Gathering Dark is the latest book by Aussie crime writer Candice Fox. I loved Candice’s Crimson Lake series, so I was excited to start this book. Unlike previous Candice Fox books that are set in Australia, Gathering Dark takes place in LA. It tells the story of a young woman’s disappearance and how a bunch of very different women band together to find her.
Blair Harbour was once a respected surgeon until she went to jail for killing a neighbour and lost custody of her child. Now she’s out and trying to keep her nose clean. But then her former cellmate, Sneak, comes crashing back into her life. Sneak’s daughter Dayley is missing and she needs Blair’s help finding her. Their investigation will see them team up with another former prison mate, Ada Maverick, and with the woman who arrested Blair years ago, Detective Jessica Sanchez.
Gathering Dark is a character-driven crime thriller. I enjoyed delving into the point-of-views of the different female characters – all who are tough, vulnerable and written with Candice’s trademark quirky humour. They all have their own problems to deal with. Sneak is an addict and a thief. Ada is a crime boss who can’t be trusted. Blair is struggling to reunite with her son. And Detective Sanchez has some misogynist, male colleagues who are making her life hell. Plus, Sanchez suddenly doubts the case she put together to convict Blair and starts to wonder if she made a big mistake.
The mystery of Dayley’s disappearance has plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I enjoyed the gritty LA setting, but I hope that Candice doesn’t abandon Australian settings completely going forward.
I think this will be the start of a new crime series. I look forward to seeing the return of the main female characters in future books.
Verdict: An entertaining crime thriller read full of feisty, strong female characters.