Read The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens Online


Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whetHomicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whether he will take that last step and enact the vengeance he longs for. On a frozen lake near the US-Canadian border, he wrestles with a decision that could change his life forever, as his hatred threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent a career bringing to justice....

Title : The Deep Dark Descending
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781633883550
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 281 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Deep Dark Descending Reviews

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-04-17 03:35

    I always have trouble writing reviews for books I like to refer to as "follow ups", meaning sequels or novels containing reoccurring characters with a continuing plot that crosses over multiple stories. That's exactly what The Deep Dark Descending is, and while you CAN read this as a standalone, there is so much backstory you'll be missing that I can't in good faith let you go on without recommending reading all of Eskens' books in order. You might remember my glowing review for his previous novel The Heavens May Fall last year, and this latest was a fantastic continuation on the tense mystery surrounding the murder of Detective Max Rupert's wife Jenni. If you absolutely refuse to start with his first novel, then I recommend at a bare minimum beginning with THMF solely for the characterization and backstory surrounding the main events here.While last years story was a traditional police procedural with a hefty dose of mystery, The Deep Dark Descending is much less mystery and much more action thriller. I would go as far as saying the mystery stops near the beginning of the book, as we find out the who early on, and from there the plot is paced quickly with breath taking action and building suspense. The real showstopper here is this final development in Max; we've now seen him grow from a responsible member of law enforcement to a man tortured by the death of his wife who is hellbent on seeking revenge, even at the cost of his own civility and insanity. I won't say more about the plot, but I am very intrigued to see where Eskens decides to take us next, as the ending of the book was pure perfection and wholly satisfying in my humble opinion.If you enjoy connected novels that are ever changing in style, structure, and pacing, these crime fiction books are a must read. I cannot recommend all four of Allen Eskens' novels highly enough; they are short, easy reads that pack a powerful punch, and I have only witnessed him grow further as an author with each story that he writes. If you haven't had the pleasure of learning his backstory and how he became a writer, I would highly recommend seeking out his biography as it is one of the most interesting I've encountered. Eskens is consistently talented and I adore his work so much that I block out a week at the beginning of fall to ensure I have no distractions while reading his latest book. Excellent character building and a plot worthy of gasps and awe, please consider adding The Deep Dark Descending to your fall TBR.*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here!

  • Susanne Strong
    2019-04-11 23:39

    5 Heart Stopping & Thrilling Stars! This is Allen Eskens at his Absolute Best.Now this is a book that gave me heart palpations. It also gave me chills and not just because of the frigid temperatures in Minnesota, where the book takes place. Max Rupert is a man consumed with one thing and one thing only. Finding out who killed his wife, Jenni. It happened five year ago and he hasn’t been able to let it go. It was previously deemed an accident by the police and although Max Rupert is a cop, he was not a part of the investigation. Recently however, he found out that it was not an accident, after all. And now Max wants justice.. or vengeance. Call it what you want. In “Deep Dark Descending” by Allen Eskens, Max Rupert is a man hell bent on seeking revenge against his wife’s killers, no matter what the cost. Max’s anger, despair and torment are felt deeply within these pages. Every moment of his angst becomes your angst. I have been with Max since the beginning, since he first appeared in Esken’s The Life We Bury and to be honest, I feel like I know him. And to know Max, is to love him. How can you not love a man who loves his wife so desperately, even though she has been deceased for 5 years? Even though he wants restitution for her death. As a cop, Max has always had strong morals, integrity and a solid sense of self. As a man, he is now at odds with the cop he has always been. And now that has been given information that leads to his wife’s killer, all bets are off. He discovers that there is a fine line between justice and vengeance and for Max, those lines have become completely blurred. What Esken’s pulls off here was nothing short of utter brilliance. My emotions were all over the place: one minute, I had a hard time breathing, my palms were sweaty and my stomach was knotted up and the next, my chest was tight and my fists were clenched and I felt the urge to yell out loud. I’ll tell you this, (in case it isn’t obvious), my concern for Max knows no bounds. I love him. It’s that simple. I want him to overcome his pain and sorrow and I want him to find peace, but I can’t say whether or not he was able to do so. That, my friends is for you all to find out for yourselves. You must read “Deep Dark Descending” and the other books in this series. While this book has been billed as a “Standalone” – I highly suggest that you read all of the books in this series as they are they are MUST READS! Allen Eskens is a masterful storyteller whose books draw you in. They are character driven psychological thrillers that keep you on your toes. This was a Traveling Sister Read for me. It included: Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Diane, JanB and PorshaJo. The discussions we had over this novel were absolutely incredible and it was a testament Esken’s range as an author, as to the feelings he pulled out of each of us.Thank you to Edelweiss, Jill Maxick, Prometheus Books and Allen Eskens for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon on 10.9.17.

  • Larry H
    2019-03-25 00:50

    Oh. My. God. I think my breathing has just gotten back to normal. What a fantastic book this was!!"Your thoughts are dominated by one thing. They have been ever since I came on board here. Sure, it ebbs and flows. Some days are better than others. But your wife's death is always there, just below the surface."Homicide detective Max Rupert has spent the last several years mourning his wife Jenni's death in a hit-and-run accident. Not only does her loss remain fresh every single day, but he blames himself, as he's sure some case he was working on or a criminal he once helped imprison was somehow responsible for her death. When he is given evidence that proves, in fact, she was murdered, he must decide what to do with this information, since he knows nothing will bring her back to him.Once he overcomes the shock and emotions this new discovery provokes, Max knows the only option is to hunt down those responsible for Jenni's murder, even if it puts his police career at risk. In trying to find out what Jenni stumbled upon that led to her death, he discovers far more evil closer to home than he even imagined. And he will stop at nothing to make those involved pay, no matter what the need for revenge may do to him."I needed a war room, a place where I could immerse myself in Jenni's case with no distractions, a place where I could release my inner Mr. Hyde and indulge in my own form of masochism, like those penitents who flog themselves into religious ecstasy. In this room, I would purge all other thoughts from my head and focus on one task—hunting down the people responsible for my wife's death."As Max digs for the truth, he and his partner Niki are in the midst of a case in which a young woman was murdered and another man was severely burned. The case is a sensitive one, but they don't realize just how sensitive until they find themselves dodging department politics and old secrets while trying to do—and protect—their jobs. But Max's first priority is meting out his own private justice.At a frozen lake on the border of the U.S. and Canada, Max must decide what kind of a person he is: the type who will descend into his own private madness on a quest for revenge, even if it destroys him, or does he follow the conscience that has made him a successful police detective—and a man his wife would be still be proud of. And before he acts, he must decide whether the information that brought him to this point is actually correct, or whether he is being manipulated.Allen Eskens starts this book off at full throttle and never, ever steps back. Even in quieter, more contemplative moments where Max is alone with his grief and his indecision, Eskens ratchets up the tension until you feel your heart pounding and you cannot stop reading, because you must know how the plot will be resolved. (I stayed up very late to finish the book because I literally could not stop reading.)I have never read any of Eskens' other books before, although I've always meant to, but now I am completely in awe of his talent. Not only is The Deep Dark Descending a true thriller, but it is an exceptionally told story. Eskens is as comfortable writing action scenes and police procedural scenes as he is describing the frozen environment around Max as he comes to a decision about the path his revenge will take. This is a book that you feel in your gut and your brain, because you appreciate the action and the storytelling simultaneously.This is definitely one of the best books I've read all year. Do yourself a favor, thriller fans, and pick this up ASAP.See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....

  • Kaceey
    2019-04-05 02:40

    A deeply emotional read….and it left me breathless. Max is trying to move on 4 years after the death of his wife Jenni. In his heart, he’s convinced there is far more to her death than just a simple accident. Now he’s beginning to gather the evidence he needs to prove it. The question is, where will that lead him? What dark road will that journey take him down?This book is labeled a standalone but some of the characters, including Max, are recurring from previous books. I’d read only one previous book from this author so when I realized this (about 25% into the book) I was worried I would miss out on the character development. Nope....this book stands firmly on its own! There are dual time lines that at the beginning I had trouble following. Felt a little scattered to me. But once I got caught up in the storyline, it started flowing smoothly and was difficult to put down. The suspense builds in a big way during the final third of the book, with a shocking ending. I just had to sit quietly once I finished to process what I just read. Wow!A Traveling Sister group read with Brenda, Norma, Susanne, Diane, Jan and PorshaJo!For this review and our full Traveling Sister review Please visit Norma and Brenda's fantastic book blog: http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...Thank you to Edelweiss, Allen Eskens, and Seventh Street Books for an ARC to review

  • Norma
    2019-04-13 04:47

    Traveling Sister Group read with Brenda, Kaceey, Diane, JanB, Susanne and PorshaJo4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars!This book was one of the most chilling, intense, thought-provoking, and brilliantly written novels that I have ever read with extremely intriguing and compelling characters that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish! Even though this book has recurring characters from Allen Eskens' previous novels it reads very well as a standalone. Would highly recommend!The full Traveling Sisters Review can be found on our sister blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Allen Eskens, and Seventh Street Books for the opportunity to read this book!

  • PorshaJo
    2019-04-20 23:46

    The Deep Dark Descending is a gripping read, keeping you thinking until the very end. Homicide Detective Max Rupert is still hurting from the loss of his wife Jenni. Then he learns that she was murdered. He is consumed with rage and revenge. He will stop at nothing to find out who killed his wife and why. When the story opens, you meet Max. Currently on the edge of and descending into madness and the story is slowly laid out for you as to how he got there. The story alternates back and forth from the present time and a few days ago leading up to the current situation. You ask yourself constantly....what kind of man IS Max Rupert. Up until the very end.The Deep Dark Descending seems like a slow burn, but the story unfolds very quickly. You are quickly pulled in to this in-depth character study of man suffering such grief at the loss of his wife. This is the fourth book my Eskens, which has many of the same characters in them. I read his first book (which I loved) The Life We Bury. I did not read the next two, yet, but have been told they can be read independently. With The Life We Bury, I was *immediately* hooked and obsessed with finding out the entire story. That did not happen to me with this one. It did not grab me from the beginning. Once things started to happen in the book, I was totally engrossed in the story. But a few times, I felt it drag just a bit (hence only 4 stars for me).Overall, a good read, one for all thriller fans. This was a Traveling Sisters read which I started with the group, but life gets busy and I fell far behind. I'm glad this was a Sisters read, getting me back into Eskens books. I have already ordered another of his books in audio.Thanks to Edelweiss, Seventh Street Books, Random House and Allen Eskens for an advanced copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. And thanks to the Traveling Sisters for picking this to read.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-04-02 05:53

    How strong are your morals? Opinions on vigilante pay backs? All these questions and more are at the forefront of this strong character driven novel. Max Rupert, his beloved wife killed ,thought to be an accident. But, was it? Brought into a case about a young girls murder, Max finds out things, that may connect this case to his wife's death. What to do, what would you do?We get the full flavor of a complicated, many faceted character, a character who is a police officer, sworn to uphold truth and justice. It is a slow uncovering, of following threads, clues and a great deal of mental pondering. At times it was violently graphic not blood and guts,just a small warning. So good though, intense for sure. Loved being privy to thoughts that take us back to small offerings of Max's back story. His partner Nikki, who wants nothing more than to stand by him regardless of where this takes him. He takes on someone trying to force out both he and Nikki, a power hungry superior. The steps he takes will change his life and leaves the reader wondering what comes next for this intriguing character.Thanks again to the sisters for another wonderful read and discussion.ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Brenda
    2019-04-03 06:42

    4.5 StarsTraveling Sister Group read with Norma, Kaceey, Diane, Susanne, JanB,and PorshaJoWe read The Deep Dark Descending along with five of our Traveling Sisters. The Deep Dark Descending is the fourth book by the talented author Allen Eskens. The books are connected with recurring characters but can be read as standalones. One sister in our group has read and enjoyed all four previous books and suggests if you really want to get more background info into the characters to read The Heavens May Fall before reading this one. All of us read the first book The Life We Bury where the main character makes his first appearance. We all thought this one worked really well as a standalone though.The Deep Dark Descending is an engrossing, extremely tense, fast-paced, and a well-written read here that explores the deep dark desire for vengeance as we see how our very well loved main character Max is battling with his descent into the deep dark desire for vengeance and retribution. We all were completely engrossed in his battle as he was wrestling with his decisions and we could really feel his anguish, grief, anger, and desperation. This had us all wrestling with his decisions as well. The tension and suspense increased for us and had us nervously questioning his actions throughout this whole story. Eskens’ does a fantastic job here working our emotions, examining our own moral thoughts and had us questioning if his actions were for justice or vengeance. That created a very interesting, thought-provoking discussion with the sisters. The story is chilling in more ways than one as we follow Max on his mission for vengeance to the frigid US - Canadian border. Eskens’ brilliantly constructs this well-done story with an extremely enthralling plot by adding danger to the story with the frigid atmosphere and chilling scenes. We all were sitting at the edge of our seats in dread yet hoping that Max would leave with his soul. We are not sure that any of us stopped to breathe until reaching the end. The Deep Dark Descending is an extremely fast-paced and thrilling novel with an ending that holds quite the punch that left us all frozen in place sending chills right through us all.We all are very curious and will be waiting patiently to see what Allen Eskens has to offer next with Max’s character. The ending brought out quite the discussion as well and had us all wondering what is next for Max. We all loved his character that much! Would highly recommend!! Thank you to Edelweiss, Seventh Street Books and Allen Eskens for a copy to read and review All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...

  • Julie
    2019-03-30 02:47

    Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens is a 2017 Seventh Street Books publication. Atmospheric, unconventional police procedural-Detective Max Rupert discovers, in a stunning manner, that there is evidence backing up his suspicions, that the hit and run that killed his wife four years ago, was in fact, premeditated murder. This information coincides with a perplexing case he and his partner, Niki, are working, involving a car fire which includes a dead body. Despite his full plate, Max’s desire to catch the people responsible for his wife’s death overrides all. He becomes a man on a mission, fighting all the powers that be, in his single- minded purpose. The book starts off with Max in the midst of exacting his revenge, but the story flashes back to ‘present day’ where we must now follow Max's progress towards that heart stopping point in time, with a few updates sprinkled in, depicting a troubling escalation, which also cast a few doubts in my mind at the same time. This is an effective tactic, on one hand, I found myself growing impatient, wishing things would hurry along so that I find out the who and the why, and what on earth will happen with Max once all is said and done. On the flip side of that coin, Max’s poignant memories of his wife, the happiness they were sharing, and the blow her death was to him, is very compelling. I wanted to firmly stand on Max's side, but he also made me very nervous, which created a very thought provoking character analysis. Hero or anti-hero? I was never quite sure until the end, but naturally, Max is a very sympathetic character, and his crisis of conscience is very convincing.The plot is more complex that it appears at first glance, and Eskens did a terrific job of bringing all the various threads together before creating an incredibly gripping, yet bittersweet, climax.The story has both action and suspense, and although there were a few implausible spots, the plot is complex and smart. Overall, this was a fast-paced, action packed story that any thriller fan will enjoy. 4 stars

  • Zoeytron
    2019-04-24 00:40

    Detective Max Rupert works his job, then goes home to live with his memories.  He is about to come to a major crossroads in his life.  The decision he makes will tell the tale.  A way to heal, or the path to his complete undoing?  This was excellent, particularly the "Up North" sections of the book.  Written so well, you will shiver in your toasty warm home as you read it.  On the border between Minnesota and Canada, a hole is being dug, figuratively and literally.  The cold is not of this world, it is bone-chilling, mind-numbing.  The winds howl and rip away at your clothing, unforgiving and relentless, each breath taken feels like inhaling splinters of glass. Believable ending, just right.

  • JanB
    2019-04-20 03:50

    4.5 out of 5 stars!A moral decision must be made by Max, and there lies all the tension and suspense in the book. Max, a detective whose wife was the victim of a hit and run 5 years prior, learns her death was murder, not accidental. He’s been lonely, sad, and isolated since his wife's death, but now his life has a renewed purpose. He is consumed with tracking the murderers down and he wants justice. Or is it vengeance he wants? There are no easy answers and the reader questions everything: will he or won’t he kill the people who murdered his wife? And if he does is this the type of person he wants to be? is this what his wife would want? Will Max target the correct guilty parties or are they innocent of murder? This sound a like a simple premise but the way the author writes this dark story is anything but simple. It’s fast-paced, brilliant and the tension is palpable. The frigid Minnesota winter was as much of a character as Max was. I was guessing/hoping how the events would play out right up until the very end. And what an end it was! Highly recommended!This was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Diane, Susanne, and PorshaJo. It's a book that generated interesting discussions. This review and others can be found at: https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....*Many thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

  • Debra
    2019-04-11 05:55

    Still hungry for answers, Homicide Detective Max Rupert has not stopped looking for the person(S) responsible for his wife's death. Initially her death was ruled a hit and run but now information has come to light that proves that she was in fact, murdered, it becomes all-encompassing search for answers and suspects. It haunts him, and he is not willing to stop searching for the truth until he gets some answers. He blames himself believing that she was murdered because of one of the cases he was working on or someone he arrested is seeking their revenge but soon learns that may not be the case.As he begins to investigate, and the clues begin to make terrible sense, he comes to a cross roads on a frozen lake on the US–Canadian border. Max has always thought of himself as a decent man, but now he is full of vengeance and anger. Knowing that he cannot continue to be a "good cop" while investigating and tracking down those responsible for his wife's death he has a decision to make...will he fall into madness and vengeance or will he make the decision that he knows would have made his wife proud?This book has duo time lines, but they are not confusing and help the reader get into the mind of Max and his internal struggles over his wife's murder. This book is gritty and raw - just like the emotions of the main character. How far will one man go to get the truth? Will knowing the truth be enough? This is another well thought out and crafted book with an intelligent and riveting plot.See more of my reviews at

  • LeAnne
    2019-04-10 03:50

    Will he or won't he? Only his partner knows for sure. This detective-out-for-revenge story was unfortunately nothing special. The chapter chunks vacillate between an ice-capped lake on the Minnesota border with Canada and the handful of days that lead up to it.The detective Max is on the verge of killing the man who is responsible for the death four years prior of his wife Jenni (with an i). Through chapter after chapter after chapter, he slowly augers holes into the ice while the bad dude he has trussed tries to talk himself out of being dunked under three feet of lake ice. Time and pressure, time and pressure, we are reminded every 50 pages. Ugh.Meanwhile back at the ranch, the author tosses in Russian mobsters and human trafficking; a dead wife who was nothing less than a beautiful Florence Nightingale; rotten political motivations by guys in the police force and the mayor's office; plus the requisite cute female sidekick Niki (with an i) who is as loyal and presh as a cocker spaniel. And fear not - a Byelorussian hooker with a heart of gold (Anastasia) rounds out the stereotypes.It turns out that this is the 4th series about the misadventures of Detective Max Rupert, and it felt like the 30th angsty cop book I've read over the years. Jo Nesbo and Nelson Demille follow a similar formula but definitely do it a good bit better. Lastly, I made the mistake of doing this via audio and couldn't shake the feeling that it was just a very, very, very long Dos Equis commercial.I read this author's debut novel called The Life We Bury and that was what led me to download this one. Big time disappointment. As for Max, despite his resignation, the book subtly sets us up for yet another story in the life of the detective and his loyal sidekick. I ain't reading it.

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    2019-04-08 01:53

    FOUR STARSMax Rupert is one melancholy homicide detective. His sadness since the loss of his wife in a hit and run accident, is heart wrenching. He has spent the last five years of his life looking for the guy that killed his beloved Jenni and now he has discovered that, in fact, Jenni was murdered. This truth consumes him with anguish and murderous thoughts of retribution. How far will this decent, hard working cop go to exact his own brand of justice? Will he be able to live with himself if he follows through with his fantasy of torturing and killing the man that killed his wife? That, my friends, is the question driving this thought-provoking novel.I adore flawed protagonists and Max Rupert is the best representation of a tragic warrior fighting to stay on the right side of humanity and morality. His struggle is most evident in this novel and the ending is amazingly satisfying! I cannot wait for the next book, I'm so invested in Rupert.This is the fourth book in a brilliant series written by one of the most talented mystery/suspense writers working today, Allen Eskens. Since the first book, THE LIFE WE BURY, I’ve been hooked on Eskens and the gritty, raw characters he absolutely brings to life in the frozen Minnesota panorama.For me, the back and forth format of the book felt awkward and really slowed down the pace of this thriller. Eskens's books are meant to be savored, rather than devoured, so it is only a minor complaint—but the reason for the 4 stars.I highly recommend anything written by Eskens!

  • Amy
    2019-04-08 04:49

    Last year I read my first Eskens book, The Heavens May Fall and was completely blown away. He is an insanely talented writer and his heroes are deeply flawed and vastly interesting and unique. While the characters in each book are the same, it’s not completely necessary to start at the beginning, they each work perfectly fine as a standalone. BUT, they’re so good that I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend reading them all. For five years Max has been haunted by his wife’s death and he’s finally tracked down her killer. This opens with Max and an unknown man locked in an intense situation in the middle of nowhere near the Canadian border and Max finally has the chance to get justice for his Jenni. It’s tense and thrilling, the frozen atmosphere lends to the chilly scene becoming a character all of it’s own and adding a layer of danger to an already deadly story. It flips back to three days prior as you follow Max as he tracks down the killer, then flips back and forth throughout all the way up to an explosive conclusion. I loved the moral struggle Max was facing throughout as he tried to bring revenge to a man who shattered his entire life. There was something poetic about him having a moral battle with himself while in the frozen wilderness that was both hauntingly beautiful and chilling. Vengeance and retribution is the name of the game here, this one kept me on the edge of my seat and flipping pages at a steady rate. If you haven’t read Eskens work you’re missing out, he’s a superbly talented author not to be missed.All of my reviews can be found on

  • *TANYA*
    2019-03-29 05:45

    As always I love anything Allen Eskens, he’s just an amazing author. Now what!!? What’s next for this beloved character of mine?? I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we hear of Max. I so desperately want for him to have his HEA, his loneliness and suffering are heartbreaking.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-05 00:53

    This book hit very close to home for me (I actually live right in the neighborhood). It has a fast pace and an intense story line. It is so easy to understand the main character's thirst for justice. As always the writing and characters are wonderful. Some parts of this were so intense that I had to put it down a couple of times before I finished it.

  • Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
    2019-03-28 05:36

    4.0 Stars Video Review: is a fast paced thriller by one of the most talented modern crime fiction authors. Esken demonstrates incredible range as a writer. With each book, Eskens switches up his style, going from an ametuer detective mystery to a legal drama. I would describe this particular novel as an action thriller. If I had to compare it to his previous books, this one would most closely resemble his second novel, The Guise of Another. While this is Eskens' fourth novel, readers can start with The Deep Dark Descending without spoiling any of his previous books. Each book is a self-contained story that can be read and enjoyed in any order. However, reading chronologically has it's benefits, because all of the books are set in the same place and feature familiar characters.This is a relatively short book so the reader is able to fly through the story. Each chapter propels the story forward pushing the reader to keep flipping the pages. I read this book incredibly fast, eager to see how the story unfolded.The book starts at the end with the main character confronting his wife's killer. This is not so much a mystery novel. Instead, the book explores how this detective gets to the breaking point of taking the law into his own hands. The subsequent chapters switch back and forth between two timelines: the climax of the story and flashbacks to the days leading up to the main event. This novel is more of a traditional action thriller, rather than a psychological thriller, meaning that the story is fairly straight forward without any major twists and turns. Readers should pick up this book to experience a well written version of the classic "cop-gone-rogue-revenge" story. Given the premise, this book contains some violence and vulgar language. These gritty details fit well with the tone of the story. As a short, fast-paced novel, there is not a lot of character development in this one. The main character was introduced earlier in the series so his personality was fleshed out in those previous books. Readers who start with this book may not feel as quite connected to the protagonist as long term readers like myself. This is a fantastic book to read in winter. Set near the Canadian border, the weather plays heavily into the atmosphere of the story. As a Canadian reader, I appreciate an author who understands the cold and how it affects on the human body. The icy winter setting made the story feel the grim and dark. I would recommend this particular book to fans of action-packed crime thrillers. In addition, I would recommend Esken's entire backlist for any readers (both newbies and veterans to the genre) looking for well-written mysteries and thrillers.I requested this book from Seventh Street Books.

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    2019-04-14 07:39

    Detective Max Rupert's wife dies in a hit and run accident, or so they say. As clues arise to show that this was indeed a murder and not a freak accident, it becomes his mission to find the killer and get his vengeance. My first Eskens novel and I am blown away. He takes us on a journey on a frozen lake where he is with the killer fighting with himself on the justification of the act he may or may not take to the steps he went through to find out who the killer was. A fast paced thriller that is fairly straight forward... you know from the beginning that Max has his killer. What you learn is the process he went to find this person and the inner turmoil he faces in extracting his vengeance. There are no huge revelations or twists and they are not needed for this book. I was completely invested and felt for Max the entire way.I hear this is the fourth book that Eskens has written with some of the same characters. I never would have known had I not had conversations about this book with others. However, it IS a stand alone novel and it's not necessary to read the other three... though I will as a little of the characterization may have been lost or already fleshed out in previous books. Eskens is a fantastic author and I am thoroughly impressed with how he hooked me right into this story. I want to know where Max goes on from here. Eskens! Where are you? TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS!A novel about grief, vengeance and the inner battle of your own demons. I was extremely satisfied with the entirety of this quick paced, gritty novel.

  • Jeanette
    2019-03-27 01:28

    Everyone seems to have liked this one much more than I did. To be truthful, I almost gave it 2 stars. But the clear writing and technical detail made me round the 2.5 star up. It doesn't lose continuity and despite the switching locations and time frame from Minneapolis to the stark frozen lake cabin area, you don't lose your way among the main characters.There was an under plot tangent that heavily entered the politico of governmental offices that took a detour- but for the greatest parts it is focused entirely around Max. In particular for his knowledge and revenge factors in the murder of his wife in a hit and run some 4 or 5 years earlier.That was the trouble with this read for me. All of the lake segments were basically torture or broken bone revenge dynamics. Not a winner for my taste. This is a dark book. Niki's view I could understand. Max was eternally in a thought frame that poisoned himself. Little depth there despite all the heart-wrenching scenarios of his back story written and reminded about. Again and again. All the rest of the perp's slave trader history was enough to make the Max methods justified here? Terribly sad. And I thought he would wise up and not finalize going down the path that he did.If you think revenge is an answer to a terrible deed done against you, even such a "never coming back" from that kind of lifetime endless hurt with a likewise viscous response justified; then you will like this action cold as Artic Ice police investigator tale.

  • LJ
    2019-04-15 06:39

    First Sentence: I raise the ax handle for the third time and my arm disobeys me.Detective Max Rupert had believed his wife’s death was an accident. Learning she was murdered sets him on a course of vengeance. The question is: How far will he go? What a powerful and effective opening. Eskins use of language and imagery is poetic—“After Jenni’s death, those occasions, even the lesser ones, remained my connection to her. I found her thread woven through almost every part of my existence, a tapestry once vibrant and alive now in danger of fading away.”The plot is rather convoluted. One must pay attention. There is a temptation to take the book apart and reassemble it in a straight timeline. It’s hard to say whether anything would be lost by so doing. Either way, one admires Eskens’ ability to pack a serious story with a strong emotional punch in less than 250 pages, following the style of many early masters of crime fiction. Even so, one may not find it as satisfying as Eskins’ other books, but it does raise an important question as to whether personal revenge can be justified. It’s hard not to be reminded of Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” In this instance, what does Max gain? One interesting item was the mention of when Michael Dukakis ran for president and was asked about the death penalty, and of Max’s late-wife Jenni’s position on the issue.“The Deep Dark Descending is a powerful and emotional book, albeit not necessarily a comfortable one to read. And that’s not a bad thing.THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING (Pol Proc-Det. Max Rupert-Minnesota-Contemp) – VG Eskens, Allen - Standalone Seventh Street Books – Oct 2017

  • Bonnie Brody
    2019-03-27 07:51

    Detective Max Rupert appears in Allen Eskens' previous books as a supporting character but he is the main protagonist in 'The Deep Dark Descending'. It is winter in the twin cities of Minnesota and Max has just found out that his beloved wife Jenni was not killed in a hit and run automobile accident but was intentionally murdered. He is determined to find the murderer and seek justice.The story goes back and forth in time from some time in the future when Max has the murderer in hand and is about to kill him to just a few days previously as Max is working on solving a homicide. The two time periods meld well and it is obvious that Max is not averse to breaking any rule in the book in order to find out who killed Jenni. The characterization is interesting and it is sad to see how lonely Max is and how he keeps others at bay, especially his partner Niki who appears to have a romantic interest in him. I enjoyed the book but found Eskens' previous books more solid.

  • Jeanine
    2019-04-01 00:25

    There is nothing light and fluffy here. True grit through and through. Max wants revenge and he wants the truth. This book starts with a pulse pounding scene then skips back in time to the mystery surrounding the hit and run death of this Detective's wife. Allen Eskens writes a mean novel. Totally believable. It is visceral reading.... his work. One feels the cold, the snow, the bite of Northern Minnesota. The weather and the surrounding become another character. Flawed, of course, but driven. Reminded of his humanity by the soft voices of the dead women who loved him. What is to become of him. Read, if you enjoy this kind of thing.

  • Jenny Jo Weir
    2019-04-24 04:49

    No better way to end the year! Allen is one of my favorite authors and this book only reinforces this. I hope this isn't the end! It's one of those you can't get enough of. Seriously looking forward to more! Already thinking about re-reading it.

  • Luanne Ollivier
    2019-04-10 23:38

    I first 'discovered' Allen Eskens in 2015 when I was lucky enough to review his first novel, The Life We Bury. I thought it was fantastic and couldn't wait to read more of his work.Eskens' fourth book, The Deep Dark Descending, releases today - and it too, is a five star read for me.Detective Max Rupert has figured into all four of Eskens' books. The Deep Dark Descending finally provides the answer to a question that has haunted Rupert for years - who killed his wife? (And it is here that I will say, yes you could probably read this latest as a stand-alone, but you would be robbing yourself of some great reading if you didn't start with the first book. Just sayin')Eskens uses one of my favourite story telling techniques - then and now, back and forth. It's a short then and now - only over the course of three days - from knowledge to finale. Rupert sees himself as a law abiding, good man, but the need for revenge and retribution has taken the upper hand. Deep Dark Descending opens with an action filled scene on the frozen ice between Canada and the US. One man ready to kill another.....and then we are taken back to the what that led to this moment. The reader does know that these two paths will cross in the end, but the telling in between is so very, very good.The plotting, mystery and police details are believable, the action non-stop, the dialogue flows easilythe characters have depth and the reader cannot help but be on their side. The book had a bit of a movie feel to it and I can see it easily on the screen. I really like Max's partner Niki as well. She's tough as nails with a sharp tongue and mind and fiercely loyal to Max.I feel gutted that this might be the last we see of Max Rupert, but my fingers are crossed for more. A note at the end of this book says that a 2018 novel will be the follow up to The Life We Bury. Yay! I'll be watching for it.

  • CalifCat
    2019-03-25 23:26

    I have been waiting for this book! The first book I read and reviewed in 2017 was Allen Esken's book, The Heavens May Fall, and it set the bar high for me and left me wanting and waiting for the sequel.I am very attached to the main character Max Rupert and feel invested in wanting to have his story continue.It is best to read the books in order, and they are very quick reads, and only far. I of course do not want to give any spoilers, so it will be up to the readers to discover these fine books and characters. I so appreciate when I find an author and the debut book is great and every novel after that equally great. I am pleased to find out at the end of this novel he is at work on his 5th novel..the waiting starts all over again. Until we meet again in the pages of your next book. Thank you for this one Mr. Eskens.5 stars.

  • Judy Collins
    2019-03-24 05:48

    Review to follow.

  • Tracy Thomas
    2019-04-13 01:43

    Thank you to Seventh St. Books for sending this book to me in exchange of an honest review. Below is my honest review.I have had Allen Eskens books The Life We Bury on my Amazon wishlist for a very long time, I am not sure why I've never bought it, but now after reading this, I will be.The Deep Dark Descending was good, like really good, in a tough guy, gritty, dark kind of way. Watching Max as a widow and grieving for his wife, and than watching that turn into his desire for revenge, made for such an enthralling read. The ARC was a little over 300 pages so it was a very quick read for me. Sometimes in books, you expect more, of the who, what, why, and when. With this book,  when I found out who murdered his wife, and why, I felt it was done perfectly. There was no let down.Allen Eskens has now turned in to an author that I will be watching from hear on out

  • Kathy Cunningham
    2019-04-15 23:47

    Allen Eskens’s THE DEEP DARK DESCENDING is a revenge thriller about a cop seeking to track down his wife’s murderer. It’s not a bad premise, but the problem is in the way the story is told. Minnesota homicide detective Max Rupert lost his wife to a supposed hit-and-run accident five years ago, but now he’s convinced she was murdered. As the novel begins, Max has tracked down his suspect to a frozen lake on the US-Canadian border. He has him tied up and incapacitated, and his dilemma is clear – he wants to kill him, but is such vengeance really justice? The novel switches back and forth between Max’s efforts to make his suspect confess before he kills him, and the events that happened over the past few days that led to his discovery of the truth. We know from the start that Max has his man, so the only suspense (if there is any at all) is in finding out how and why everything happened. It’s a strange way to tell a story like this. And I found myself expecting some sort of major twist as I got closer and closer to the end (most thrillers these days are all about the twist). But if that’s your cup of tea, you’ll be disappointed.But this novel really isn’t about the plot – we really know little about Max’s wife, even once the reason for her death becomes clear. The details of the murder itself, as well as the people behind it, are also of minimal importance. Instead, the central conflict in the novel is really Max’s ethical dilemma – should he kill the man who murdered his wife? Is such vengeance ever justified? Or are revenge and justice two very different things? Max knows that the woman who raised him, as well as his murdered wife, would not approve of vengeance. But is that enough to convince him to spare the life of the murderer? I liked Max – he’s a well-written character, and his inner conflicts are understandable and real. But there’s never any doubt in this story that Max’s decision – whatever it ultimately is – will be his and his alone. There’s no way his prisoner can escape, and there’s no threat to Max. It’s just a “will he or won’t he” story, and it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged through 258 pages.Bottom line, this is a well-written novel posing a very valid question – is vengeance killing ever justified? I would have liked the novel better had the search for the murderer been more suspenseful, and had we not known from the first page that Max already had the culprit in his grasp. That said, I did like Max, and his story is a poignant one. This just isn’t the thriller I expect it to me.[Please note: I received an Advance Readers Copy of this novel free of charge; the opinions expressed here are my own.]

  • Brenda
    2019-04-02 23:49

    Fast paced story of a detective out for revenge set in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota during the brutal winter months.Tense, sharp and fast paced. A satisfying read straight through to the end.