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From a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len From a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len Bandoni, her old nemesis turned reluctant mentor, admires. Not until Sydney’s instincts lead to their first case: a man tortured and beaten to death, then left in a refrigerated train car with cryptic messages carved into his body. The victim is a well-liked member of an elite club called the Superior Gentlemen. At first glance, the club appears harmless. But beneath its refined surface swim darker currents. As Sydney; her K9 partner, Clyde; and Bandoni investigate the grisly murder, the three develop a bond that carries them through a shocking series of crimes and a horrifying conspiracy that threatens the detectives’ lives and promises to bring their beloved city to its knees.


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From a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len From a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Newly minted homicide detective Sydney Parnell faces a savage killer whose endgame is to capture her. And keep her. Iraqi war vet and former railway cop Sydney Parnell is now the youngest homicide detective in Denver’s Major Crimes Unit. In the past, gut instinct has served her and her K9 partner well. But it’s not a trait Len Bandoni, her old nemesis turned reluctant mentor, admires. Not until Sydney’s instincts lead to their first case: a man tortured and beaten to death, then left in a refrigerated train car with cryptic messages carved into his body. The victim is a well-liked member of an elite club called the Superior Gentlemen. At first glance, the club appears harmless. But beneath its refined surface swim darker currents. As Sydney; her K9 partner, Clyde; and Bandoni investigate the grisly murder, the three develop a bond that carries them through a shocking series of crimes and a horrifying conspiracy that threatens the detectives’ lives and promises to bring their beloved city to its knees.

30 review for Gone to Darkness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Once again, I find myself reading books in a series out of order. I had read the first book, Blood on the Tracks, and found it decent, if not great. Skip ahead to this book. Sydney has moved on from the railroad to the Denver PD as a Homicide detective. But her first case involves the discovery of a mutilated body in a refrigerated rail car. Once again, this is a decent, not great story. Sydney is still dealing with her ghosts, although her PTSD seems to be improving. Her new partner, Len, works Once again, I find myself reading books in a series out of order. I had read the first book, Blood on the Tracks, and found it decent, if not great. Skip ahead to this book. Sydney has moved on from the railroad to the Denver PD as a Homicide detective. But her first case involves the discovery of a mutilated body in a refrigerated rail car. Once again, this is a decent, not great story. Sydney is still dealing with her ghosts, although her PTSD seems to be improving. Her new partner, Len, works well to flesh out the story and I appreciated how their relationship grew as the book progressed. Clyde, her K9 partner, figures prominently in the story, which is always a plus in my book. Having majored eons ago in Semiotics, I was thrilled to discover a character whose career was in forensic Semiotics. The book became much more interesting to me once he showed up. And six months ago, I couldn’t have told you what an Incel was. Now, this is the second book I’ve read that had them as part of the plot. My thanks to netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    This was a pretty thrilling addition to the series. I have read and enjoyed the previous three books. It was great to see Sydney Rose Parnell former marine, then railway cop, extend herself and join the Denver PD where, on a fast track, she soon becomes a detective. Not long into the job she’s on her first murder case. Her partner in life, Mike Cohen, has moved into Vice and she is teamed up with old warhorse Len Bandoni. And of course, police dog Clyde. In a nice tie-in to her former persona, th This was a pretty thrilling addition to the series. I have read and enjoyed the previous three books. It was great to see Sydney Rose Parnell former marine, then railway cop, extend herself and join the Denver PD where, on a fast track, she soon becomes a detective. Not long into the job she’s on her first murder case. Her partner in life, Mike Cohen, has moved into Vice and she is teamed up with old warhorse Len Bandoni. And of course, police dog Clyde. In a nice tie-in to her former persona, the murder victim is found in a refrigerated rail car full of rotting chickens. The door had been left open. The victim, a young man, had some new tattoos on his inner arm, had been rather savagely beaten and had words carved onto his back. Did this crime have religious overtones? The detectives really struggle with this one. Soon, another young man is found dead. The location couldn’t be more different and the MO is different. But this man also had words carved and inscribed on his body, clearly linking the two cases. In this book we take a walk on the dark side and enter the world of incels, gutter punks and a secret society. And someone is stalking Sydney. Something is going down soon and Sydney, Clyde and Bandoni had better be ready or be crushed. Sydney still has her ghosts but it was good to see the developing partner relationship between her and Bandoni. The first part of the book was more mystery than thriller as the detectives struggled to join the dots. But the ending, oh boy, that was full-on. I enjoyed the book and I really like the series. One word of warning for those sensitive to animals being injured - there is a moment. But we also get a doggie hero. Many thanks to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer and Barbara Nickless for my review copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    I’ve read the previous books in this series and loved them. This is another great addition. I have enjoyed Sydney Rose Parnell’s growth and healing. Clyde is exceptional. Not too much romance between Parnell and Cohen in this book. Detective Len Bandoni should become a permanent character. The development of his relationship with Parnell was great.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    Few authors write crime novels with the detail provided by Barbara Nickless. As I began reading “Gone to Darkness” I wondered if she would be able to achieve the same level of excellence I had enjoyed in her previous books. Thankfully, Ms. Nickless exceeded her former accomplishments on several levels. Sydney Rose Parnell is the heroine, a railroad detective who recently moved on to the Major Crimes Unit in Denver. Accompanied by her canine partner Clyde, she discovers a major case that is shroud Few authors write crime novels with the detail provided by Barbara Nickless. As I began reading “Gone to Darkness” I wondered if she would be able to achieve the same level of excellence I had enjoyed in her previous books. Thankfully, Ms. Nickless exceeded her former accomplishments on several levels. Sydney Rose Parnell is the heroine, a railroad detective who recently moved on to the Major Crimes Unit in Denver. Accompanied by her canine partner Clyde, she discovers a major case that is shrouded with mystery, one that will require her to use every skill she has at her disposal. It is interesting to note that Sydney’s demon’s – remnants from her service time in the Middle East – still haunt her, and Ms. Nickless has allowed Sydney’s short time as a detective (coupled with her previous railroad job) to darken her thoughts. Sydney works in a profession where the job changes you (no one gets out without scars) and many writers neglect to add this element when crafting a crime series. The five-star element of this book is Ms. Nickless’ attention to detail. This is a police procedural, and the author keeps the thoughts and conversations interesting, never allowing the story to become dry. The plot contains some unexpected twists and turns, and at the end I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Ms. Nickless fills the book with descriptive writing, realistic dialogue, and a believable plot. What more can a reader ask for? Five stars. My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer for a complimentary electronic copy of this title.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janet Newport

    Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this arc. Gone to Darkness is the fourth book of this series and I was really glad to see it as something about book 3 just felt so final to me. There's a big time gap as Sydney has left the railroad and has joined the Denver PD and has worked her way up to the Major Crimes Unit as a detective along with her dog Clyde. ( little jarring maybe as usually K-9 units are separate from Murder/Major Crimes in most US police departments, but never mind). I was Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this arc. Gone to Darkness is the fourth book of this series and I was really glad to see it as something about book 3 just felt so final to me. There's a big time gap as Sydney has left the railroad and has joined the Denver PD and has worked her way up to the Major Crimes Unit as a detective along with her dog Clyde. ( little jarring maybe as usually K-9 units are separate from Murder/Major Crimes in most US police departments, but never mind). I was just glad to see them back. After a night of celebrating Sydney's transition from the railroad to the police department/promotion, Sydney is on her way to retrieve her PD badge back from one of her former railroad officers before the new boss finds out she's "lost" it. Instead she finds her former fellow railroad officer out of his vehicle and out cold on the ground some ways away from his vehicle (and her badge). Well something's wrong. She insists the train be stopped in the RR yard for a search and she searches again until she finds a horribly mangled and mutilated body. She's got a case! The pacing was good and I enjoyed the read. I liked her new partner Len and just adored Clyde, but the many, many plot contrivances somewhat spoiled it for me overall.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    362 pages 4 stars Sydney Parnell, an Iraq war vet, and her canine partner Clyde are now with the Denver Major Crimes Department of the Denver Police Department. Sydney now has a police partner as well. His name is Len Bandoni. He is you might say a reluctant friend and “rabbi” (police-speak for mentor), of hers. Sydney and Clyde discover the body of a man who has been beaten and murdered. She is assigned the case. The scene has some kind of coded messages scrawled on the walls. What do these messa 362 pages 4 stars Sydney Parnell, an Iraq war vet, and her canine partner Clyde are now with the Denver Major Crimes Department of the Denver Police Department. Sydney now has a police partner as well. His name is Len Bandoni. He is you might say a reluctant friend and “rabbi” (police-speak for mentor), of hers. Sydney and Clyde discover the body of a man who has been beaten and murdered. She is assigned the case. The scene has some kind of coded messages scrawled on the walls. What do these messages mean? Who is the victim? Clues lead her to a club called Superior Gentlemen. This is not an organization that one leaves. This is a well written and crafted novel, as are all of Barbara Nickless' books. One event follows another in a logical progression in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous Sydney books and this one is just as good. Her characters are filled out and true-to-life. I like Sydney – and Clyde – what's not to love? I look forward to reading more of Sydney and Clyde's adventures in the future. I want to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for forwarding to me a copy of this very good book for me to read, enjoy and review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Luli

    Puedes encontrar esta reseña en español al final. This novel has not been titled by chance. This will be the first clue to find out if this story is what you usually read or if it´s a bit darker than you tolerate. On the other hand, this is the fourth book in the series. There is no point in starting here, and if you have already read the previous three, it doesn't matter what I tell you, you will be hooked on this author and her series, as I am. With that said, the best Sidney Rosie Parnell is bac Puedes encontrar esta reseña en español al final. This novel has not been titled by chance. This will be the first clue to find out if this story is what you usually read or if it´s a bit darker than you tolerate. On the other hand, this is the fourth book in the series. There is no point in starting here, and if you have already read the previous three, it doesn't matter what I tell you, you will be hooked on this author and her series, as I am. With that said, the best Sidney Rosie Parnell is back. It was a real pleasure. In this installment, the plot and characters are more consolidated, perfectly defined, so the author ventures (with great success) to grow, mature her characters without letting them lose their essence. At this point in the series I can add little more. The suspense is still outstanding, as are the original and interesting plots. To say that I have never read this line of suspense before is almost a miracle, since I have been enjoying this genre for more than thirty years now. I can´t find it a fault, really. Being (a lot) persnickety, I would say that I would have love to read more about the heroine´s personal life. It is very interesting and deals with topics totally allien for me, that's why it attracts me so much. In short, a fourth installment that improves its predecessor and that sets the bar high for the fifth. Because there will be a fifth, right? 😉 e-ARC kindly provided by Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley. Este título no está puesto al azar. Esta será la primera pista para saber si esta historia es lo que sueles leer, o es un poco más oscura de lo que toleras. Por otro lado, este es el cuarto libro de la serie. No tiene sentido empezar aquí, y si ya has leído los tres anteriores, da igual lo que te diga, estarás enganchada a esta autora, como lo estoy yo. Dicho esto, la mejor Sidney Rosie Parnell está de vuelta. Es un auténtico placer. En esta entrega la trama y los personajes están más consolidados, perfectamente definidos, así que la autora se aventura (con gran acierto) a hacer crecer, madurar a sus personajes sin dejarlos perder su esencia. A estas alturas de la serie poco puedo añadir. El suspense sigue siendo sobresaliente, las tramas originales e interesantes; decir que esta línea de suspense no la había leído nunca es casi un milagro, ya que llevo más de treinta años disfrutando de este género. No sé qué pega ponerle, la verdad. Por ser un poco quisquillosa diré que me gustaría haber visto algo más de la vida personal de la protagonista. Es muy interesante y lidia con temas totalmente desconocidos para mí, por eso me atrae tanto. En fin, una cuarta entrega que mejora su antecesora y que deja el listón altísimo para la quinta. Porque habrá quinta, ¿no? 😉

  8. 4 out of 5

    RedRedtheycallmeRed

    After being a little disappointed in book 3, I was happy this one seemed to be on par with the first two in the series. Sydney is doing a little better with her PTSD, she still sees the ghosts, but seems to be dealing with it better. She's moved on from being a railroad cop to the newest major crimes detective. Not that she really earned the spot, but because of sexual harassment lawsuits and lack of female representation in the squad. It gives her extra incentive to prove her worth. Uneasily par After being a little disappointed in book 3, I was happy this one seemed to be on par with the first two in the series. Sydney is doing a little better with her PTSD, she still sees the ghosts, but seems to be dealing with it better. She's moved on from being a railroad cop to the newest major crimes detective. Not that she really earned the spot, but because of sexual harassment lawsuits and lack of female representation in the squad. It gives her extra incentive to prove her worth. Uneasily partnered with Len Bandoni, Sydney and Clyde investigate murder, incels, immigration, sexual assault, and it still ties into the railroad a bit too. The storyline is brutal, fast paced, and kept me turning the pages quickly. Len grew on me as he grew on Sydney, Clyde was awesome as always and I liked the addition of Evan, linguistics expert and cousin of Mike. I hope he's around for future books (fingers crossed for more of this series).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Winter

    I hope she writes more books in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless Sydney Rose Parnell #4 Gripping, gritty, gruesome beginning to what proved to be an excellent story. I was hooked from page one and wanted the bad guy put away before I even read what he would eventually do. Evil stepped off the page and made me glad I would never have to interact with such a creature…at least I *hope* I won’t! Sydney’s move from railway cop to homicide detective comes with a whole lot of having to prove herself. She is a rookie that everyone ex Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless Sydney Rose Parnell #4 Gripping, gritty, gruesome beginning to what proved to be an excellent story. I was hooked from page one and wanted the bad guy put away before I even read what he would eventually do. Evil stepped off the page and made me glad I would never have to interact with such a creature…at least I *hope* I won’t! Sydney’s move from railway cop to homicide detective comes with a whole lot of having to prove herself. She is a rookie that everyone expects to fail or bail before her probation ends. Her mentor is a curmudgeonly sort that grew on me. Her boyfriend and his cousin were a delight – would love to hear more about Evan Wilding in future books. Clyde the K-9 partner is special and endearing and a force to be reckoned with. Sydney definitely holds her own and also uses her contacts with the railroad to solve the murder as the body was found in a refrigerated car on one of the trains that passed through town. What I liked: * Sydney: she seems like someone I would enjoy knowing. Her background in the military left her with an empathy with the dead and a connection stronger than most. * Clyde: a K-9 with skills beyond those of his training * Epigraphs that begin each chapter…interesting and well worth reading * Bandoni: seasoned detective not easy to warm up to at first but a great character by the end of the story * Cohen: seems to be a good book boyfriend to Sydney…and smart, too. * Evan Wilding: a brilliant man in his field * The police procedural parts * The train information * Learning about Pick-Up artists bent on seduction – learned some new terms, too * Seeing into the minds of evil doers * That the bad guys were caught in the end What I didn’t like: * The predators and what they did * The women treated as less than human * The creepiness…but I liked it, too * Knowing I will have to wait awhile for the next book in the series. Did I enjoy this book? Definitely Would I read more int his series? Without a doubt! Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC – This is my honest review. 5 Stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless is the latest installment in the gritty crime series featuring former railroad police officer Sydney Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde. This book is set six months after the events in Ambush, and Sydney and Clyde are now members of the Denver Police’s Major Crimes Unit. Sydney investigates a call from a railroad colleague and finds the body of a man in a refrigerated train car. The body was cruelly tortured and beaten to death. Sydney, Clyde and her new partn Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless is the latest installment in the gritty crime series featuring former railroad police officer Sydney Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde. This book is set six months after the events in Ambush, and Sydney and Clyde are now members of the Denver Police’s Major Crimes Unit. Sydney investigates a call from a railroad colleague and finds the body of a man in a refrigerated train car. The body was cruelly tortured and beaten to death. Sydney, Clyde and her new partner, Len Bandoni race to solve the case as the killer commits more horrifying crimes and silently stalks Sydney. Gone to Darkness may be read as a standalone, but reading the first three books will result in a richer understanding of Sydney and her K9 partner, Clyde's intense relationship honed by their time in Iraq. I enjoyed and recommend this fast-paced, well-written police procedural. Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the eARC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    The Superior Gentleman elite club appear innocent enough and are quite exclusive until murders and gossip start circulating around four of its members. YIKES... These guys are kidnappers and rapists and not the type of club you want to join. So, it's not far fetched to learn that they have killed without much remorse. What's shocking is the fact that crime and conspiracy seems to surface at every angle burrowing in the pores of every corner. Threatening to bring down the detective lives with it. Gone The Superior Gentleman elite club appear innocent enough and are quite exclusive until murders and gossip start circulating around four of its members. YIKES... These guys are kidnappers and rapists and not the type of club you want to join. So, it's not far fetched to learn that they have killed without much remorse. What's shocking is the fact that crime and conspiracy seems to surface at every angle burrowing in the pores of every corner. Threatening to bring down the detective lives with it. Gone to Darkness is a fast edged non stop nightmare that is sure to keep everyone on their toes.

  13. 5 out of 5

    CD {Boulder Blvd}

    Sydney Parnell is one of my favorite lead characters (plus Clyde her dog) and I am really enjoying this series. Quote at 27%: "Death is a song with a million melodies that always ends on the same discordant note. The start of the book really pulled me in and I had a hard time putting it down. The plot moved along really well with only a slight lull in the middle. There were quite a few characters for the police to investigate and there was a point where I got a couple of characters mixed up, but t Sydney Parnell is one of my favorite lead characters (plus Clyde her dog) and I am really enjoying this series. Quote at 27%: "Death is a song with a million melodies that always ends on the same discordant note. The start of the book really pulled me in and I had a hard time putting it down. The plot moved along really well with only a slight lull in the middle. There were quite a few characters for the police to investigate and there was a point where I got a couple of characters mixed up, but that's on me. I think it was pretty easy to figure out the bad guy, but identifying him and catching him was a lot more difficult. I enjoyed this one, recommend it, and look forward to the next in the series. Thanks to Net Galley and Thomas and Mercer for an ARC.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Always an enjoyable read and page-turning experience. This installment is it bit more predictable but the characters are just as strong and the plot just as fast-paced. Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas/Mercer for the ARC to read and review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Sydney and Clyde are back ! Barbara Nickless never fail to surprise me with her new material in cases. This time the comic geek intertwined with illegal workers, rapist and cult fanatic. I love Sydney and Bandoni’s banter and how their partnership develops through the story. Love this series!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Not the strongest in the series but still enjoyable. I love the dynamic with her new partner.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Another thrilling hunt-for-the-killer with Sydney!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I requested this book because I enjoy reading books with strong females as main characters plus I liked the author's previous books. Spoiler alert, this book contains an awful lot of horrible, evil actions perpetrated against other humans. Sydney has moved on from her railway position and joined the Denver PD and moved into the murder squad. This new book is well written with a decently complex plot - definitely qualifying as a dark mystery/thriller. I found the mutilation and subsequent investi I requested this book because I enjoy reading books with strong females as main characters plus I liked the author's previous books. Spoiler alert, this book contains an awful lot of horrible, evil actions perpetrated against other humans. Sydney has moved on from her railway position and joined the Denver PD and moved into the murder squad. This new book is well written with a decently complex plot - definitely qualifying as a dark mystery/thriller. I found the mutilation and subsequent investigation too much to stomach, so at the 70% mark I jumped nearly to the end of the book needing to know how it ended. Perhaps one day, in bright daylight, I can go back and read the quarter of the novel I couldn't bear to read. You'll need a strong stomach or nerves to read this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    I was so excited to read this, yet, frankly, I feel let down. Pardon the pun, but it all felt cartoonish to me. It didn't empathize with any of the characters at all. Maybe that says more about me than it does about the writing, but I found it be pretty flat. I still thought it was good but definitely not great like the first three in the series

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the eARC. The first I read in this series and I don't know if I liked it or not. Sidney Parnell and Clyde, her canine partner, have joined the Denver Major Crime Unit after leaving the Denver Pacific Continental Railway. Her human partner, detective Len Bandoni, doesn't seem too impressed with her and she can't help wanting to impress him. Sidney still suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq, as does Clyde. Clyde is the one being she trusts 100% and the Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the eARC. The first I read in this series and I don't know if I liked it or not. Sidney Parnell and Clyde, her canine partner, have joined the Denver Major Crime Unit after leaving the Denver Pacific Continental Railway. Her human partner, detective Len Bandoni, doesn't seem too impressed with her and she can't help wanting to impress him. Sidney still suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq, as does Clyde. Clyde is the one being she trusts 100% and they're inseparable. After two horrific murders the 3 of them get involved in a case that involves some of the most evil humans imaginable, one of whom has his sights set on capturing Sydney. This is where I found myself losing interest. The theme of a woman stalked and captured in the end by the madman who hates women is so prevalent in the mystery genre that it bores me. It's too much 'same old, same old'. The best parts of the book were Clyde (loved him) and Bandoni and Sydney's growing relationship. I don't think I'll read any more in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    The best yet I have been reading the Sydney Parnell novels since the very first one and every time I finish one, I eagerly await the next. This one was no exception and, in my opinion, the best one yet. As always, it’s great to be back on the tracks with Sydney, although I was somewhat sceptical about her change in profession – she’s moved into the Denver Major Crimes Unit and is now working with her old nemesis, Len Bandoni. However, I am so pleased that her K9 partner is still at her side, as I The best yet I have been reading the Sydney Parnell novels since the very first one and every time I finish one, I eagerly await the next. This one was no exception and, in my opinion, the best one yet. As always, it’s great to be back on the tracks with Sydney, although I was somewhat sceptical about her change in profession – she’s moved into the Denver Major Crimes Unit and is now working with her old nemesis, Len Bandoni. However, I am so pleased that her K9 partner is still at her side, as I love the interaction between them – Clyde is the most loyal of partners and will risk his life for her. This time the case they find themselves thrown into is an intensely dark and disturbing one. It draws you in and almost grabs you by the heart when a young man is found murdered and with strange words and drawings carved into his body. Parnell and Bandoni work hard to discover and catch the murderer, as they are drawn into the deep underworld of conspiracy, death, and horror. The ending was a mad, fast paced chase which put both of our cops in mortal danger and made me want to read faster to try and save them. The ending was tremendous and, uncharacteristically, it made me shed a small tear – was it for sorrow or relief? I will leave that for future readers to decide. The book itself is so beautifully written, the author has a wonderful way with words, using such descriptive phrases to set the scene and paint a picture that is clearly visible in the reader’s imagination. The characters are so completely believable and entirely well rounded. Parnell and Bandoni gel well together, with the humorous exchanges in banter which keeps them sane in a world of evil. Happily, Mike Cohen is still in Sydney’s life and plays a major role in catching the criminals, along with his cousin, who lends plenty of expertise. Reading this book happily reunited me with old friends, the type that I only meet once every few years, but who I look forward to joining up with as if they truly existed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    3.5 stars Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless is the 4th book in the Sydney Parnell and her K9 partner Clyde series. I saw it recommended on someone's blog, but can't remember whose. Anyway, I'm glad I gave it a try! Although there are references to previous books, Gone to Darkness worked just fine as a standalone. An Iraq war veteran, Sydney Parnell and Clyde, a Belgian Malinois, worked with the railroad police in the earlier books, but have just joined the Denver Homicide Squad. She has a new p 3.5 stars Gone to Darkness by Barbara Nickless is the 4th book in the Sydney Parnell and her K9 partner Clyde series. I saw it recommended on someone's blog, but can't remember whose. Anyway, I'm glad I gave it a try! Although there are references to previous books, Gone to Darkness worked just fine as a standalone. An Iraq war veteran, Sydney Parnell and Clyde, a Belgian Malinois, worked with the railroad police in the earlier books, but have just joined the Denver Homicide Squad. She has a new partner in Detective Len Bandoni, a weathered veteran of the force. When Sydney gets a call-out from a colleague in her former unit with the railroad police, she has a personal reason to reply to her friend. When she arrives on the scene and finally locates him, Heinrich is unconscious from a blow to the head. When he comes around, he remembers little about what happened. Sydney and Clyde do a preliminary search of the area to see if Sydney can determine more about what happened. She discovers what appears to be a small makeshift shrine and a bit of bloody chiffon. With the second sense of a war veteran, Sydney is certain there is a body involved--but where? Sydney, Clyde, and Bandoni find themselves in an investigation that gets deadlier and more threatening. Well-written and suspenseful, the plot involves Incels (Involuntary Celibates) and the Manosphere. The only thing I didn't like was the prologue. Too many books begin with a prologue now and sometimes they work. For me personally, this is the kind that doesn't work because it gives too much away. Aside from my dislike of the prologue, the characters, police procedural, and narrative kept me riveted . I will most definitely be looking for the previous books in the series. Read in April. Blog review scheduled for May 10. NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer Crime/Police Procedural. June 2, 2020. Print length: 364 pages.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John McKenna

    By Barbara Nickless will be released June 2, 2020. It finds Iraq war veterans Sydney Parnell and her Belgian Malinois K9 partner Clyde, have moved on from being railway cops to the Denver Police Department. There, she’s the youngest homicide detective in the Major Crimes Unit . . . and partnered with Len Bandoni, an old adversary who’s now her mentor and the sole judge who’ll determine if she’ll stay in the elite division. The story begins when a prank by Sydney’s old supervisor on the Denver Pac By Barbara Nickless will be released June 2, 2020. It finds Iraq war veterans Sydney Parnell and her Belgian Malinois K9 partner Clyde, have moved on from being railway cops to the Denver Police Department. There, she’s the youngest homicide detective in the Major Crimes Unit . . . and partnered with Len Bandoni, an old adversary who’s now her mentor and the sole judge who’ll determine if she’ll stay in the elite division. The story begins when a prank by Sydney’s old supervisor on the Denver Pacific Continental Railway—a man named Greg Heinrich—goes awry at her farewell party and he inadvertently leaves with her badge. When she attempts to retrieve it in the early morning darkness, she finds Heinrich lying beside the railroad tracks with a head wound after being clubbed, a confusing report of a murdered woman . . . but no body . . . a blood splattered dress and a mysterious shrine, also bloody. Acting only on a hunch prompted by gut instinct, Sydney tracks down the train engineer who first spotted the missing mystery woman, and much to the displeasure of Bandoni, who tells her to “Start thinking like a cop.” If no one’s reported a crime or found a body, there is no case as far as the grizzled old veteran detective is concerned. But she persists, and finds the savagely beaten dead body of a young man in an open railcar full of boxes of defrosted, and rotting frozen chickens. Her discovery sets off a terrifying hunt for a savage killer through the local underbelly of homeless rail riders, criminals and punk runaway teens. And, as if that’s not enough, all the publicity she’s received has generated a demented stalker who’s determined to capture Sydney Rose Parnell and keep her . . . for always, if he can just figure out what to do about the damned dog . . . The action never slows and the suspense ratchets up in every chapter of this delightfully twisted and energetic page-turning thriller from the mind of a budding superstar!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I held my breath, I checked behind closets, and made sure all my doors were locked even though I have a husband and 2 large dogs. This is part of series, but stands on its own. You are not befuddled. I read book one in this series, and it was good read, but didn't tag me the this one does. This one makes me wonder if I have missed out, I will need to see. Sydney and Clyde (her K-9) are really coming into their own. They each still grapple with PTSD but you can see them growing, and letting a lit I held my breath, I checked behind closets, and made sure all my doors were locked even though I have a husband and 2 large dogs. This is part of series, but stands on its own. You are not befuddled. I read book one in this series, and it was good read, but didn't tag me the this one does. This one makes me wonder if I have missed out, I will need to see. Sydney and Clyde (her K-9) are really coming into their own. They each still grapple with PTSD but you can see them growing, and letting a little bit of sun into their lives. She is now a Detective and partnered with her old nemesis Bandoni. Their relationship was well done, it wasn't over the top and I enjoyed the growth there. As she catches a case on the railcars by unusual circumstances, we are off. This really made me think about Gentlemen clubs (using Gentlemen loosely), the immigrants and flat out gave me the shudders in parts. A great thriller, with suspense and mystery showing you how they tug on all the strings to try and solve a case and shows you the darkness touches everyone, no one is safe. Thank you Barbara Nickless for writing this book, Thomas Mercer for publishing and allowing me through NetGalley to receive and arc. I freely volunteer my thoughts and opinions, nothing was solicited.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I have always enjoyed this series and I must say I think this one is the best. Sydney leaves her job with the railroad to join the homicide squad taking her beloved companion with her. Right out of the door her first case sends her back to the railroad when a body is discovered in one of the refrigerator cars. The body will lead her into a cabal of evil, one that preys on women, and leaves her wondering if she made the right decision. I love the characters and how the author especially develops S I have always enjoyed this series and I must say I think this one is the best. Sydney leaves her job with the railroad to join the homicide squad taking her beloved companion with her. Right out of the door her first case sends her back to the railroad when a body is discovered in one of the refrigerator cars. The body will lead her into a cabal of evil, one that preys on women, and leaves her wondering if she made the right decision. I love the characters and how the author especially develops Sydney. A Marine war vet with inner demons of her own and a K-9 companion she trusts more than anyone brings to life the struggles with her past and the hope for her future. I believe my favorite parts of each book are the chapter headings where Sydney reveals her feelings and perceptions of her experiences. If you haven't read any of these I urge you to. You will not be disappointed. Plus, the ending on this one is worth the read. A nail biting, knee jerking doozy of a finish with an evil you want to jump into the pages and help Sydney yourself.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Moore

    I received this is a giveaway. I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you like reading a mystery/thriller that involves a police investigation. I read the first book in the series and then jumped to this one. While the career is a little different, this book was still easy to follow and it told you what you needed to know about the characters. As the case is also different, you don't miss anything by skipping to this book, as the current cased begins at the start of this book. I really don't fe I received this is a giveaway. I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you like reading a mystery/thriller that involves a police investigation. I read the first book in the series and then jumped to this one. While the career is a little different, this book was still easy to follow and it told you what you needed to know about the characters. As the case is also different, you don't miss anything by skipping to this book, as the current cased begins at the start of this book. I really don't feel like I missed anything by skipping the second and third books in this series. The way the book is written, you know about each step of the investigation and what is going on with the characters. The book keeps you guessing about what is going to happen. The writing draws you into the story, and it starts of quickly. As you can easily follow what is going on, you become invested in the story to find out what is going on and what is going to happen. The writing also paints the picture and creates the story.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    "...The past is not my enemy. It’s my fear of the past that brings me down." This is the fourth book in the excellent Sydney Parnell series. Sydney is a former railroad cop/former Marine who works with her K9 partner Clyde. They are both now working for the Denver Police Department in the Major Crimes Unit. The story starts with a mutilated body being found inside a railroad refrigerated car and the brutal murders don't stop there. Sydney and her human partner, Detective Bandoni, are soon on the tr "...The past is not my enemy. It’s my fear of the past that brings me down." This is the fourth book in the excellent Sydney Parnell series. Sydney is a former railroad cop/former Marine who works with her K9 partner Clyde. They are both now working for the Denver Police Department in the Major Crimes Unit. The story starts with a mutilated body being found inside a railroad refrigerated car and the brutal murders don't stop there. Sydney and her human partner, Detective Bandoni, are soon on the trail of the murderer and trying to find possible victims before the killer does. Or is there more than one killer? I enjoyed this book a lot. I missed Sydney's connection to the railroad in book three and in this offering the railroad is a key component again. Also, a character was added in this book that I hope to read about more in future books. I highly recommend this book and this series. I received this book from Thomas & Mercer through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Oxier

    I love this series. It's different than others out today because it's based around the railroad. Sydney Rose Parnell once worked for the railroad. Now she's a Denver detective. However, a body found in a railroad car puts her back in familiar territory. I love the suspense and intrigue surrounding each case and the special skills Sydney brings when it comes to solving them. She also has her dog, Clyde, who works with her and goes everywhere Sydney goes. Bandoni, Sydney's partner on the job, is o I love this series. It's different than others out today because it's based around the railroad. Sydney Rose Parnell once worked for the railroad. Now she's a Denver detective. However, a body found in a railroad car puts her back in familiar territory. I love the suspense and intrigue surrounding each case and the special skills Sydney brings when it comes to solving them. She also has her dog, Clyde, who works with her and goes everywhere Sydney goes. Bandoni, Sydney's partner on the job, is one of those grouchy hard-to-please guys who easily finds fault and seldom has anything good to day about anybody. Sydney is slowly working her way into his good graces, eager to learn from him, given his experience. Sydney has a boyfriend, Michael Cohen, who is extremely wealthy and gets along fabulously with Clyde. I highly recommend this series. You won't be disappointed. It's quickly become one of my favorites and I look forward to the release of each new book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Deeper into the world of Sydney Rose and Clyde Readers of earlier books in the series will find Sydney Rose seemingly settling down into a world of love and care with Cohen and Clyde (her canine partner). But she has taken on a new challenge, becoming a “murder cop”. Book 4 takes us with her on her rookie assignments with her challenging partner/mentor Len as she handles the ribbing and jealousy of the other cops. Then, while delving into the mysteries of masses of untested DNA samples which is h Deeper into the world of Sydney Rose and Clyde Readers of earlier books in the series will find Sydney Rose seemingly settling down into a world of love and care with Cohen and Clyde (her canine partner). But she has taken on a new challenge, becoming a “murder cop”. Book 4 takes us with her on her rookie assignments with her challenging partner/mentor Len as she handles the ribbing and jealousy of the other cops. Then, while delving into the mysteries of masses of untested DNA samples which is her rookie challenge, she stumbles upon an attack on a railroad cop which leads her to a possible death...only a tiny cross and a religious medal as clues. The mysteries all intertwine while Sydney Rose determines not only whether there is a crime but whether she has taken the right path in life. Great characters, involving mysteries, a view into several of today’s society’s issues .... a rip-roaring good story. I can’t wait for book 5!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Sydney's left the rails and is now a homicide detective in Denver, working alongside her K9 Clyde. Yes, K9s aren't generally partnered with homicide detectives but go with it because he's a great character. She's also got a partner in Len, an older, wiser cop. Ironically, her first case with the PD involves a body found in a railcar- with things carved in his body. Her investigation takes you into the world of incels (how topical!). Know that Sydney, who served in Iraq (with Clyde) has PTSD and Sydney's left the rails and is now a homicide detective in Denver, working alongside her K9 Clyde. Yes, K9s aren't generally partnered with homicide detectives but go with it because he's a great character. She's also got a partner in Len, an older, wiser cop. Ironically, her first case with the PD involves a body found in a railcar- with things carved in his body. Her investigation takes you into the world of incels (how topical!). Know that Sydney, who served in Iraq (with Clyde) has PTSD and ghosts from her past speak to her (don't worry- not woo woo). She's struggling less this time around but would still benefit from a little help. It's a good mystery and you, like me, may learn something. I think this will be fine as a standalone, in part because it starts a new chapter in Sydney's life. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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