Darkness (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Darkness (Common Law #3)
Author: Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 6, 2017
Genre(s): Mystery / Suspense
Page Count: 189
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A murdered prostitute. An obvious suspect. Clear evidence. For once, Jericho Crewe has a straightforward crime to investigate, and Wade Granger isn’t involved.

It all seems so simple, but Jericho’s instincts won’t let him rest. As he investigates, he finds troubling suggestions that the murder is a part of something larger and more sinister. But working within the boundaries of the law may keep him from finding the truth. If Jericho doesn’t break the rules, an innocent man may rot in jail while a killer remains free to strike again.

Inevitably, it all comes back to Wade. Because who else knows as much about breaking rules? And who else knows Jericho the way Wade does—not wisely, but far, far too well?

Darkness is the third book in Kate Sherwood’s engrossing Common Law series and for once, the murder is straightforward and the murderer obvious. Or is it? Will Archer, Jericho and Wade’s mentally incapacitated former classmate, is charged with the murder of a prostitute. Fingerprints and blood evidence is all there … yet … Jericho’s gut instinct tells him something is not right.

The Common Law series has been toying with the idea of sides, loyalties and absolutes – are Wade and Jericho on opposite sides of the law? Is one right and the other wrong? How much “gray” is acceptable in the black and white arena of law enforcement? As DEA Agent Hockley says:

“It’s a small town. I’m learning what that means. Relationships aren’t as black and white up here. In the city, cops can stay away from criminals. Up here, they might have gone to school with you, live next door to you, be related to you, whatever. It’s not a mess, it’s just different.”

I know I keep saying this, but this series keeps getting better and better with every book. And in “Darkness” Sherwood really pushes the reader to decide where the limits are – is one murder better or worse than another? Does every murderer deserve to be punished? Are there things that can’t be fixed, “not with all the laws you could ever come up with”?

But as the world around them battles with absolutes and moral ambiguity, Wade and Jericho are slowly coming into sync with each other:

But he [Wade] seemed confused, surprised by Jericho’s words. “You and me are always on the same side,” he said as if it were an obvious truth, at least to him. “Any way that counts, any way that matters? We’re on the same side.”

Wade and Jericho have progressed from a kiss to a blow job to a fade-to-black love scene, but IMHO it reads more intense, more meaningful than any number of graphic sex scenes.

All I can say is don’t miss the opportunity to read the Common Law series! FYI, the fourth book – “Home Fires” – is coming in April, 2017.

Common Law Series

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Galley copy of Darkness provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader