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Under Dark Skies

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In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever be allowed to work for the FBI again, so the special FBI division of NightShade seems like an amazing opportunity. But all too soon, her chance to start over starts to disturb her. When the FBI offers Donovan a chance to leave his job as a medical examiner and try his hand at something new, he In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever be allowed to work for the FBI again, so the special FBI division of NightShade seems like an amazing opportunity. But all too soon, her chance to start over starts to disturb her. When the FBI offers Donovan a chance to leave his job as a medical examiner and try his hand at something new, he takes a chance on the NightShade division. Somehow, he has to try to escape from his shadows, but can he trust Eleri with the truth? Thrown together on their first case, Eleri and Donovan must deal with a charismatic cult leader and his true-believers. The cult is mixed up with several decade-old kidnapping cases and the missing daughter of a prominent FBI Agent. As Eleri and Donovan dig deeper, they discover that NightShade’s mysteries aren’t coincidence. Their secrets will save them . . . or destroy them.


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In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever be allowed to work for the FBI again, so the special FBI division of NightShade seems like an amazing opportunity. But all too soon, her chance to start over starts to disturb her. When the FBI offers Donovan a chance to leave his job as a medical examiner and try his hand at something new, he In NightShade nothing is as it seems . . . Eleri Eames didn’t think she’d ever be allowed to work for the FBI again, so the special FBI division of NightShade seems like an amazing opportunity. But all too soon, her chance to start over starts to disturb her. When the FBI offers Donovan a chance to leave his job as a medical examiner and try his hand at something new, he takes a chance on the NightShade division. Somehow, he has to try to escape from his shadows, but can he trust Eleri with the truth? Thrown together on their first case, Eleri and Donovan must deal with a charismatic cult leader and his true-believers. The cult is mixed up with several decade-old kidnapping cases and the missing daughter of a prominent FBI Agent. As Eleri and Donovan dig deeper, they discover that NightShade’s mysteries aren’t coincidence. Their secrets will save them . . . or destroy them.

30 review for Under Dark Skies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    "O" to the "M" to the "G"! That was a DAMN fine read. Highly recommended for fans of Criminal Minds with a covert urban fantasy mash. "O" to the "M" to the "G"! That was a DAMN fine read. Highly recommended for fans of Criminal Minds with a covert urban fantasy mash.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Exciting Read This book was surprising. NightShade , is there more than one reason why this agency has this name? Is it due to being seperate from the FBI and the unique agents? The author knows how to keep you surprised and compelled to keep reading until the ending. I received this from the author and Amazon Prime.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chels

    **I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review** Cover It’s kind of a creepy cover isn’t it? I think it’s pretty cool though. I love the Nightshade Forensic Files part. It looks really cool. Initial Thoughts Have you ever started a book and could immediately tell it was going to be good? That’s exactly how this book made me feel after reading the first paragraph. Maybe it’s the writing style or the author just made a really good impression, but I knew I was going to like this **I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review** Cover It’s kind of a creepy cover isn’t it? I think it’s pretty cool though. I love the Nightshade Forensic Files part. It looks really cool. Initial Thoughts Have you ever started a book and could immediately tell it was going to be good? That’s exactly how this book made me feel after reading the first paragraph. Maybe it’s the writing style or the author just made a really good impression, but I knew I was going to like this book. My New BFF I love Eleri so much! She’s really interesting to me because we get little peeks into her life but it’s just enough to keep me wanting more. She also has a great personality and it fits well with the personality of her partner. I also love how she seems really perfect until you really get to know her. It’s almost like getting to know an actual person, slow and steady. Nothing is pushed at you all at once. Even at the end after finding out she isn’t perfect, she’s still such a great character with so much personality that you can’t help but love her. My Crush I don’t know if I’d say Donovan is my crush or not. Maybe a little bit because he is also a great character. It was harder getting to know him because he’s much more reserved than Eleri. It’s actually Eleri that starts to figure stuff out about him instead of him telling anyone else. I think his personality goes great with Eleri’s. They aren’t completely opposite but they both see things in different ways and it helps them put the pieces of their case together. Writing Style At the very start of this book I could tell it was going to be quirky and fun just by the writing style. It’s well written but it also has so much personality in the writing. I found it was easy to read and the information really stuck in my head. I really loved that there was no romance in this book. Maybe there will be later on but realistically there’s no way the two characters would fall in love so quick. I’m really grateful that the author kept their relationship simple and realistic. Closing Thoughts I really, really loved this book. I could not put it down. The characters were great and both had different personalities. I really loved how subtle the supernatural parts were. We didn’t even know there was going to be supernatural aspects until a little ways into the book. It was like a mystery within a mystery! It was so much fun trying to figure out the supernatural parts but then trying to figure out the case they were working on too. I was never bored because I was constantly trying to figure everything out. This will not be the last book in this series that I read. I can’t wait to see where Eleri and Donovan go next! 5 out of 5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula Brown

    Under Dark Skies Nightshade Forensic Files #1 When things aren't what they seem... Godly people in the community -- The FBI Missing women and children Lies and Betrayal What is going on ? This writer knows how to make the impossible -- possible and the fantasy -- a reality She is an excellent story teller -- and makes you wonder are her stories based on actual cases? They very well could be.. An Excellent read. Under Dark Skies Nightshade Forensic Files #1 When things aren't what they seem... Godly people in the community -- The FBI Missing women and children Lies and Betrayal What is going on ? This writer knows how to make the impossible -- possible and the fantasy -- a reality She is an excellent story teller -- and makes you wonder are her stories based on actual cases? They very well could be.. An Excellent read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Martin Pingree

    A secret covert division of the FBI made up of unusually talented agents ? Why not ? This was a blast to read. If you like a good FBI thriller with a dose of the truth is out there you will enjoy this book immensely. Great characters with loads of action and a plot you will eagerly devour, you won’t be able to put this one down.

  6. 5 out of 5

    D. Starr

    Not Your Everyday FBI Rated PG 13 No sex No gruesome violence, but plenty of action and tension Strong language - including F-bombs Newly partnered agents Eleri and Donovan are sent to small town Texas to find and bring to justice a kidnapper-psychopath who leads a religious cult. Complicating yet helping their mission are their special abilities. Just how wolfish is Donovan? Does Eleri's recent hospitalization for a breakdown signal an ongoing problem, and is there more to her intuition than meets th Not Your Everyday FBI Rated PG 13 No sex No gruesome violence, but plenty of action and tension Strong language - including F-bombs Newly partnered agents Eleri and Donovan are sent to small town Texas to find and bring to justice a kidnapper-psychopath who leads a religious cult. Complicating yet helping their mission are their special abilities. Just how wolfish is Donovan? Does Eleri's recent hospitalization for a breakdown signal an ongoing problem, and is there more to her intuition than meets the eye? This book is neither fantasy-centered nor is it science fiction. Yet, it might be vaguely compared to the X-Files. Read and enjoy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    A rare but deserved 2 star I have been on a thriller/procedural binge lately and thought I would try a new author. This one was a mistake. Absurd plot Unreal characters (FBI agents are not this dumb) Wasted time with what appears to be food obsession Oh, and if you looked at this because someone said it is like the X-Files? They deceived you. Do not waste your time, even if you get it free.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Coble

    I’d call this 4.5 stars. I like police procedurals in general but I’m not usually a fan of anything with werecritters. Wolves, bears, all that kind of stuff...it just doesn’t thrill me. Usually because they’re romances and that squicks me out. Anyway, back on the subject... I like these because I really like the way they use the paranormal to advance the investigation. That was a kick for me. I especially like the working relationship between the partners. The .5 star deduction came from me feel I’d call this 4.5 stars. I like police procedurals in general but I’m not usually a fan of anything with werecritters. Wolves, bears, all that kind of stuff...it just doesn’t thrill me. Usually because they’re romances and that squicks me out. Anyway, back on the subject... I like these because I really like the way they use the paranormal to advance the investigation. That was a kick for me. I especially like the working relationship between the partners. The .5 star deduction came from me feeling like the Big Bad was too much of a cipher, more of a crossword puzzle than a threat, until the last part of the novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    S.J. Pierce

    This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. The Good: The character development. I can't stress to authors enough how important this is!!! I felt like Eleri and Donovan were real people I could eventually meet one day. I know about their upbringings, what makes them tick, their strengths, weaknesses, how they interact in social situations... even what they like to eat. Some readers might see this overkill, that it makes the story drag in places, but when done right, b This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. The Good: The character development. I can't stress to authors enough how important this is!!! I felt like Eleri and Donovan were real people I could eventually meet one day. I know about their upbringings, what makes them tick, their strengths, weaknesses, how they interact in social situations... even what they like to eat. Some readers might see this overkill, that it makes the story drag in places, but when done right, building your characters into believable, relatable people is what makes readers invest in a story. Because when readers feel like they know the characters, they care what happens to them, and I love these characters enough that I'll be impatiently waiting the next book in the series! And that ending!!! Hopefully Book Two will pick right up where it left off. The writing. While her writing can be a bit wordy in places, Ms. Scudiere has a way with descriptions. She inserts you right into the scenes and you experience everything as the character does. For specific examples within the story, when Eleri feels betrayed by Donovan, you feel betrayed. When Donovan goes on his runs *wink* you're right there with him. When they're both exhausted and malnourished and spread thin while they're trying to solve the case, you'll feel as if you need a power nap and a dose of vitamins to keep going. The storyline. It's obvious that the author took the time to plot out a meticulous storyline with little twists and turns along the way. When an author plots everything out down to the smallest of details, and executes it flawlessly, I feel like that story is worth my time. Nothing ruins my reading mojo like a sloppy story rife with plot holes and inconsistencies. Yet another reason why this book with grab hold of you, pull you beneath the surface and won't let go until the end. The Bad: While Ms. Scudiere has all the details covered in Under Dark Skies, I did feel a sense that something was missing. In thrillers and mysteries, I look for grit and tension. The story delivered in the suspense category, and yes, I felt like I was a part of the story, but sometimes I found myself wanting more. There were no major twists, no major difficulties, and other than the one betrayal (and quick forgiveness) there was no major tension with any of the main characters. I kept thinking, "oh, here's where they'll learn that they were wrong about who's responsible for the killings." Or, "here's where this person will also be involved, but they didn't see it to begin with." Or, "here's where an attraction will happen." Or, "here's where they'll find something horrifying and it will knock me on my butt." Nothing like that really happened. I will add, though, that the ending was satisfying, and all the things I'd been craving throughout the story I found a little bit of in the end. So I wouldn't say the the story didn't deliver at all in the grit and tension departments, just not as much as I prefer. Of course, it could just be a matter of personal preference. Also, if you're expecting any kind of romance/ attraction/ lovemaking in any capacity between the opposite sex POV characters, or with any other characters for that matter, you've been forewarned that there is zilch. Not saying this is necessarily a bad thing - romance doesn't necessarily have to be in a story for me to enjoy it. Afterall, my favorite movie is Kill Bill lol - but just wanted to let readers know in case they're hoping for it. The Ugly: Nothing to say in this category. In conclusion, if you're looking for a character-driven paranormal thriller with a good helping of suspense, then Under Dark Skies is for you!!! Favorite Quote: Eleri didn't hate much. She knew people got into bad things, knew that most people were either too stupid to know what they were getting into or just got tangled and struggled their way deeper and deeper into their problems. But this man in front of her? Eleri hated him.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike Smith

    Nebulous needed thesaurus I loved the concept of the book if not the entire execution. I read it all but there were many problems. First and foremost, an author ALWAYS needs a thesaurus. He not only needs to know how to use it, but is willing to use it. When an author gets a word stuck in his head like an old familiar tune, it is not good for his writing chops or his readers. The word "nebulous" is not an everyday word but it is a good one in the right place. But surely only once. Thereafter, the Nebulous needed thesaurus I loved the concept of the book if not the entire execution. I read it all but there were many problems. First and foremost, an author ALWAYS needs a thesaurus. He not only needs to know how to use it, but is willing to use it. When an author gets a word stuck in his head like an old familiar tune, it is not good for his writing chops or his readers. The word "nebulous" is not an everyday word but it is a good one in the right place. But surely only once. Thereafter, the author has the use of over thirty really dandy words he could use for obscure, hazy, unclear -- nebulous should never have to be used probably ten times maybe more in this one book. The reader notices. I didn't like the female character. Pare away part of the inevitable angst and not bombard the reader. Say what she's been through, touch on it to feel the pain but not bore into it with a dentist's drill. It can -- well, let's say "is" -- boring to the reader so that said reader must scan/skip whole paragraphs with a sigh of frustration. And how many times must we beat the drum or chest over the taking of a human life, even a sociopath, until we want to scream, "We get it. Enough already!" These long, drawn out dissertations are death to suspense. It can be death to even desire to continue with this obviously fictional story because the reader cannot suspend disbelief. Leave the discourses, essays, and dissertations where they belong. In some other book not dependant on suspense. If they were that good I would not have minded reading them but they sounded like what they were. Filler. Cheap filler at that. And speaking of filler, the story sagged in the middle and climbed reluctantly back up toward the end. But back to the female character lead. I liked the concept for her unusual gift as part of this group of FBI/Nightshade characters. I did not like her juvenile development which should have been steady with the occasional setback but not off the deep end. I would up frustrated with her little girl playing lead bossman FBI agent in charge. Her character, even flawed, should be stronger and certainly not be in charge of another flawed character, who is a man constantly having to apologize and kowtow to her whims. I'm not a big fan of leading lady characters for the simple fact hardly anyone gets them right. When they do, it makes for awesome reading. But this one sounds like just another writer jumping on the leading woman bandwagon without knowing in the least what one should look or be like as a character. That being said I want to follow this duo, sometimes trio, to the next book to see if the characters develop into less whiny butts and more solid development of strong inner cores and their unusual gifts for getting the bad guys.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stefani Sloma

    I enjoy crime fiction quite a bit, but it’d been a while since I’d read any when I was contacted about possibly reviewing this book. I jumped on it for two reasons: crime fiction and werewolves. I love when two genres that don’t normally mix are thrown together. Medical examiner, Donovan Heath, and FBI agent, Eleri Eames, are recruited to a special FBI division called NightShade. It’s not as random as either of them think though, and as they begin to investigate a cult and the decade-old kidnappi I enjoy crime fiction quite a bit, but it’d been a while since I’d read any when I was contacted about possibly reviewing this book. I jumped on it for two reasons: crime fiction and werewolves. I love when two genres that don’t normally mix are thrown together. Medical examiner, Donovan Heath, and FBI agent, Eleri Eames, are recruited to a special FBI division called NightShade. It’s not as random as either of them think though, and as they begin to investigate a cult and the decade-old kidnapping cases the cult seems to be involved in, their secrets just might surface. The question is, will it “save them…or destroy them”? Sounds cool, right? What are their secrets?! I liked figuring it all out, and A.J. Scudiere combines the supernatural with the…well, I can’t really say normal because cults aren’t exactly mundane, are they? But Scudiere weaves these two stories together in an interesting and (mostly) fast paced way. We’ve got cults, murder, kidnapping, and werewolves all thrown together in this huge, crazy, easy-to-read book. While I really liked the story itself, I couldn’t connect with some of the characters which made the book feel pretty long. I thought Donovan was quite interesting and I liked learning about him as a werewolf, and I thought all of the things he could do and his history was super cool. Eleri was just kind of there for me. I don’t know. She wasn’t necessarily a bad character, but I didn’t connect with her as easily as I did with Donovan. I’ve always thought cults were kind of fascinating (I don’t know what this says about me), so meeting Jonah, who escapes from the cult, and learning about the cult leader kept me hooked. I liked that while there were forensic investigations, it never got overwhelming or over-technical. Instead, Under Dark Skies focused on the abilities of the NightShade members, which were all fascinating. However, I thought the case itself was a little too easy. All of the witnesses just kind of stumbled into their path – some of them literally did just that. It made the believability factor lower quite a bit. The bottom line: This book reads almost like a normal FBI thriller but then you’ve got the addition of werewolves (and other supernatural abilities that I won’t spoil), which is a combination you don’t normally come across. It occasionally felt drawn out and long, but overall, I enjoyed it. I would recommend it to people who’ve read a few too many cheesy paranormals and would like something new or people who like crime fiction and would like to mix it up. NOTE: I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

  12. 5 out of 5

    thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)

    ***Spoiler alert!*** Agent Eleri Eames and former medical examiner, Donovan Heath are exclusively recruited into a new FBI division called NightShade - an elite division that doesn't exist in the Bureau's official roster and doesn't follow the Bureau's standard protocol either. Their first case involves an ominous cult which may be responsible for the disappearances of some of its members and the death of a girl. Any story that involves cult is right up my alley and that was the reason I picked u ***Spoiler alert!*** Agent Eleri Eames and former medical examiner, Donovan Heath are exclusively recruited into a new FBI division called NightShade - an elite division that doesn't exist in the Bureau's official roster and doesn't follow the Bureau's standard protocol either. Their first case involves an ominous cult which may be responsible for the disappearances of some of its members and the death of a girl. Any story that involves cult is right up my alley and that was the reason I picked up this book; diving into it with high expectations but ended up sorely disappointed with the book. It started off great but the plot meanders after that. The story building is dreadfully slow and there is really not much going on until halfway of the book, and the plot meanders again. I was really hoping for a fantastic plot but the story focused so much on the two protagonists that I lose interest. Honestly, this book needs a lot more editing work. It was way too descriptive to a point that it describes EVERYTHING what the characters were doing or thinking. It was overwhelming and frustrating! In the end, the mystery was so obscured that I just don't really care anymore; I just want it to be over. I will not be reading the next book in this series. Besides the dreadfully slow paced and meandering plot, I was totally put off by the supernatural/paranormal elements thrown in (which also took a painfully long time revealing that). This was not in the synopsis, and even in this genre, this book did not work out for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    For amusement I like to believe that you can sometimes suss out bits of the author's mental state from their writing. This series is totally fascinated by how little sleep the paranormal FBI investigators are getting and talks about it again and again and again and again. In my mind I imagine the author is now writing on 2 hours of sleep a night, and that explains how she went from the tightly structured book #1 to the loosey-goosey mess of the other books. I like the combination of magic + poli For amusement I like to believe that you can sometimes suss out bits of the author's mental state from their writing. This series is totally fascinated by how little sleep the paranormal FBI investigators are getting and talks about it again and again and again and again. In my mind I imagine the author is now writing on 2 hours of sleep a night, and that explains how she went from the tightly structured book #1 to the loosey-goosey mess of the other books. I like the combination of magic + police procedural such as we have in this first book because the procedural parts serve as a more rigorous foundation to stabilize the magic sections. Magic books where "anything-can-happen" don't work well as mysteries. Unfortunately after the first book only the briefest lip service is paid to the police procedural aspect and, woo-hoo, anything goes even if it makes no logical, character, or narrative sense. I still found the books kind of fun but they weren't very good any longer and I eventually quit.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Babus Ahmed

    Two misfit FBI agents with secrets about their lives are put together for operation Nightshade, which is focussing in on a cult. With the body of a dead girl and a possible sighting of a missing girl, Eleri and Donovan pool their considerable skills to get to the killer and the heart of an ominous cult. I adore crime thrillers and this FBI procedural surprised me with its supernatural twist: one of the agents is a werewolf. Far from being something that made the rest of the story unbelievable, t Two misfit FBI agents with secrets about their lives are put together for operation Nightshade, which is focussing in on a cult. With the body of a dead girl and a possible sighting of a missing girl, Eleri and Donovan pool their considerable skills to get to the killer and the heart of an ominous cult. I adore crime thrillers and this FBI procedural surprised me with its supernatural twist: one of the agents is a werewolf. Far from being something that made the rest of the story unbelievable, this premise worked in this book, which focussed in on the characters of our two leading investigators. The other alluring theme of a cult and it's leader also made compulsive reading and I was hooked into solving this case with our two protagonists. An unusual crime thriller read with bite.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maria Coro Arruti

    I don't think I'll follow this series. A book where a rather big portion of the story is based on when, how and why to sleep, the kind of food the principal characters like or not and not much of an interesting case and a bad guy very poorly described and followed in the book , is definitively not my cup of tea. Slow, extremely slow flow of the story, sometimes bordering boring. Nothing to be excited about, I'm afraid. Not for me. I don't think I'll follow this series. A book where a rather big portion of the story is based on when, how and why to sleep, the kind of food the principal characters like or not and not much of an interesting case and a bad guy very poorly described and followed in the book , is definitively not my cup of tea. Slow, extremely slow flow of the story, sometimes bordering boring. Nothing to be excited about, I'm afraid. Not for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Marilyn

    Hard work For someone like me, an ardent fan of the economical writing styles of Sandford or Parker, the lengthy explanations of characters' psychological and physiological ins and outs here were turgid and over-cooked. The basic idea behind, particularly, the male lead character had me hooked for a few chapters but then everything became sooo drawn out and I estimate a 100 pages too long. No more by this author for me, I'm afraid. Hard work For someone like me, an ardent fan of the economical writing styles of Sandford or Parker, the lengthy explanations of characters' psychological and physiological ins and outs here were turgid and over-cooked. The basic idea behind, particularly, the male lead character had me hooked for a few chapters but then everything became sooo drawn out and I estimate a 100 pages too long. No more by this author for me, I'm afraid.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Been a while since I've written a review, but I enjoyed this book so much that just had to let others know that this is an excellent book. Great FBI with a supernatural twist, excellent plot and superbly written. Highly recommend!! 5 star read. Been a while since I've written a review, but I enjoyed this book so much that just had to let others know that this is an excellent book. Great FBI with a supernatural twist, excellent plot and superbly written. Highly recommend!! 5 star read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Not an easy read stylesheet. I thought the author's writing style was hard to read, especially in the beginning of the book. It could use some better editing. It was really long without much activity. I would not recommend it. Not an easy read stylesheet. I thought the author's writing style was hard to read, especially in the beginning of the book. It could use some better editing. It was really long without much activity. I would not recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    gwen graves

    Not my type of book If you like a fantasy story, you may enjoy this book. I did not. Really werewolves in the FBI unbelievable. A unit that makes the CIA look mild. Not a good story at all

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pernille

    This book needs some serious editing! The descriptions where excessive. It could have been interesting - but sadly it was mostly boring. I don’t care about what they are eating - You don’t have to describe it a gazillion times.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Weaver

    This book was a good story but I found it didn't keep my interest as I hoped it would. It took me a long time to get through it. Usually I like stories about shifters and I love a good mystery but this one just didn't do it for me. This book was a good story but I found it didn't keep my interest as I hoped it would. It took me a long time to get through it. Usually I like stories about shifters and I love a good mystery but this one just didn't do it for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    2.5 stars This seemed very promising in the beginning but then it just fell apart for me. It didn't keep me wanting more. the main characters were somewhat intriguing but the storyline didn't flow and was confusing. 2.5 stars This seemed very promising in the beginning but then it just fell apart for me. It didn't keep me wanting more. the main characters were somewhat intriguing but the storyline didn't flow and was confusing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leon

    Crap, wasted $10 buying this 4 book set. Won't be purchasing the 5th one. Crap, wasted $10 buying this 4 book set. Won't be purchasing the 5th one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    “Under Dark Skies” (The Nightshade Forensic Files #1) by A.J. Scudiere. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Forensic Crime Detection with a hint of Paranormal. Location: Several small towns between Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, USA. Time: Present.- - Eleri is an FBI agent known for her profiling skills. After a particularly difficult case, she doesn’t think the FBI will ever return her to active service. When the FBI secret unit called Nightshade chooses her, she is eager to prove herself.- - Donovan is an MD known fo “Under Dark Skies” (The Nightshade Forensic Files #1) by A.J. Scudiere. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Forensic Crime Detection with a hint of Paranormal. Location: Several small towns between Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, USA. Time: Present.- - Eleri is an FBI agent known for her profiling skills. After a particularly difficult case, she doesn’t think the FBI will ever return her to active service. When the FBI secret unit called Nightshade chooses her, she is eager to prove herself.- - Donovan is an MD known for his superior forensic skills. He works quietly in the morgue, and lives quietly on the edge of a forest preserve. The FBI recruits him, and assigns him to the Nightshade unit as Elari’s junior partner.- - Their 1st case takes them to Texas to locate a cult called the City of God, which is linked to several prominent kidnappings. As they investigate, the case becomes more and more involved. They find runaways from the City, violence, guns, drugs, and graves. The story is a pretty straightforward account of an FBI forensics-based hunt and capture, and the author tells the story very well.- - The difference in this story is that both Eleri and Donovan have special skills that help them investigate. They are not like others, but the author doesn’t tell you their secrets all at once. It comes out slowly over time. You will figure out Donovan’s secret pretty quickly; Eleri’s is more complex.- - The unique thing for me about this book is that the paranormal aspects, while important, don’t take over the whole case. It’s a crime story with some specially-gifted characters, not a paranormal crime story. The author also spends time showing us how the 2 partners get to know each other, and learn to trust. It’s 4 stars from me for Eleri and Donovan. I can’t wait to read about their next case. 🌵📚👩🏼‍🦳”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Great Book I really have enjoyed this book. Well constructed storyline. The forensic parts are very detailed that you get a good picture in your mind. I really liked the characters, Donovan and Eleri. They have a good development trough the storyline, both with very different abilities and you can be sure it's not always friendly, there both are having problems to build relationships, so there are both actually quite lonely because of their abilities. Donovan is a really shy person and always a lo Great Book I really have enjoyed this book. Well constructed storyline. The forensic parts are very detailed that you get a good picture in your mind. I really liked the characters, Donovan and Eleri. They have a good development trough the storyline, both with very different abilities and you can be sure it's not always friendly, there both are having problems to build relationships, so there are both actually quite lonely because of their abilities. Donovan is a really shy person and always a loner. Eleri is quite different,she is not shy but always a big thinker because been a profiler her mind is never quiet. It's a good mix for get together as partners, they both need each other. The monologues on both characters a very good, as well for the speech. The story is written very well, great plot with lot's of twist, turns and secrets. It was a enjoyable experience on some parts a bit slow, because not much happened. I would have liked a bit more humour to loosen up some situations. But overall a good book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michele Evans

    Loved it!! This series follows two FBI agents recently tasked to join a special branch of the FBI known as Nightshade. Eleri, a senior officer called out of a mental institution early and AMA is not sure she should be back to work. Plagued by realistic dreams of the future and her dead sister, she is not sure she has what it takes, especially when the case revolves around missing children, which is supposed to be a hard no for her caseload. Donavan, a former ME who was one of the best in his fiel Loved it!! This series follows two FBI agents recently tasked to join a special branch of the FBI known as Nightshade. Eleri, a senior officer called out of a mental institution early and AMA is not sure she should be back to work. Plagued by realistic dreams of the future and her dead sister, she is not sure she has what it takes, especially when the case revolves around missing children, which is supposed to be a hard no for her caseload. Donavan, a former ME who was one of the best in his field was more used to the company of corpses, as he never really left his work at the morgue and didn’t have any social skills. A definite recluse, he was approached and recruited to join the FBI and specifically for the Nightshade branch. These two are paired together, each with their own supernatural secrets and dark pasts as they try to stop a religious cult from abducting and murdering more innocent children. This book was great and lacked in nothing. Was impossible to put down and flowed perfectly!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    K.S. Ferguson

    I'd given up on finding my next fantasy read and was trawling through police procedurals (because I read both) when I stumbled on this gem. It's about 95% police work and 5% fantasy. The characters are both well developed and well differentiated. I appreciated that the two main characters hadn't fallen into bed together five seconds after meeting, or at all by the end of the book. It has a believable plot that kept me engrossed. There were enough questions about who exactly was doing the abusing I'd given up on finding my next fantasy read and was trawling through police procedurals (because I read both) when I stumbled on this gem. It's about 95% police work and 5% fantasy. The characters are both well developed and well differentiated. I appreciated that the two main characters hadn't fallen into bed together five seconds after meeting, or at all by the end of the book. It has a believable plot that kept me engrossed. There were enough questions about who exactly was doing the abusing that occurs and why to keep me wondering right to the end. In an interesting approach, the author doesn't immediately reveal the 'fantasy' traits of the main characters, but does drop enough clues that I mostly had it figured out when the truth emerged. That made the book a nice change from the typical fantasy I see. I was encouraged enough by this first volume to shell out for the four-volume set, and as I reach the quarter mark in the second volume, I'm glad I did.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Monica M

    Four stars round up. I like the characters and the writing. I like how the details decipher in this story. Especially how Donovan learn to interact with other people and how both Elery and Donovan integrate their thinking and analysis into aligned partnership. The story also flows nicely. To my huge relied, No Romance, Halleluyah! It was straight up a clean paranormal thriller with no trace even of 'a dash of romance'. I don't know about the next book's take on romance, but this particular book foc Four stars round up. I like the characters and the writing. I like how the details decipher in this story. Especially how Donovan learn to interact with other people and how both Elery and Donovan integrate their thinking and analysis into aligned partnership. The story also flows nicely. To my huge relied, No Romance, Halleluyah! It was straight up a clean paranormal thriller with no trace even of 'a dash of romance'. I don't know about the next book's take on romance, but this particular book focusing only on Donovan slowly build a solid work partnership (and a dash on friendship) with Elery; in term of a relationship. And that's what matter. Oh and i don't know why, i keep picturing Donovan as a late 30's or early 40's Sydney Poitier. I think he perfect as Donovan. When the story reveal him as half-Indian, Sydney's Donovan already imprint in my mind so yeah i can't change it lol. Good read. Recommended :D

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana L. Wells

    This was a kindle recommended book. Eleri and Donovan are a newly partnered FBI team with an extra edge. I don’t usually read supernatural books but by the time the edge was revealed I was invested in the characters and finished the book. A.J. Does a good job of fleshing out Eleri and Donovan and keeps the story going from their prospective. The bad guy and his motivation is secondary. Given the bad guy’s crime, I would think there would be more vigilance in staying hidden and protected but the This was a kindle recommended book. Eleri and Donovan are a newly partnered FBI team with an extra edge. I don’t usually read supernatural books but by the time the edge was revealed I was invested in the characters and finished the book. A.J. Does a good job of fleshing out Eleri and Donovan and keeps the story going from their prospective. The bad guy and his motivation is secondary. Given the bad guy’s crime, I would think there would be more vigilance in staying hidden and protected but the FBI is allowed to get close without being challenged. This seems highly importable and I began rewriting the storyline as I read. All in all I wish I could give it 3.5 stars. I may have to read the rest of the series just to see how many other characters with and “edge” appear to fight the bad guys.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Duane Petit

    Solid This was a very good book,excellent reading.I knew there was a supernatural element to this book,and expected it to be the perpetrator as usual in these kind of stories,but to my surprise it wasn't .No werewolves,vampires,zombies running around committing heinous crimes.The supernatural beings in this one were the investigators.At first I thought this going to be ridiculous should I even continue.To my surprise again the author pulled it off and made it very believable,and had to walk a ver Solid This was a very good book,excellent reading.I knew there was a supernatural element to this book,and expected it to be the perpetrator as usual in these kind of stories,but to my surprise it wasn't .No werewolves,vampires,zombies running around committing heinous crimes.The supernatural beings in this one were the investigators.At first I thought this going to be ridiculous should I even continue.To my surprise again the author pulled it off and made it very believable,and had to walk a very fine line doing so.Enough of the unusual to keep it interesting, but not to much to make it outlandish.This book had a lot going for it interesting diverse characters,mystery,suspense,action,twists and turns and kept me flipping the page's at a very good rate.The one small flaw was it contained a lot of information,which made it a tad bit slow in a few spots.Even so it was very entertaining and very well written.Not quite a five star but a four and a half. Highly recommend.

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