Devil in the Dark

Fiction - Thriller - General
290 Pages
Reviewed on 01/01/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

Chris Lindberg introduced his readers to a rather unique character, known simply as Rage, in his first novel Code of Darkness. Now his follow up novel, Devil In The Dark, continues Rage’s exploits. The story gets off to a cracking start when a deadly terrorist attack destroys a U.S. — Mexico border crossing in southwestern Texas. Two survivors of that atrocity, Border Patrol Officer Otis Brown and migrant worker Enrique Castillo, from opposite sides of the law, are thrown together in most unusual circumstances. Although Rage could be said to be the lead character, Otis and Enrique feature far more prominently. But Rage isn’t to be left out. When the mastermind behind the border attack is found to be Javier Oropeza — the Jackal — Mexico’s most infamous drug lord, the Pentagon assembles its most skilled strike team which includes their secret weapon, Rage.

Enrique is a timid, unskilled worker at a chicken farm processing plant with a seriously ill mother and a teen sister to care for, his financial circumstances such that when his uncle, the notorious Jackal, invites him to work for him, the temptation of untold wealth proves too attractive to resist. Unfortunately for Enrique, Otis suspects he may have been involved in the terrorist attack and sets out to bring him to justice. When characters as diverse as Otis, Enrique, Rage, and others are thrown together, sometimes in pursuit of the Jackal, other times being pursued by him, interesting things are bound to happen. And they do, from the opening lines to the surprising twist in the closing chapters.

Devil In The Dark is a true page turner which I suspect many readers will find difficult to put down. Chris Lindberg writes in a no-nonsense style, his descriptive narrative making it easy to visualise each scene. His characterisation is such that, despite flitting quickly from one scene to another, it is not difficult to keep up with who’s who in the story. The author has been meticulous in creating dialogue from the real world though, for me, coming as I do far from the region where the story is set, it slowed things down slightly. Devil In The Dark is multi-layered, with back stories such as Otis’ relationship with his father, a local sheriff, and Enrique’s with his uncle. All these strands are melded seamlessly at the end. Rage appears to have some superhuman powers so at times the narrative edges into fantasy, yet the background is entirely believable. All in all, this is a scorcher, the pages so white hot you need to turn them quickly. This story will certainly get the adrenaline pumping.

Michelle Stanley

Devil in the Dark is a terrific thriller by Chris Lindberg. While working at the U.S.-Mexican checkpoint in Texas, Border Patrol officer Otis Brown saves the life of Mexican immigrant, Enrique Castillo, during a terrorist attack. He meets Enrique again after an altercation with drug mules and chases him into Mexico. Otis is captured by the sadistic drug baron, Javier Oropeza, who happens to be Enrique’s uncle. The U.S. military sends a covert team headed by Rage, their enigmatic “Specialist” soldier, to destroy the kingpin who planned the attack, but there are informants who keep Javier a step ahead, thwarting their plans. Otis escapes, but Javier’s henchmen hunt him down, while Rage decides who is friend or foe when he has memory loss from an accident.

Chris Lindberg impressed me with his novel Devil in the Dark. It is an engrossing sequel to the debut, Code of Darkness, which introduces the character, Rage. I was not disappointed reading this thriller as it has lots of action and is wonderfully written. The first page grabbed my attention since the action actually began there. The conclusion was also nice and held a bit of suspense too. Chris Lindberg ended it in a way that suggests there could be a third book. The characters were nicely developed and convincing. I want to read Code of Darkness because Rage’s mysterious persona fascinated me. Otis and Javier were just as interesting. I recommend this thriller to anyone who wants an entertaining book.

Ruffina Oserio

Devil in the Dark by Chris Lindberg is a story with great potential to excite fans of fiction and thrillers, a sequel to Code of Darkness. The Texas Border Patrol Officer, Otis Brown, and Enrique Castillo, a migrant worker, are the only two survivors of a recent terrorist attack. When the terrorist is revealed, a special team, the most skilled and effective that could be mustered, is sent out to destroy one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. But more surprises await this team. First, there is the possibility that Otis Brown could be working for Oropeza and it is imperative to determine whether he’s part of the terrorist assault or just happens to be a member of the family. A new discovery raises the stakes as the tension builds up.

Chris Lindberg is a great storyteller and he has the gift of taking the reader into the world view of the characters through the use of an effective stream of consciousness. In the beginning, he pulls the reader in with a vivid description of the traffic that takes place at the U.S.-Mexican border checkpoint at South Fitchburg, Texas, the state of mind of one of the main characters, and the general atmosphere within which the story develops. The characters are very compelling and the conflict is extraordinary. The author seems to understand the world of police work and how drug dealers operate. Readers will love the intricacies in the plot, the sudden twists, and the intelligent, plot-driven dialogue. Devil in the Dark is a thrilling read, well-crafted with memorable characters and a unique plot signature.