah, smart move Brenna. Okay, so P.I's going it alone and a bumbling police force are standards in this genre but usually the reasons for not going to the police are talked about. That's the rub, it was never brought up. Silence was just a given. Am I just suppose to assume why? There's two sentences brought up about Brenna's issue with the police force but it wasn't regarding why she doesn't report things like a normal person. Is my answer in the first book? If you don't talk about it, it seems like the characters were too stupid to think of going to police. Whatever the reason, the apparent lack of common sense irritated me. Bottomline:For every positive aspect, there's a downside and it didn't get going for me until halfway through. But there's a protagonist with an interesting condition and a crime show type case to follow. Now if only those damn characters didn't make it so hard. Recommended for:Mystery and Suspense/Thriller fans if you can accept or ignore some problems. Updated on 9/17/2015 for better editing, new rating system, and formatting with new template.

  • Book-Lover Book Blog
    2019-05-31 10:16

    Ahh!! How can it end that way!? I want to know more, I need to know more. Brenna has been on one heck of a rollercoaster in this one, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. More and more information piled on top of her and she still wasn't close to finding out the truth... and I don't think she really got the WHOLE truth after all that tail chasing. We again meet Nick Morasco, which I'm glad of, I really like him and Brenna and he work well together in a way. Brenna is definitely a tough cookie to crack and I'm so glad for the flashbacks to the previous book!!Another amazing book from an phenomenal author.

  • Carol Jean
    2019-06-16 14:20

    Well, it didn't take long for this series to become unbearably dull. No wonder Brenna hates her crystal clear perfect memory -- I didn't live the experiences the first time, and I found myself speed-reading through her memories of them!

  • Emily
    2019-06-09 07:54

    Lucky enough to snag an advance copy at Bouchercon. I loved it! Hope there is another one in the works!

  • Joan Horkey
    2019-06-06 07:05

    I really liked this book until the end. I didn't understand the ending. :(

  • Melissa
    2019-05-30 10:58

    Good second book in the series, advances the storyline in an intriguing way, definitely makes me want to read the next installment to see where it will head.

  • Gina
    2019-05-26 07:16

    Just an ok book. It had a slow start but picked up the pace eventually. 3 stars.

  • Sheila
    2019-06-09 08:05

    3.5 stars. Though the ending was a bit jumbled/rushed, the book made me want to continue with the series. So far the pacing of the large mystery is well done, and I like the characters.

  • Zoë Caldera
    2019-05-19 12:09

    What can I say? Alison Gaylin hooked me on the first ever book I read by her "And she was", now I am a bonafide die-hard fan!! This book had me on the edge of my seat from the Prologue to the Epilogue! Not a single page had any dull moments. I loved how Gaylin provided a clear set up for the new characters introduced as well as bringing back the much loved characters from book #1 in the series. All the necessary questions were answered at the end, leaving the cliff hangers for her following book! I would definitely recommend reading the whole Brenna Spector series if you want a page gripping, heart pounding, jaw dropping good read!

  • Michelle
    2019-06-03 06:12

    (3.5 stars) This is the second book in the Brenna Spector series. Brenna is pulled in by her old boss to covertly work on an investigation into a missing person. She does not want to be involved, but he lures her with the fact that the missing woman, Lula Belle, may have information on her sister who disappeared years ago. The woman is an internet performance artist and Brenna is disturbed that some of her monologues bring back memories and events involving her sister. Compelled by her need to find out more, Brenna digs into the investigation, as the story becomes more and more twisted, and the bodies begin to pile up. She realizes that she herself may be in danger, but the lure of clues about her sister are too hard to pass up. Brenna’s perfect memory plays an important role as the cast of characters begin to show some ulterior motives. This is a dark, twisty, and suspenseful tale.

  • Pat
    2019-05-29 07:52

    Well this was a pleasant surprise: a new mystery series with an interesting heroine, comic relief and a complex plot that satisfies. I will be reading more by Gaylin..always good to find a new author.

  • Ghada
    2019-05-20 13:09

    Loved it! A true page turner that hooks you up since page one. I’m definitely hunting for more of her books

  • Maura
    2019-05-20 07:13

    Inhalt:Brenna Spector kann sich an jeden einzelnen Moment ihres Lebens erinnern. Als Privatdetektivin ist dies ein Segen, aber in ihrem Privatleben erscheint es ihr als Fluch. In ihrem neusten Fall, geht es um eine vermisste Frau, die im Internet nackt vor einem Paravent posiert. Niemand kennt ihren Namen, niemand ihr Gesicht. Und Brenna kennt nicht einmal die Person, die Brenna den Auftrag gegeben hat,die Frau zu finden. Doch die Vermisste hat in ihren Videos immer wieder Geschichten aus Brennas Kindheit erzählt. Dies kann eigentlich nur ihre Schwester wissen. Allerdings ist die als Kind verschwunden und Brenna hat sie seit dem nie mehr gesehen. Ist die vermisste Frau also vielleicht Brennas verlorengeglaubte Schwester?Aufmachung:Das Cover ist in eher dunkleren Farbtönen gehalten (Schwarz und Blau). Die Blüte jedoch ist in einem hellen Rosa bzw. Grün. Sie kann man, wenn man mit der Hand über das Cover fährt, ertasten, ebenso den Namen der Autorin.Auf dem Buchrückseite steht über dem Klappentext drei Sätze, wovon der dritte inhaltlich falsch ist und mich dadurch am Anfang beim Lesen etwas irritiert hat.Etwas was jetzt weniger mit der Aufmachung zu tun hat, aber trotzdem hier einmal angemerkt gehört, ist, dass ich nicht verstehe, warum der Titel „Aschebraut“ lautet. In dem Buch kommt das Wort kein einziges Mal vor. Auch keine „Braut“ oder „Asche“.Zudem verstehe ich auch den Sinn der Blüte nicht. Sie schaut zwar schön aus – genauso wie das ganze Cover – jedoch hat auch sie nicht wirklich etwas mit dem Inhalt zu tun, denn auch sie kommt nicht in der Geschichte vor. Das einzige, was evtl. eine Erklärung sein könnte, dass auch schon auf dem ersten Teil der Reihe eine Blüte (in dem Fall ist es eine Rose), abgebildet ist. Doch da heißt das Buch eben auch „Dornröschenschlaf“, was eine Erklärung für die Rose abgibt.Aufbau, Schreibstil und Perspektiven:Das Buch ist in 23 Kapitel, einen Prolog und einen Epilog gegliedert, die leider meist etwas zu lang sind.Der Schreibstil der Autorin lässt sich gut und flüssig lesen.Das Buch wird aus verschiedenen Perspektiven erzählt. Die Hauptperspektive ist natürlich die von Brenna Spector, aber auch andere Haupt-/Nebencharaktere bekommen eine Perspektive, die entweder bei dem Leser neue Fragen aufwirft oder leider etwas vorweg nimmt, was dann etwas an der Spannung zehrt.Meine Meinung:Ich habe mich richtig auf das Buch gefreut, da mir der erste Teil dazu (Dornröschenschlaf) wirklich sehr gut gefallen hat und ich mir so einiges von „Aschebraut“ erhofft habe.Aber, um das schon einmal vorweg zu nehmen, er ist nicht so gut wie der erste Teil, aber immer noch gut. Doch während ich die Rezension hier so geschrieben habe, bin ich mit meiner Wertung leider immer weiter nach unten gegangen, da ich einfach viel zu viel Negatives gefunden habe, um dem Buch volle Punktzahl zu geben, wie es mir mein Gefühl eigentlich sagt.Der Prolog hat mich nicht nur verwirrt und mir den Einstieg erschwert, nein, er nimmt der Geschichte auch viel zu viel vorweg. Lange rätselt Brenna an dem, was dem Leser schon auf den ersten 16 Seiten offenbart wird.Nichtsdestotrotz ist das Buch unheimlich spannend. Teilweise klebt man regelrecht an den Seiten und kann sich einfach nicht mehr losreißen. Man möchte nun endlich wissen, was es mit dieser geheimnisvollen Frau auf sich hat und ob sie wirklich Brennas Schwester ist.Brenna ist mir, wie auch im ersten Buch, sehr sympathisch. Man kann ihre Handlungen stets nachvollziehen und auch ihr Verhalten bei gewissen Dingen – die ich jetzt nicht nennen darf, um nicht zu spoilern – macht sie einem sehr sympathisch.Lediglich die gedanklichen Sprünge in die Vergangenheit, die man durch ihre besondere „Gabe“ miterlebt, sind teilweise etwas nervig. Oft habe ich sie auch einfach nur überflogen, weil sie meistens nichts mit der eigentlichen Geschichte zu tun haben. Hier hätte ich mir gewünscht, dass die Idee mit dem perfekten Gedächtnis, die ja wirklich gut ist und auch nicht so oft vorkommt, besser genutzt wird, indem sie z.B. den Verlauf der Geschichte vorantreibt oder neue Fragen aufwirft, die den Leser neugierig machen.Die Idee von der Geschichte und besonders auch die vom Fall fand ich jedoch sehr interessant, da man so etwas nun wirklich nicht so oft findet.Am Anfang gibt es einige Handlungsstränge, die scheinbar ohne sich zu überschneiden neben einander herlaufen. Später dann, als man immer mehr und mehr über die Vorgeschichten der Personen erfährt, erkennt man doch Verbindungen unter den einzelnen Personen, bis am Ende ihre Geschichten zu einem – im positiven Sinne – undurchdringbaren Netz zusammenlaufen, das sich dann jedoch ganz zum Schluss aufklärt.Mein Fazit:„Aschebraut“ hat mir im Großen und Ganzen eigentlich ganz gut gefallen, wenn auch nicht so gut wie ihr Vorgänger, da ich doch einige kleine Kritikpunkte gefunden habe, wie zum Beispiel der schwierige Einstieg in die Geschichte. Dennoch: Jeder der „Dornröschenschlaf“ gelesen hat, sollte auch unbedingt die Fortsetzung „Aschebraut“ lesen. Auch ich werde die Reihe weiter verfolgen.

  • Jeanna Read
    2019-06-12 06:00

    Love me some Brenna! Great follow up to the first, now to the third!!!

  • BookNerdsBrainDump
    2019-05-17 06:13

    Short Take: This one works great as the middle of a trilogy, not as well as a standalone.If you read my previous review, you already know a bit about Brenna Spector. She has the gift/curse of perfect recall (hyperthymestic syndrome), a 13-year-old daughter, and her own private investigation business, where she’s assisted by Trent, a goofy Jersey Shore stereotype/computer genius. Brenna specializes in missing persons cases, but has never been able to find her own sister Clea, who disappeared when she was 17 and Brenna was 11.Into the Dark picks up a few weeks after the ending of And She Was. Brenna has appeared on a morning talk show to discuss the resolution of the Neff case, and as a result, has gained much more business than she can handle. But when Errol Ludlow, her sleazy ex-boss, contacts her with a new case, it sounds just interesting enough to stand out.She calls herself Lula Belle, and her online videos have gained a massive following. She is filmed behind a screen, in silhouette only, as she performs semi-pornographic acts while telling long stories about her childhood in a southern drawl. Nobody knows who she really is, or what she really looks like. When her agent, Gary Freeman, has not heard from her in over two months, he hires Brenna to find Lula Belle. Gary has problems of his own - he’s obsessed with the cipher that is Lula Belle, and without new videos from her, he is facing a financial crisis. He’s also going to have plenty of marital problems if his wife ever discovers his true feelings for Lula Belle.But Gary Freeman isn’t the only one who will become consumed by Lula Belle's tales. When watching the videos, Brenna realizes that Lula Belle’s stories are from her own childhood - things that only her sister Clea would know.There’s a lot to like about this book. An amusing subplot of Trent trying to find a cat for a wealthy, lonely, older former client leads to some really heartfelt moments with him, giving a glimpse behind the pecs and hair gel. We also get to see more of Brenna’s interactions with her daughter Maya, who was offscreen for much of the first book.Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, some areas are lacking. We learn a little more about Clea, and get a few clues to her ultimate fate, but we don’t get any real answers. And we see Brenna seemingly getting closer to Nick Morasco, her detective boyfriend from Into the Dark, but there are also a lot of hints that Nick is keeping something important from her. Into the Dark is good, if you are reading the entire trilogy start to finish. It’s a nice bridge between the first and final books. Lula Belle’s story is resolved, and we are given more of Brenna and Clea’s story, but the loose ends leave the whole thing feeling unfinished. I’m on the fence as to whether this is a decent-enough book on its own, or just marketing material for the final book in the series. It’s compelling enough that I’m going to go on to read the final book, but I don’t know that I would recommend Into the Dark on its own merits.The Nerd’s Rating: THREE HAPPY NEURONS

  • Joop Liefaard
    2019-06-06 14:02

    Brenna Spector is een privé-detective die lijdt aan hyperthymesia, een zeldzame neurologische aandoening die maakt dat je je alles tot in detail kunt herinneren. Meestal ligt er aan het ontstaan van de aandoening een traumatische gebeurtenis ten grondslag en in het geval van Brenna is dat de verdwijning van haar oudere zus Clea, die dertig jaar geleden in een auto stapte en nooit meer thuis kwam. De nooit opgeloste verdwijning achtervolgt Brenna nog iedere dag. Als haar vroegere baas Errol Ludlow haar vraagt onderzoek te doen naar de verdwijning van performancekunstenares Lula Belle weigert Brenna aanvankelijk maar haar nieuwsgierigheid wordt gewekt als zij een video van Lula ziet. In die video vertelt Lula een verhaal over een gebeurtenis uit Brennas jeugd en het verhaal komt precies overeen met de herinnering die Brenna ervan heeft. Hoe kan Lula Belle dit weten? Wat weet zij over de verdwijning van Clea? Is deze mysterieuze vrouw in de schaduw misschien haar vermiste zus Clea? Brenna raakt geobsedeerd door de zaak en begint aan een gevaarlijk speurtocht. Alison Gaylin is een Amerikaanse journaliste die in diverse kranten en tijdschriften vooral over kunst en entertainment heeft geschreven. In 2005 debuteerde ze met de thriller Hide your eyes en met dat boek werd ze genomineerd voor de prestigieuze Edgar Award. Met de thriller en ze was (And she was) won ze in 2013 een Shamus Award. In het donker is deel twee in de Brenna Spector serie.In een mooie en ontspannen schrijfstijl construeert Alison Gaylin een interessant en boeiend plot met Lula Belle als middelpunt. Een performancekunstenaar die de harten van vele mannen sneller doet kloppen. Er blijft veel te raden bij haar half pornografische optredens waarbij haar gezicht altijd in het donker is. Dat verklaart ook haar enorme populariteit. Zij is een mysterie, een hype en een cult. De personages zijn goed uitgewerkt. Brenna is sympathiek maar zij zal nooit de prijs van moeder van het jaar winnen. De manier waarop zij met haar 13-jarige dochter omgaat irriteert af en toe. Trent LaSalle, haar assistent en computernerd is achter de fraaie woorden over zijn veroveringen en het vele haargel, een man met een gouden hart. Nick Morasco is de politie-inspecteur die erg behulpzaam is maar iets voor Brenna lijkt te verbergen.Belangrijk in het verhaal is de neurologische aandoening waaraan Brenna lijdt. Tijdens het onderzoek komen regelmatig herinneringen aan haar jeugd naar de oppervlakte. Ze helpen haar bij het onderzoek, zijn moeilijk te onderdrukken maar maken Brenna ook kwetsbaar. Alison Gaylin verwerkt ze kundig in het verhaal zonder dat ze verwarring veroorzaken.Het verhaal komt wat traag op gang maar als de vaart er eenmaal inzit is in het donker een thriller die heerlijk leest en boeit. Je krijgt steeds stukjes informatie die je een idee over de afloop geven maar die afloop is uiteindelijk toch heel anders dan je je had voorgesteld. De ontknoping is spannend, origineel en geloofwaardig. Er is een open einde met een aantal vragen die hopelijk in een volgende Brenna Spector thriller beantwoord zullen worden.

  • Karen
    2019-06-01 07:05

    I need to start rating books as another friend on here because the 5 stars do not rate well with some factor. Example for my not wanting to put this down for anything else rates a 5*. I wanted desperately to find out what happened to the missing sister. I really get into the main character and feel a part of the story here. I usually do not like single kids they have in a lot of these same type author's series, but I do really like Maya. High octane suspense and action.This book did not seem as good as the first in the series. I hated the romance element added. I do not like this guy they have her with. I did not like the book's ending, but just because I do not does not negate that it had actually a good ending. It seems like there should be another book to tie up some stuff. I am hoping there might be one, but no mention like in book on here. For some elements as mentioned and others minor I do not recall, I would give this book a 4* I would read another in this series. but maybe not as can't wait as with this one after And She Was: A Novel of Suspense. I had to wait so long and grabbed it up right away.I am going to start giving even using minus points for cussing, relations with no marriage commitment. I really like Brenna, but worried about being a good mom? We can go here without going this far and still make a good story. If this is okay for you, do not preach it at me. Maybe this element is needed for the story line. That I can agree with, but not for the heroes. Kids know and it is not a good example. Look at the news deeper for example. Just plain stupid to be this smart , but this dumb. No matter how lonely or in need of comfort you are with work or issues from the past.Get some integrity and character. I am giving this book 1* because of this element. Too bad any book I love for suspense has to be given this for these reasons alone. So to average this out. We have 5+4+1= 10 divided by 3 gives us a 3 and a remainder. If you do not care about the factors of the 1 star and will read books like this anyway I recommend this highly. I will read others, but want authors to know I do not care for it and will only read more if I can get them free from now on. I bought this and the first one. I will add that it is a hard line for me to find books that keep me in suspense without these elements so I will read them, but will not pay to read them. I also will not pay for silly fluff either and no meat.

  • Lisa Lilly
    2019-05-19 06:04

    When I bought this book, I didn't realize that it is the second in a series about Brenna Spector, a private investigator who developed an unusual mental ability (which is sometimes more of a curse) following childhood trauma. Brenna has perfect total recall of every second of her life from a certain point on. She also is always mourning her father and sister, who separately left the family when she was a child.The main mystery here is intriguing -- finding out what happened to Lula Belle, a performance artist/actress whose videos have gone viral though the woman herself has disappeared. On camera, Lula Belle speaks of childhood memories while presenting an alluring silhouette and moving in ways that border on porn. It turns out Lula Belle's "memories" are strikingly similar to snippets of Brenna's own life. How the case comes to Brenna's attention and what she does to track Lula Belle were, for me, the most suspenseful parts of the book. The flashbacks and references to what I eventually realized was an earlier book distracted me a bit, and I had a little trouble following them. I also am not sure Brenna's total recall memory added anything. At first I wasn't a fan of the almost-porn aspect of the mysterious Lula Belle. I get tired of seeing women in sex trades used as victims in thrillers and suspense. But Gaylin focused on Brenna unraveling the mystery and the interplay between her life and Lula Belle's memories rather than sensationalizing the sexual aspects, so ultimately I was okay with that.For the most part, i enjoyed Into the Dark. It is more of a 3.5 star book than a 4 for me, but I kept turning pages, reading it within a few days. I may go back and read the first book, as I suspect some of my confusion was due to coming in at Book 2.For authors, this is a good book to read before Book 1 if you want to get a sense of how references to the previous storyline work or don't for a new reader, something that is always a challenge to manage. (Personally, I thought most of them should have been either dropped where nothing vital was conveyed or expanded to be more clear.) Into the Dark is also a great book for seeing an author interweave a protagonist's personal narrative with the main plot without relying heavily on coincidence. That was one of my favorite aspects of the story.

  • Andrew
    2019-05-28 06:55

    See, that's what I get for reading that dang excerpt in the back of the first book.I quite enjoyed And She Was, and when I read the teaser for this - the sequel - at the end of it, I figured: "Why not go ahead and read it next?"What grabbed me about the advance sample was the excellent witty banter between Brenna and her over-the-top caricature of an assistant, Trent. It made me want to read on. Mission accomplished! Into the Dark is at its best when it's reveling in the oddness of that relationship.Trouble is, the mystery itself, (you know, the plot) left me a little flat. It's built around this phantom "Lula Belle" character who frankly I had a hard time understanding what exactly she was supposed to even be. The relationships between the components of the mystery seemed confusing and complex at times, and when the mystery was solved, rather than experiencing an "Ah Hah!" moment, it was more of an "oh, okay" type deal. (Wahh Wharrrn.)And the main character's peculiar affliction - which I found compelling and interesting in the first book - by the second started to feel a little irritating and device-ish. Blame the too-quick sequel-read if you will, but there you have it. It got a little old.But frankly, I may have struggled with the book on a different level had I allowed more time between the first and second installments, because Into the Dark reads very much like Part II of And She Was rather than a second book. Had the first book not been so fresh in my mind, I think there would be some key aspects of the plot which would have been lost on me.So, while I can't say this isn't a worthwhile read (honestly there's a lot I really liked about it!) I must damn it with the faint praise probably all-too-often bestowed on a sophomore volume: I liked the first one better.Three stars.

  • James Sorensen
    2019-06-12 13:11

    Disclaimer: I won this book as part of the Goodreads first-read program.Into the Dark is the second and newest book in Alison Gaylin's series involving Brenna Spector. Although it is not necessary to read "And She Was" to enjoy "Into the Dark" I highly recommend it. It will definitely enhance the reading experience and set the background for Gaylin's wonderful new character. Brenna Spector is a 39 year old single mother of 13 year old Maya and a private eye. Brenna specializes in locating missing persons. Brenna also has an assistant, Trent, that is as goofy and endearing as any sidekick in fiction. And Brenna has Hyperthymestic Syndrome, a condition of the brain that is triggered by a traumatic event. The traumatic event was the disappearance of Brenna's 17 year old sister Clea, when Brenna was only eleven. Hyperthymestic Syndrome is a condition that allows Brenna to remember everything that has happened to her, in detail, from the moment of trauma.Where is Lula Belle? And why does she know so much about Brenna's missing sister. Luka Belle is a "Performance Artist" that has become a web phenom that has made her manager, Gary Freeman, a lot of money. Gary wants to know where Lula Belle is. Gary hires Brenna old mentor Errol Ludlow who in turn hires Brenna to find the missing star. Brenna isn't sure she'll take the case until she hears Lula Belle sing an old song that her, Brenna's, Father made up when Brenna was a small child. How could Lula Belle know a family song? Brenna wants to find Lula Belle to find out. And does Lula Belle know Clea and if found can Lula Belle lead Brenna to back to her long lost sister?Alison Gaylin is a exciting new star in the mystery genre and this this is a very enjoyable read. I highly recommend the Brenna Spector series if the reader is looking for a great new character.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-03 14:03

    I enjoyed this book as much as the first - And She Was. Both books grab you from the start and even thought there are a couple sluggish parts, you are in for a suspenseful ride. At first, Brenna Spector rejects a job offered to her by her former employer Errol Ludlow the man that almost got her killed and can be held partially responsible for ending her first marriage. Performance artist Lula Belle is missing; this shadowy figure reaches out to her web-based followers in silhouette and tells intimate stories. They are not just any stories, they are recounting Brenna’s life – a life that she is desperate to put back together. A life that involves her missing sister Clea. As Brenna is further drawn into Lula Belle she cannot turn away, she must find her and discover the truth. Could this really be her missing sister? How else could she know so much about Brenna and Clea’s life? How does she know the words that Brenna’s horrible mother used?As we found out in book one, Brenna has hyperthymestic syndrome, the ability to remember every moment and every word spoken since shortly after the disappearance of her sister. She is on an endless journey to find Clea no matter how much her life, and the lives of her loved ones, hangs in the balance.The storyline is twisted, but I would not say horribly convoluted, there are a couple of places that you wonder how far this can be stretched, but by the end, all the pieces are put back in place. As the bodies pile up and the deception deepens, you cannot turn away from the very flawed Brenna. She will never win mother of the year, but she tries, tries as hard as she can, but she will fall short. That is just the way she is wired. She is in a constant struggle between the present and the past and at any given time, you the reader, will not truly know what part of her is winning.

  • Pam
    2019-06-12 08:00

    AUTHOR Gaylin, AlisonTITLE: Into the DarkDATE READ 05/18/2016RATING 4.5/B+GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF PAGES Suspense/ 2013/ Harper Collins / 370 pgsSERIES/STAND-ALONE: #2 B renna SpecterCHARACTERS Brenna Specter / private eye TIME/PLACE: NY/ PresentFIRST LINES The memory flew at Brenna Spector like words on a passing billboard -- there for just an instant but solid, real.COMMENTS : Brenna Spector is a missing persons investigator, she has a rare neurological disorder -- hyperthymestic syndrome. This autobiographical memory allows her to recall everything perfectly w/ all 5 senses. Sometimes a great help … and sometimes a hindrance in allowing her to move forward w/ her life. She came to her profession due to a personal struggle -- her sister went missing when Clea was a teenager and has never been found. She is divorced w/ a teenage daughter that lives w/ her father and his new wife. Brenna's assistant, Trent, is basically the male version of a bimbo in looks but don't let that fool you … he's an ace researcher and has created a software that ages the missing person to get a fairly accurate representation of what they would look like now. In this second outing Brenna is hired to find a woman that is merely a shadow appearing on the internet. Lula Belle is a webcam performer that has attracted a lot of followers even tho' no one sees her fully or knows her identity. When Brenna hears Lula Belle reveal her deep dark secrets … a nerve has been hit. Lula Belle is talking about Brenna's and Clea's life … could this be her sister or could working on this case lead her to Clea? Another great read in this series!

    2019-06-11 12:58

    All about CleaSeit die Schwester von Brennan Spector vor über zwanzig Jahren verschwand, kann sich die Detektivin an jede Einzelheit erinnern. Leider nicht an die Zeit davor als sie selbst noch ein Kind war. Hätte sie als Kind etwas tun können, damit Clea hätte gefunden werden können? Sie weiß es nicht und das bestimmt ihr Leben, das und ihr absolutes Gedächtnis, das sie manchmal in die Vergangenheit zieht. Als dann ein Fall auftaucht, bei dem Begebenheiten die Erinnerung an Clea wecken, ist Brennan Feuer und Flamme die Ermittlungen aufzunehmen. Was hat es mit der geheimnisvollen Performance-Künstlerin Lula Belle auf sich? Dieser zweite Fall um die Detektivin Brennan Spector hat es schon in sich - eigentlich. Brennan setzt alles daran, hinter das Rätsel zu kommen und dabei bringt sie sich und andere in Gefahr. Gibt es tatsächlich eine Spur ihrer Schwester oder ist alles nur ein grausames Spiel? Gewisse Hinweise wecken eigentlich sofort Misstrauen, auch wenn dieses eher ein Gefühl ist, das sich nicht wirklich zuordnen lässt. Doch gerät man beim Lesen in die Schwierigkeit, sich Gedanken zu machen, ob diese Störung des Gehirn wirklich einen derartigen Einfluss auf Leben, Arbeit, Gefühle haben kann. Gerade in einigen Momenten, wenn Brennan sehr rücksichtslos handelt, fragt sich der Leser, ob das wirklich so sein muss, ob die Vergangenheit die Gegenwart dermaßen überdecken kann. Am Ende bleibt man etwas schlauer, aber nicht weiser zurück und ist auf der einen Seite fast gezwungen auf einen dritten Band zu warten, hofft aber anderseits auch, dass dieser Teil des Lebens der Brennan Spector dann endlich zur Ruhe kommt.

  • Barbara M
    2019-05-26 13:13

    Brenna Spector has a rare neurological disorder that enables her to recall every detail of every day of her life. Sounds a lot like the TV series "Unforgettable" which I enjoy. Gaylin goes deeper into Spector's feelings about this "talent" she has. This is not a fun situation for Brenna, she doesn't play with her ability the way Carrie Wells (Poppy Montgomery) does on the show. I found this new perspective fascinating.The other way there is a similarity between the book and the show was that the disappearance of a sister was the catalyst to the disorder for both main characters. But that's where the similarities end. Brenna is a private investigator, divorcee with a daughter who shares time with Brenna and her father, the man Brenna still loves but can't change for. Brenna's specialty is looking for missing persons. In this second novel of the series, Brenna is hired to find a woman who is just a shadow on a "performance art" film that isn't porn but is very close. Brenna wants to refuse this case but then she sees the film and the shadow (Lula Bell) has a voice, what she talks about in the film brings up Brenna's past. Could Lula Bell be Clea, Brenna's sister? Or does she know Clea? How does she know these intimate events in Brenna's past. She takes the case.I like the books, but there was one character I just couldn't understand, Brenna's assistant Trent. I did like her daughter Maya very much. A good series so far, there is currently one more that has been published.