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Brigid Quinn #2

Fear the Darkness: A Novel

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Finalist for the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award

It's hard to recognize the devil when his hand is on your shoulder. That's because a psychopath is just a person before he becomes a headline….Psychopaths have preferences for Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts coffee, denim or linen, Dickens or…well, you get the point.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn has seen more than her share of psychopaths. She is ready to put all that behind her, building a new life in Tucson with a husband, friends, and some nice quiet work as a private investigator. Sure, she could still kill a man half her age, but she now gets her martial arts practice by teaching self-defense at a women's shelter.

But sometimes it isn't that simple. When her sister-in-law dies, Brigid take in her seventeen-year-old niece, Gemma Kate. There has always been something unsettling about Gemma-Kate, but family is family. Which is fine, until Gemma-Kate starts taking an unhealthy interest in dissecting the local wildlife.

Meanwhile, Brigid agrees to help a local couple by investigating the death of their son―which also turns out not to be that simple. Her house isn't the sanctuary it used to be, and new dangers―including murder―seem to lurk everywhere. Brigid starts to wonder if there is anyone she can trust, or if the devil has simply moved closer to home.

Becky Masterman's Fear the Darkness is the masterful follow-up to the Edgar Award and CWA Gold Dagger finalist Rage Against the Dying.

336 pages, Paperback

First published November 14, 2014

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About the author

Becky Masterman

12 books319 followers
Becky Masterman created her heroine, Brigid Quinn while working as an editor for a forensic science and law enforcement press. Her debut thriller, Rage Against the Dying, was a finalist for the Edgar Awards and the CWA Gold Dagger, as well as the Macavity, Barry, ITW and Anthony awards. Becky lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 375 reviews
Profile Image for Julie .
4,079 reviews59k followers
October 30, 2020
Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman is a 2014 Minotaur publication.

This second installment might be even better than the first!!

When Brigid’s sister-in-law dies after a lengthy illness, she reluctantly takes in her niece for a while, before she begins college.

Unfortunately, things get off to a very rocky start when the niece participates in some ghoulish behavior, then one of Brigid’s dogs becomes ill, quite suddenly, and then Brigid, herself, begins experiencing the hallmark symptoms of a serious illness.

Meanwhile, a local couple asks Brigid to investigate the alleged accidental drowning death of their son, who was not popular amongst his classmates.

If you read the first book in this series, you will have noticed that Brigid seems almost mellow in this installment, by comparison. But don’t let that fool you- Brigid still has her edge- it’s just taking a small sabbatical while Brigid is wading through the heaviness of her symptoms, and facing the possibility of her own mortality in a way she never has before.

There is a lot going on in this novel- but many of the key shifts are quiet and may even go unnoticed at first. I wouldn’t let my guard down, if I were you, as the last quarter of the book hypnotically weaves all the threads together to reveal a huge surprise and a riveting conclusion.

I am definitely all in with this series and am eagerly anticipating Brigid’s next adventure!!

4 stars
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,483 reviews79k followers
December 22, 2016
Finally have come back to review this one. This book is #2 in the Brigid Quinn series, and if you are thinking of reading these books, I would recommend starting there.

I fell so hard for Becky Masterman's debut novel that I found it unbelievable that I could like a follow up to the story as good-boy was I wrong. This story might have been EVEN BETTER than the first one. We catch up with Brigid following the events of the previous book and life has calmed down a bit. Her marriage seems to be doing well and she's made a few friends at their new local church. A teenage son of a family who were formerly members of the church has died in a drowning. Her friends seem to think as a former FBI agent that she could do a little investigating and bring the family some peace of mind. Also, Brigid/s beloved sister in law has just passed away and it is time for her to take ownership of a promise she made her- to take in Brigid's teenage niece, Gemma-Kate. At first, all is well; but slowly odd things start to happen and Brigid is getting sick. With the help of her husband Carlo and friend Mallory, she begins investigating not only what really happened to the teenage boy, but what is going on in her own house.

I was genuinely shocked by the "who dun it" in this one. And I found myself a little sad to end the book because I felt like the characters had become old friends and I can't see them again until the next book is written. All in all, 2 fantastic books in this series; I'm anxious to read a third!
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
October 5, 2019
“When you first come out to this part of Arizona you think Good grief, it’s all fifty shades of beige, but you’re wrong. On this late afternoon in spring the rosy glow the setting sun cast on the Catalinas in the distance made me think of my friend Mallory’s wisdom, ‘When the mountains turn pink, it’s time for a drink.’”

I can still remember the first time I saw Tucson, Arizona. I was moving there from the scorching concrete and unnatural green grass of Phoenix to finish my English degree at the University of Arizona. To my skeptical eye, the whole city looked to me as if it were one sandstorm away from disappearing forever. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the place. The natural desert lawns possessed more nuance and more beauty than any expanse of green lawn could ever achieve. By the time I visited Phoenix again, it resembled an alien landscape, one in which humans were trying to turn a desert into Ohio.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn is happily married to Carlo and quietly starting up a private investigation operation. She has had to accept the fact that the concept of being retired escapes her. As her friend Mallory Hollinger likes to joke, her tombstone will read...never took lunch. Brigid might be passed her prime physically, but there is certainly nothing wrong with her mind. Well, there wasn’t anything wrong with her mind until she starts having hallucinations.

”I saw Carlo. I saw him smile his usual bad-boy smile. Then I saw his flesh drop away, turning the smile into the grin of a skull.”

What the hell?

One of their pugs becomes deathly sick. It seems he had been licking a Colorado River Toad, but something, well a lot of things about it, doesn’t add up.

Everything was peachy, and now everything seems to be going wrong.

What’s changed?

Oh yeah, her seventeen year old niece, Gemma-Kate, moves in.

The problem with teenagers is that it is difficult to tell the difference between typical head spinning on their shoulders behavior and say psychotic behavior. Even Brigid, who is an expert on criminal behavior, has difficulty really deciding if Gemma-Kate is reasonably normal or sees other human beings with the same importance as a used Kleenex. ”To her you are one of three things: an amusement, useful, or in the way.’

”It’s hard to recognize the devil when his hand is on your shoulder. That’s because a psychopath is just a person before he becomes a headline.”

Normal people, when they see the flesh melt off the face of their husband, would be checking themselves into the nearest psychiatric ward, but Brigid is far from a normal human being. She is determined to continue on her hallucinatory journey until she discovers what is really going on. She is also trying to work the case of a drowned teenager, and it doesn’t take long for that case and her own problems to intersect.

Teenagers, you can’t live them, and you can’t kill them. Or can you?

Another amusing adventure with one of the most inspiring detectives I’ve run across in a long time. 59 is the new 39. Brigid will convince you that, whatever age you are, you can make the universe notice you are still alive and kicking. I can’t wait to read the third installment: A Twist of the Knife.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com
I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Paula K .
435 reviews417 followers
March 17, 2018
What a fun series this has turned out to be!

Brigid Quinn is a tough, put together ex-FBI agent in her late fifties trying to settle down in Arizona with here new ex-priest husband, Carlo, and their two Pugs. She use to chase serial killers for a living and now prefers to take long walks with the Pugs and collect rocks and artifacts or spend time with her new female friend (which she has never had).

Tragedy occurs with the death of Brigid’s sister-in-law. She takes in her niece, Gemma-Kate and unusual things start to happen. One of her Pugs gets sick, the church parish gets poisoned, and then she starts to feel ill. And her new friend just seems too good to be true.

Fear the Darkness is the 2nd in the series, and unexpectedly for me, was even better than the first book! How often does that happen? What a great surprise! A quick and easy book to read with a lot of humor thrown in. I am enjoying this series so much. It’s terrific to pick up a book in between serious ones that is just plan fun to read. Can’t wait to read #3.

Highly recommend this series!

5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews146 followers
February 7, 2017
In my review of Becky Masterman's first book, I noted a few editorial problems. It didn't bode well when I found one in the prologue of this book. Brigid is in a trunk lying on her left side, and on the next page, her "right arm has gone numb beneath me." Is that anatomically possible? Fortunately, that was the only editorial problem I noticed in this book.

I like Masterman's writing style and the voice she gives to Brigid. I do like Brigid, even though she's not the sharpest agent in the Bureau drawer. Maybe she doesn't realize how soft she's gotten in retirement. In this book, I was baffled that she couldn't even figure out what was happening to her. When she's off hiking, having lunch or drinks at a friend's house, visiting the ME's office, or questioning people, I wonder what poor Carlo, her husband, is doing. Does he wonder where she is all the time?

So now I've dipped my toe into Becky Masterman's pond. Not sure I want to wade in any further. Maybe I'll just assume Brigid finds the quiet, happy life she's looking for.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,229 reviews2,731 followers
January 14, 2015
Retired ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn was content and happy with her life – married at an age when she’d given up on love, her husband Carlo was a man who understood her; had endless sources of patience and supported her totally. Brigid had few friends because of her past, but her recent friendship with Mallory felt right – enjoying wine and conversation together was a delightful pastime.

When Brigid’s sister-in-law passed away after a long illness, the promise she had made her and her brother weighed heavily on her mind. But she would honour it – and so her teenage niece Gemma-Kate arrived to live with Carlo and Brigid; it was only for three months before the start of the college semester, but suddenly things began to go wrong. And when Brigid began to put her past skills to use once again after the drowning death of a young teenager, her gut instinct and intuition told her that there was evil close by – but whom? Her suspicions were going haywire – and why was Brigid herself suddenly feeling ill? What was happening? Why were people becoming ill and dying?

As danger came closer, Brigid wondered if she was going crazy – the paranoia that caused her to look at everyone in a different light; what was wrong with her?

Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman is an absolutely chilling thriller! This, the follow on from Rage Against the Dying is even better in my opinion, and I loved that one. I certainly didn’t expect the result! Gripping, intense and with a scarily real plot plus twists and turns to blow you away – an excellent read. I have no hesitation in recommending Fear the Darkness highly.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.
May 15, 2019
It is 08:45 pm Tuesday night 14/05/2019 here in Melbourne, Australia, and I have just finished “Fear the Darkness“, written by Becky Masterman. I will write a more specific review tomorrow, when it is daylight and I have given the book more thought, but my latest activity comment foreshadowed my disappointment in a book that I was really looking forward to.

Update 11:38 am Wednesday morning, 15/05/2019
Audiobook - 11:22 Hours - Narrator: Kate harper
From my activity report 12/05/2019:
Listened to: 07:14Hours - Balance: 04:08 Hours
"I hate to say it, but for a book I was looking forward to reading hearing, I think I am going to be disappointed. After two thirds of the book, I should be able to determine a plot, but even though the narrative is enjoyable, there is barely a sign of one. I am hopeful that something of interest will emerge, but.."

I listened to the remaining four hours, which included a continuation of the rambling, back-story reminiscences Brigid inflicted upon the listener during the first seven hours. After her highly improbable reactions to attempts to affect her well-being, a somewhat corny and implausible plot eventually emerged. Suffice it to say that once this happened it took only several nano seconds to determine who the baddie was. Brigid suffered some scary deprivation of liberty and a few other discomforts, but survived to feature in "#3, A Twist of the Knife", which is in my Reading Now list because I am desperate for Masterman to produce a book that fulfils the expectations created for Brigid Quinn, particularly in her first appearance.

I know we can be disappointed by a book and still enjoy it, even if only to a more limited degree than we anticipated. Brigid Quinn was introduced in "#1, Rage Against the Dying", the debut novel by Becky Masterman. Various reviewers, myself included, gave the novel a positive rating but criticised the number of editorial errors and oversights, a surprising fact given that the author "...created her heroine, Brigid Quinn, while working as an editor for a forensic science and law enforcement press." One can only hope that Masterman's editors can rise to the challenge and provide us with a novel without corny errors and distracting oversights.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,471 reviews1,009 followers
June 4, 2017
I read this from my purchased pile where it's been sat for ages due to the new one having just arrived for review.

I like this series - I liked the first one and this one was excellent also. Great plotting that keeps things unpredictable and a main character who is of a certain age showing that not all main protagonists in crime novels need to be young to middle aged and frazzled.

I'll write a fuller review of book 3 but I'm enjoying the fact that I've had the chance to read a book I purchased so I don't have to write an essay!

But highly recommended. Really very good indeed.
Profile Image for Ed.
639 reviews58 followers
March 17, 2018
Strong follow up to "Rage Against the Dying" has Brigid Quinn on her heels suffering from depression, nausea, hallucinations and paranoia. Her rapidly declining health may be attributed to her strong suspicion she is being poisoned by her seventeen year old niece Gemma Kate, a house guest earning residency requirements for University of Arizona in-state tuition. Gemma Kate may be a serial killer in the making or just an ordinary teenager but Brigid, who has no children of her own, has trouble understanding or trusting her. The establishment of her myriad relationships builds very slowly like boiling water on a low flame but eventually there's light at the end of this literary tunnel. And a jagged, twisting beam of light it is!

Profile Image for Jaylia3.
752 reviews132 followers
December 1, 2014
Even though tough as nails Brigid Quinn is retirement age now and starting to have a few health issues, she still remembers enough of her FBI martial arts training to take down a much bigger, younger, stronger man in a hand to hand scuffle so this is no cozy mystery. Brigid did a lot of undercover work when she was an FBI agent which isn’t conducive to forming close personal relationships, but she’s slowly getting the knack for human connection and in this second book of the series she’s added a best female friend and a teenage niece to the husband and dogs she acquired late in her life.

Then as soon as Brigid is asked to investigate the drowning death of a boy from her church one of her dogs gets poisoned and her health problems start to escalate, filling her with suspicions and making her doubt everything about the new life she’s built for herself. The story gives interesting insights into Brigid’s relationship with her family, and while the plot is slightly more disturbing than I prefer because I lean towards the cozy side of the genre, I love having an older main character who’s sharp, tenacious and capable.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,944 reviews1,898 followers
April 25, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

There’s something special about this series, I don’t remember being this excited about discovering a new to me author, or bingeing a series in record time since I picked up Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. (I then proceeded to race to Goodreads where I found out she had a series and I never looked back) Anyway, my Becky Masterman binge has been amazingly fun and I have to thank Chelsea (again) for putting this phenomenal series on my radar.

Things pick up shortly where the first book ended and Brigid Quinn has slipped back into her peaceful existence in Tucson, Arizona and is still married to Carlo. I may be developing a bit of a crush on him, he has the patience of a saint and as much as I like Brigid, she would be very hard to be married to. She’s taking on some cases as a PI as she physically can’t just stop investigating and life is pretty great. Then her sister in law dies and despite some reservations, she honors her promise of taking in her teenaged niece, Gemma Kate so she can establish residency for college.

I fell more in love with Brigid in this book and it’s just as strong as the first one. She has such a powerful voice, and Masterman delved deeper into her psyche this time around. I liked finding out more about her family and though they only make a brief appearance, the insight explained a whole lot about who she is. She narrates the story in hindsight, which was so clever as she would drop subtle hints about the events to come that piqued my curiosity without giving anything away.

This time around Brigid isn’t hunting down a mad killer, she’s searching for a danger very close to home. She’s extremely paranoid and I found myself very wary of all the characters and their motives as well. The plot twist stunned me and was executed to perfection, as this point, I don’t think Masterman can do any wrong, she’s an incredibly talented writer and Brigid is the type of character that stays on your mind long after you turn the final page. I can’t wait to dive into book three, but what will I do when I’m done, there’s no book four yet?!
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.7k reviews447 followers
February 15, 2015
The first book in this one so surprised me in a good way that I was really looking forward to this one. However I ended up being very disappointed. With how the story unfolded I found myself very paranoid, like Brigid. I suspected everyone, with the exception of Carlos. I knew that even if certain people turned out to not be the bad guy I still didn't like them. The story seemed like with each page it got crazy and crazier. By the end of the book I was glad to be done with it and really hope that the next book is better.
327 reviews4 followers
May 31, 2015
This is the first Becky Masterman novel I have read but it certainly won't be the last. A chilling, thrilling tale that keeps you turning the pages with indrawn gasps of air and a racing heart as you try to figure out what's going on, Brigid Quinn is 59 years old, a retired FBI agent and a newlywed. She and her husband are now living in Tucson and she's self-employed as a private investigator. One day she gets the call she has been expecting and dreading, her sister-in-law has died after a lengthy illness. As she had agreed to do, she takes in her niece, Gemma Kate. Soon after strange, dangerous things start happening and she's beginning to suspect her niece. Then she takes a case to investigate the death of a local couple's son and she can sense the danger and menace to herself and those she loves.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,145 reviews2,763 followers
March 6, 2015
I have really enjoyed both of Becky Masterman's books. Not sure how much this is because they take place near where we live in Tucson. Like reading Laura Lippman and knowing every intersection she mentions. Her characterization of Episcopalians is also spot on. But highly recommended for those who like a good mystery.
Profile Image for Jim.
1,103 reviews14 followers
May 21, 2017
The explosive follow up to author Becky Masterman's first Brigid Quinn series book, "Fear The Darkness", is a mesmerizing suspense thriller. Protagonist Brigid Quinn retired FBI agent and now fledgling private eye once again at age 59 is tougher than most men half her age. Quinn only knows one way to go and that's relentless. This second book is set several months after the conclusion of first book. After Brigid's sister in law dies in Florida of cancer, daughter Gemma-Kate comes to live with Carlo and Brigid. Gemma-Kate also wants to attend the University of Arizona in the upcoming fall can now establish residency in Arizona by living with Brigid. From the onset of Gemma-Kate's arrival strange things seem to happen. One of Brigid's dogs eats a poisonous toad and almost dies. Brigid is certain Gemma-Kate is somehow involved. When spiked coffee at a church event leaves one dead and dozens sick, Brigid makes it her mission to expose Gemma-Kate. After several heated interactions with Gemma-Kate, Carlo suspects something is wrong with Brigid. When a doctor check up leads the doctor to suspect Brigid is suffering from Parkinson's the crazy events seem to multiply even quicker. Brigid even suspects her medication is being tampered with. There isn't a dull page in this tale to be sure. The intricate plot weaves a thrilling and superbly fast paced mystery. Close to being a classic "Who-Done-It", this yarn is much better than that. Reading between the pages early in this tale really messes with your mind. When it looks like the plot is turning one direction, it's actually turning down a completely different road. Main characters Brigid, Carlo, and Gemma-Kate continually have some explosive interactions. The supporting characters are nicely worked into the mystery of what's really happening with Brigid. Author Becky Masterman with just two Brigid Quinn books proves to be a master story teller. At just over 330 pages, I read pretty much all of this book in just two sittings. Once the book gets to about page 125 it's impossible to put down. To date both Brigid Quinn books are highly enjoyable reads. Five stars out of a possible five stars for author Becky Masterman's, "Fear The Darkness". If you haven't ready read Masterman's first, "Rage Against The Dying", this is a do not miss series. I'm really looking forward to the third Brigid Quinn book.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews89 followers
December 26, 2014
Fear the Darkness: A Thriller (Brigid Quinn Series)
Becky Masterman

The main and most important characters in this book...

Brigid Quinn...her ex-priest husband...Carlo...her niece Gemma-Kate...her new bestie Mallory and the Pugs...Brigid's beloved yet nameless Pugs...are all key characters. There are tons of other characters but the above mentioned ones are the essential ones.

My very brief story summary that includes bits and bobs from the beginning, middle and end of this book...

This is a mystery so my summary will be sort of bare bones. Brigid is retired and working as a PI. When her sister in law dies...she is asked to take in her niece...Gemma-Kate...for a few months. Gemma's behavior is less than desirable and some of her actions are questionable...especially when one of the pugs nearly dies. Her attitude bites and everyone's life takes a downward turn. Brigid begins to feel ill...people at a church function become ill and everything that happens seems to point to Gemma-Kate and her friend Pete and some very odd and suspicious behaviors...oh...and a poison toad! It's wonderful stuff and wonderful writing!

My actual most favorite part of this book...

Brigid is such an odd and quirky character that she fascinates me. I love her relationship with her husband. I love her relationship with the pugs. This book is suspended filled...has quite a few characters that I loved disliking and a really yummy ending that took me by surprise! I love when a book does this. I read so much that I can be quite jaded about books but this one was delightful!

My actual true feelings about this book and whether or not other potential readers will enjoy it...

I should say that I read and reviewed the first Brigid Quinn book and loved it! Raved about it! Fell in mad love with this quirky dry humored character and her husband and pugs. The first book was called Rage Against The Dying. I would urge you to read it first...it's not necessary but it's so much more enjoyable if you do because you really "get" Brigid much better that way. I loved this second book and I now am a huge fan of this series. Brigid doesn't remind me of any other character...she is unique...I love the way her brain works! Mystery lovers who love strong lead characters and amazing intricate plot twists...and turns...should love this book!

Profile Image for Shannon.
78 reviews19 followers
February 7, 2015
I'm so sad to give this only a pair of stars, because I really, really liked the first book. When things on the work front are particularly busy, I tend to gravitate toward crime fiction, as evidenced by six straight weeks of cranky, often homicidal protagonists like Reacher and Bosch. So I zoomed through these in two days and was thrilled to discover the fiery, sassy, old-law-enforcement-broad voice that I enjoyed so much in her debut. Even if much of the FBI stuff is a stretch. In the second one, I still liked her character, but I felt like she only showed up about 10 percent.

To be fair, that was rather the point — it won't give anything away to say that for the majority of the story, she was being physically/mentally messed with. So her body and mind weren't right. That's an interesting conceit, and I think it might have worked for me if it had been the fifth or sixth book in the series--with her character much more well-established--instead of the second. But her character had barely gotten off the ground after just one book, and it was so promising — so to have the narrator be a paranoid, sick shell of her usual self was just too unappealing.

Also, I appreciate that Masterson gave readers the ability to figure out the crime/perp for themselves fairly early on, as with Christie or classic detective fiction. But when I figured out who was behind it in the first 50 pages, and only had to fill in some details on motive, I was pretty disappointed. The clues were just way too obvious and not compellingly written. That said, I enjoyed the first so much that I will read the third whenever it comes out, and go with the best two out of three.
Profile Image for Buchdoktor.
1,878 reviews134 followers
December 11, 2017
Brigid Quinn ist pensionierte Sonderagentin des FBI und lebt inzwischen in später Ehe zusammen mit dem ehemaligen Prieste Carlos. Als Icherzählerin hat sie im ersten Band der Reihe nicht konsequent überzeugen können, weil die Autorin ab und zu aus den Augen verlor, dass sie über eine ältere Frau schreibt. Im zweiten Band geht es um einen verdächtigen Unglücksfall, bei dem ein Jugendlicher im Swimmingpool ertrinkt. Brigids Ermittlungen führen dazu, dass sie sich selbst als Opfer von Anschlägen gegen ihre Gesundheit sieht. Brigid gerät in eine Situation, in der jegliches Misstrauen gegen einen möglichen Verdächtigen als Symptom einer möglichen Krankheit ausgelegt werden könnte. Ob sie sich von einem Facharzt begutachten lässt oder einer Diagnose ausweicht, jede Entscheidung kann in ihrer Situation nur falsch sein. Den Verdacht, eine Romanfigur könnte schwer körperlich oder psychisch erkrankt sein und nur sie selbst würde ihren Zustand nicht wahrhaben wollen, finde ich als Krimi-Plot sehr fesselnd. Leider fand ich wie bereits im ersten Band die Icherzählerin nicht konsequent als der alte Haudegen dargestellt, den ihre Berufserfahrung nahelegt.

Wer den ersten Band kennt, möchte evtl. erfahren, wie es mit Old Brigid weitergeht, für Quereinsteiger finde ich diesen Band wenig attraktiv.
Profile Image for Jamie.
875 reviews9 followers
February 2, 2015
I had been looking forward to the release of Masterman's second novel for quite some time and I am pleased to report that I not only wasn't disappointed by any 'second novel slump', but rather I think that Masterman's story-telling abilities have only grown and left me savouring every single sentence. I never get into story details in my reviews because I hate spoilers and don't want to give away a single thing, but I can tell you that red herrings Masterman plants in Fear the Darkness are deliciously fragrant and will leave even the saviest reader second-guessing their theories about 'whodunit' until the climax actually arrives, and even if you've figured out who the Big Bad is, there's still the need to work out the why of it all. Fantastic job on a strong second novel - I can't wait to see what Masterman writes next, and I'm curious as to who will be playing Brigid in the movie because Hollywood would be insane not to option the film-rights for such a well-paced, witty, smart, and savoury series.
Profile Image for Esil.
1,118 reviews1,363 followers
January 1, 2015
Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for a free advance copy of Masterman's second Brigid Quinn mystery. As I said in my review, I had enjoyed Masterman's first book mostly because of Brigid Quinn and her narrative voice. As a retired former CIA officer who comes from a family of cops, she is a strong minded middle aged woman with plenty of rough edges. Using Phoenix as a backdrop, Masterman has a great protagonist and a good setting for her new detective series. I enjoyed her second book even more than her first because Masterman's story telling in this book is more skilful. Brigid Quinn continues to be a great character, but this time around I liked the story more and all the different subplots came together much better. Masterman also introduced some great characters -- especially Quinn's 17 year old niece and new best friend -- who all play great roles in the story. I will definitely be looking for Masterman's books in the future.
Profile Image for Icewineanne.
228 reviews72 followers
November 22, 2017
I just loved the first book in this series. Unfortunately this book is not nearly as good.
I love that Becky writes about an older female retired FBI agent. I was so excited to read the new Brigid Quinn mystery. There are not many mystery/thrillers that focus on older adults, which is why I was double disappointed with this story.

I was hoping for a riveting mystery where Brigid is a consultant on a new case. Instead, the story centers more on her homelife. Her niece comes to live with her and her husband, upsetting their cozy household. Her niece behaves oddly and strange things begin to happen to Brigid. An interesting premise but one that lost my interest half way through the story. Personally i would have kicked the niece out.
Brigid has so many demons, major problems with relationships, it was just too much after awhile.
Hopefully the next book focuses more on her lastest case than her family.
Profile Image for Patricia.
410 reviews83 followers
February 25, 2015
Fear the Darkness by Becky Masterman is the second book in the Brigid Quinn series. I love the premise of this storyline. Brigid Quinn is a retired FBI agent wanting to live a quiet life in Arizona with her new husband Carlo and their pugs. When Brigid's sister-in-law dies, Brigid had made a promise for her niece, Gemma-Kate, to move to Arizona and stay with Brigid and her husband to establish in-state tuition rates for the university. How hard can 3 months living with a teenager be, especially a very manipulative teenager?

I love these books so much for having an older protagonist. We all age but that does not mean the brain quits working even if the body complains. And with the best intentions, Brigid's body complains. Highly recommend this series.
Profile Image for Cobwebby Eldritch Reading Reindeer .
5,260 reviews297 followers
August 10, 2017
Review of FEAR THE DARKNESS by Becky Masterman

This second in Becky Masterman's Brigid Quinn series is my favorite of the three so far (published). I'm thinking it very well might be the author's exquisite depiction of sociopathy, its whys and therefores, and delineates so well how sociopaths can fool: both the "normal," and those who are themselves on the sociopathic continuum. Each mystery in this series is a pageturner, but I found this the most suspenseful and riveting.
Profile Image for Sven.
418 reviews52 followers
June 13, 2021
Becky Masterman is directeur/redacteur van een uitgeverij voor medische en forensische literatuur in Tuscon met een diploma creative writing onder de arm. Ze heeft eerder al zes romans geschreven die niet aansloegen.
Ik las Vrees Het Duister van haar.
Mijn verwachtingen bij dit boek werden niet volledig ingevuld. Mogelijks komt dit doordat ik toch wel wat verwachtingen had bij dit boek. En wat wil je. Zowel op de cover als de achterflap wordt het boek opgehemeld door andere auteurs en journalisten. Zo creëer je natuurlijk wel grote verwachtingen.
Het verhaal kende toch te weinig diepgang. Er gebeurde hier en daar wel iets maar te weinig om het verhaal echt spannend te maken. Een volledig verhaal kauwen op één moord is wat aan de weinige kant.
Het plot kende wel wat ‘rare’ kronkels en zet je hier en daar op het verkeerde spoor. Je zit te kijken in de ene richting en dan krijg je een melding die je verplicht van de andere kant op te kijken. Jammer genoeg kijk je vlug al terug in de goeie richting.
De personages zijn mooi vormgegeven en divers. Aan de beschrijvingen kon ik wel bepalen wat hun karakter was. Alhoewel niet alle personages even diep uitgewerkt werden. Bij sommige miste ik dat dan wel. Ik kon met alle wil ter wereld geen band krijgen met de personages. Ze spraken me niet echt aan als mens.
Het slot brengt dan toch wat actie in het verhaal, maar te laat. Het voelde voor mij ook een beetje afgehaspeld aan. Er zat meer in dan hoe men nu het einde van het verhaal vorm gegeven had.
Is dit een slecht boek? Nee. Maar als de cover en achterflap vol staat met positieve commentaren van auteurs en journalisten moet je wel zorgen dat alle verwachtingen ingevuld kunnen worden.
Te weinig actie, en die paar plot kronkels redden het niet. Niet heel slecht maar het kon beter.

Becky Masterman is director/editor of a medical and forensic literature publishing house in Tuscon with a degree in creative writing. She has previously written six novels that failed.
I read Fear The Dark by her.
My expectations for this book were not fully met. Perhaps this is because I had some expectations for this book. And what do you want. Both on the cover and the back cover, the book is praised by other authors and journalists. This of course creates great expectations.
The story didn't have enough depth. A few things happened here and there, but not enough to make the story really exciting. Chewing a full story on one kill is a bit on the short side.
The plot did have some 'weird' twists and turns and puts you on the wrong track here and there. You are looking in one direction and then you get a message that forces you to look in the other direction. Unfortunately, you quickly look back in the right direction.
The characters are nicely designed and diverse. I could tell what their character was from the descriptions. Although not all characters were developed equally deeply. I missed that with some. I couldn't connect with the characters with all the will in the world. They didn't really appeal to me as a person.
The ending brings some action into the story, but too late. It also felt a bit rushed to me. There was more to it than how they had now designed the end of the story.
Is this a bad book? No. But if the cover and back cover are full of positive comments from authors and journalists, you have to make sure that all expectations can be met.
Too little action, and those few plot twists don't make it. Not very bad but it could be better.
Profile Image for Lori.
474 reviews10 followers
September 23, 2017
I am enjoying this series and am glad I found it. This book however, was not as strong as the first. Brigid' s character is still engaging but she seemed a bit "off" in this one in figuring out what was happening to her and how. Recognizing she was sick but she just seemed more passive and a victim in this one than in the other where her tough-as- nails ex FBI agent entering her golden years persona was the most compelling aspect of the book. Carlos as a character and additionally their relationship this time seemed forced and less believable; less real than in the first. I hope that trend doesn't continue in the third leaving poor Carlos merely a figurehead in the story and their marriage more of an aside to the plot than a key piece of Brigid's story. Additionally, and without giving the plot away, as a pharmacist, I found the poisoning storyline quite a stretch. That said, the story was good and the pace quick. Having danger and deviousness hit so close to home for Brigid was a strength of this story. If you enjoyed book 1, then I recommend you read this as you won't be disappointed although perhaps a bit underwhelmed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carol.
2,594 reviews81 followers
February 25, 2018
For me the story started very slow and it didn't really pick up to the point where you just have to keep reading to see what will happen next until about half-way through the book. If you can stick it out that long then you will find some good twists and a very satisfactory conclusion. I thought from the start that there was something not quite right about Gemma-Kate. She seemed just too good to be true. If you like mysteries that take awhile to solve then you will like this one.
Profile Image for Cathy Cole.
2,057 reviews60 followers
June 23, 2016
Once again, Becky Masterman begins a book by putting her main character in a very scary situation. This time, the situation is sometime in the near future. Then she takes readers back to the present so we can wonder how Brigid got herself into that mess. As the story progresses, we see how it happened... and now it's time for us to wonder how she's going to get herself out of danger. It's a formula that works, due almost entirely to the strength of the tough, smart, older woman, Brigid Quinn.

In Fear the Darkness, we're seeing Brigid when she isn't at her best. What's wrong with her? Is she imagining things? Is Gemma Kate a psychopath? Is the death of the couple's young son really suicide, or is it murder? Masterman poses a lot of questions throughout the story, and discovering the answers turns out to be a most enjoyable undertaking. It's always fascinating to me to wonder if a strong, intelligent character has suddenly turned into an unreliable narrator, and if so, to deduce the reason why.

The only thing that slightly marred the book for me was the fact that I deduced the villain of the piece much too early. I have a nose for certain elements in a mystery. (For example, if someone's dead, I want to "see" the body.) But even though I knew whodunit, Fear the Darkness is still an excellent study of personalities and a thrilling, fast-paced tale to read. Brigid is a marvelous character who is incapable of giving up. Bring on book three!
Profile Image for Carolyn.
9 reviews
March 23, 2015
Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn has a lot on her plate that have very little to do with retirement. She and her husband take in her niece, whose mother has just died from a long, protracted illness. She begins to feel progressively unwell, and the doctor suspects something could be very wrong. Her dog is poisoned. And she is hired to investigate the supposedly accidental death of a local teenaged boy.

Becky Masterman weaves a tale where almost any of the characters could turn out to be the "bad guy." Her main character is suspicious by nature and that translates well over to the reader. As Masterman shines the spotlight on the individual suspects, I found my level of suspicion rise along with Brigid's - enjoyably so.

Fear the Darkness is a classic who-done-it thriller that has all of the twists and turns that you expect from the genre.

The thing that I really enjoyed were the very strong, smart female characters. From Brigid to her niece to her best friend, the female characters didn't pretty up the background. They got their hands dirty, didn't worry about being likeable on their various quests, and they didn't wait for any saviours.
Profile Image for Christa.
2,217 reviews436 followers
March 2, 2015
I enjoyed reading this one, but I didn't think it lived up to the first book in the Brigid Quinn Series. This one was strange and crazy, and it seemed to have a much different atmosphere than Rage Against Dying. There were so many characters to suspect of wrongdoing, and it seemed like the book was filled with unlikable characters.

In this installment, Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, take in her teenaged niece after the girl's mother dies. She is supposed to stay with them for a few months, until she starts college. Odd things begin to happen, and Brigid isn't sure if it is real or if she is paranoid. She begins to suspect that evil lurks within her niece, but she must prove it while suffering from some strange physical ailments.

I liked seeing Brigid and Carlo again, and the book kept me interested. I thought the plotline went in some very strange directions, but I will be waiting to see what Brigid encounters in the next book.
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