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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.