Fade to Black by Leslie Parrish is the first book in her Black CATs series. Leslie Parrish is the alter ego of romance writer Leslie Kelly, but her books written as Leslie Parrish are much more suspenseful and intense. From the back cover.~
A group of elite FBI special agents has been brought together to form the Cyber Action Team, aka CAT – and they have one mission: to solve Internet-related murders.
From his years in the FBI’s violent crimes unit, Special Agent Dean Taggert has learned firsthand how vicious people can be. But this is the worst he’s ever seen. Eight victims have been murdered, their final moments captured on film and shown on a secret Web site called Satan’s Playground. And a madman who refers to himself as the Reaper is auctioning off their means of death.
When the investigation leads Dean to the small town of Hope Valley, he enlists the help of sexy and capable Sheriff Stacey Rhodes, who’s dealing with secrets of her own. It’s too late to save the latest victim, but Dean and Stacey still have to work fast, because the Reaper’s next auction is about to begin…
I’ve been reading books by Leslie Kelly for years and loved them. Her contemporary romances are always wonderful, hot stories. However, her first book written as Leslie Parrish shows me her true voice. Fade to Black is a fabulous book filled with suspense, mystery, and romance. I would say the story is more of a suspense book with romantic elements, but those romantic elements are great. Sheriff Stacey Rhodes is a strong, kick-ass female cop who could be an amazing cop in any major city, but moved home to finish out her dad’s term as sheriff. Special Agent Dean Taggert is a take no crap agent who moved to the CAT division hoping to have less vicious people to track. Neither is prepared for the Reaper, who is one of the most evil villains I’ve read about ever. The Reaper auctions off the right for other members of Satan’s Playground to choose his method of killing his latest victim, tapes the murders, and then post each video on Satan’s Playground. Because of one of the Reaper’s first murders, it looks like the Reaper might just be from Stacey’s home town, Hope Valley. Stacey and Dean must work together to figure out who the Reaper is before he kills again. Stacey and Dean also find they are attracted to one another from their first meeting. So in addition to looking for the Reaper, they are also fighting their feelings for one another. They have amazing chemistry together as a couple and work really well as partners too.
I won an ARC of Fade to Black on the Brenda Novak Auction for Diabetes Research and started reading it the day I received it in the mail. The release date is July 7, and everyone should pre-order from your favorite on-line bookstore, pre-order at your favorite bookstore, or be at the bookstore on the release date. I don’t think I can say enough times how much I loved the first book in the Black CATs series. I normally can figure out the bad guy when I read suspense or mystery, but Leslie kept me guessing until the very end. I have the ARC to the second Black CATs book, Pitch Black, and can’t wait to start reading it.