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The Darkest Thread

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When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious “Bennington Triangle” of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings K-9 handler Jamie Flint and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack realizes the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls’ When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious “Bennington Triangle” of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings K-9 handler Jamie Flint and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack realizes the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls’ aunts ten years before, it becomes clear that he and Jamie are dealing with much more than two girls who simply wandered off the beaten path.


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When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious “Bennington Triangle” of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings K-9 handler Jamie Flint and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack realizes the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls’ When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious “Bennington Triangle” of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings K-9 handler Jamie Flint and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack realizes the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls’ aunts ten years before, it becomes clear that he and Jamie are dealing with much more than two girls who simply wandered off the beaten path.

30 review for The Darkest Thread

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This book gets off to a rough start. It’s supposedly the first in a series. But the background it gives you on the characters makes you feel like there were previous stories you missed. I felt very confused trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together at the beginning. And that feeling continued as the book progressed. Everybody has some issues that you’re not made privy to, which irritated me. The premise here is that two girls have gone missing in the Bennington Triangle, an area of dee This book gets off to a rough start. It’s supposedly the first in a series. But the background it gives you on the characters makes you feel like there were previous stories you missed. I felt very confused trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together at the beginning. And that feeling continued as the book progressed. Everybody has some issues that you’re not made privy to, which irritated me. The premise here is that two girls have gone missing in the Bennington Triangle, an area of deep woods in Vermont. Ten years before, the girls’ aunts also went missing in the same area. The family of the girls is definitely an odd one, complete with misogynists and tax evaders. Another aspect that didn’t appeal to me is that not only the main character, Jamie Flint, but her son, Bear, have supernatural abilities. They hear and see ghosts. In fact, if supernatural or ghost stories bother you, stay away from this one. Blood doesn’t have Flint using just the typical labs and shepherds as search and rescue dogs. Her dogs are literally rescues, and include pit bulls. I liked that dimension, showing how any dog can be trained. And she provides excellent insights into what makes a good search and rescue dog. Blood throws up lots of red herrings to keep the reader off balance. And at the end, when the murderer is finally revealed, I can’t say it tied together particularly well. So, overall, not one I really enjoyed. And I doubt I would read book two in the series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Li'l Owl

    There's something in these deep, dark woods besides two missing teen-age sisters. And it's not of this world. ⁣“Stop, Phan,” I called. She was at the end of her lead and straining forward, at the very edge of the ravine. The drop below was dizzying. The sound of rushing water was a roar now, water churning white below. A light, cold rain fell, making the already-slick granite potentially treacherous. To my relief, Phantom braked at my command and glanced back over her shoulder at me. Her body pra There's something in these deep, dark woods besides two missing teen-age sisters. And it's not of this world. ⁣“Stop, Phan,” I called. She was at the end of her lead and straining forward, at the very edge of the ravine. The drop below was dizzying. The sound of rushing water was a roar now, water churning white below. A light, cold rain fell, making the already-slick granite potentially treacherous. To my relief, Phantom braked at my command and glanced back over her shoulder at me. Her body practically vibrated with impatience. When she’s on a mission, Phantom has always been oblivious to her surroundings. Right now, that could prove deadly. “Come, Phantom,” I said. She was still pointed in the opposite direction, her gaze fixed on something I couldn’t see on the other side of the ledges. And then, as though watching her thoughts unfold, I saw her focus shift below. My stomach dropped. The incline was practically a right angle that plunged thirty feet to icy, rushing waters and deadly rocks below. “So, what do you want to do?” Wade asked when we were together once more a few minutes later, Phantom safely beside me once more. “Call in the cavalry,” I said. “I’m not losing my dog because these idiots were too stubborn to get people down here the right way as soon as they knew the girls were missing.” I watched as Wade and Jack made their way back up and into the trees. My hand was wrapped around Phantom’s collar, just in case she decided she couldn’t bear sitting still any longer. Seated there, I took the time to soak in the surroundings, looking for any trace of Melanie and Ariel. The water continued in a rush below. If it ever got dry up here, I expected things quieted to a trickle. Right now, we had a churning river of white foam, a narrow strip of rocky ground running alongside it before it steepened to ledges and inclines. I cupped my hands around my mouth and shouted, “Melaaaaanie! Ariiiiiel!” My voice echoed back to me. Otherwise, there was no response. I took two protein bars from my bag—one for me, and a specially made bar for Phantom. Glanced at my watch. Ten minutes had passed. And then, just in my periphery, I saw a flash of color in the canyon below. I turned, fast. Phantom came to attention. Someone in a red sweater limped along the riverbank, moving with painstaking care. The figure was fuzzy, hard to follow—as though I might not be seeing it at all. Phantom whined. “Melanie!” I shouted again. The figure turned. A girl. She stared up at me for a moment, her face too far for me to make out any details beyond gender and race. “Wait there,” I called. She froze. I could sense the tension despite the distance between us. She looked over her shoulder, then back at me. And then, still limping, she scrambled in the opposite direction. Away from me and around a corner—out of sight. ******** The Darkest Thread by Jen Blood is the first in the Flint K-9 Search and Rescue series. I was really excited to read this book as I love mystery thrillers that are combined with dogs, especially K-9 search and rescue teams. Unfortunately, it wasn't completely what I was expecting. It is a K-9 search and rescue mystery but at least half of the storyline involves strong paranormal elements which isn't really my thing. The K-9 search and rescue aspects were disappointing, as well, as some basic facts about the dog's ability to track and work using scent articles and the way handlers work together with their dogs wasn't very realistic. Having said all of that, this book is fiction so if you're not a sticker for factual K-9 Search and Rescue, others may enjoy this book better than I did. The same goes for the paranormal elements of the story. So overall, I was disappointed in this book but only because it wasn't what I was expecting regarding the K-9 aspects and the elements of paranormal activity isn't my cup of tea. That said, the book is well written, fast paced, interesting, and downright exciting, complete with critical twists and turns, all wrapped up with a completely unexpected conclusion!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I loved this book! Who done it with some supernatural. Dogs, ghosts, serial killers, fantastic. I loved the mix. I loved learning how search dogs do their jobs and how difficult it really is. How they work no matter the conditions. This is the first in the series and I can't wait to read the rest. I couldn't put this book down. I know it is a matter of contention, what dogs can perceive of the supernatural, and for some, if the supernatural even exists. But I found this fascinating and highlighti I loved this book! Who done it with some supernatural. Dogs, ghosts, serial killers, fantastic. I loved the mix. I loved learning how search dogs do their jobs and how difficult it really is. How they work no matter the conditions. This is the first in the series and I can't wait to read the rest. I couldn't put this book down. I know it is a matter of contention, what dogs can perceive of the supernatural, and for some, if the supernatural even exists. But I found this fascinating and highlighting dogs natural ability to make us, as humans, feel better, and their own natural senses of when that is needed. Their willingness to risk it all for humans. I know that's true from own experiences with my own dogs. Two sisters go missing in the rugged Vermont mountains. The girls father asks specifically for Jamie and her dogs to search for them. Right away its evident this case could be tied to a much older, and supposedly solved serial killer case. Right away the weather goes bad, but in spite of that the dogs make progress. However, instead of making that better, it makes it worse. And then its flat out suspense and action from there on out. Great read. If you love dogs, don't miss this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book starts out very strong. Jamie Flint, her dog Phantom, her son Bear, and his dog Casper, all come across as fully realized. The opening sequence of mother, son, and dogs doing a training tracking run in Maine was wonderfully written. The use of mother and son having varying degrees of the sight and the ability to see ghosts isn’t overdone. It’s just right. But then once Jamie, Bear, dogs, and their employee/friend/Bear’s romantic interest Ren (accompanied by her dog) go to Vermont to he This book starts out very strong. Jamie Flint, her dog Phantom, her son Bear, and his dog Casper, all come across as fully realized. The opening sequence of mother, son, and dogs doing a training tracking run in Maine was wonderfully written. The use of mother and son having varying degrees of the sight and the ability to see ghosts isn’t overdone. It’s just right. But then once Jamie, Bear, dogs, and their employee/friend/Bear’s romantic interest Ren (accompanied by her dog) go to Vermont to help the FBI with a search for two missing girls, the book, slowly goes downhill. At first, it isn’t quite that obvious. There are several positive aspects, even though despite being a first in a series, there is quite a bit of history that seems to have been dealt with another series. Unlike several other books with strong female leads, Darkest Thread has Jamie surrounded by strong women – an FBI agent as well as the head of the Vermont K-9 rescue both work with Jamie, and even the potential romantic rival, a news reporter who while pushy and antagonist comes across as strong willed. It is promising enough for a reader to overlook the fact that it is the Maine team that just happens to make a major discovery, even after the Vermont team has been working. There is an attempt to explain this that a reader can somewhat buy – the father, Dean, of the missing girls has reason to distrust the FBI. Dean’s brother, an FBI agent, went to jail for killing two of the men’s sisters. The FBI agents working the missing girls’ case are all connected to this disgraced agent, who maybe innocent. Furthermore, Dean is a bit of a doomsday/off the gird guy who distrusts the FBI and blames the government for everything. Talking these plot points into an account, even with the unlikeness of the FBI team all having a connection with the murderer, a reader can allow herself to buy the no one checked the property because Dean wouldn’t let them attempt to justify why Jamie and crew find the body of one daughter and not the Vermont team. But that’s when the book goes pear shaped. In a slightly confusing sequence Dean goes bonkers, shoots Bear, takes him hostage to ensure that Jamie finds his other missing girl, Ren refuses to leave Bear, so Dean tells everyone that he will kill one teen in x number of hours. The FBI lets this happen, pretty much. And then the plot point that totally shatters any left-over suspension of disbelief. Jamie tells someone that she called Ren’s father to tell him about his daughter being taken and he’s upset but is going to stay back in Maine. I’m sorry, but what the fucking hell. Before Ren is taken hostage, Blood tells the reader at least three times that Ren’s mother and siblings were violently murdered in Nigeria, and Ren herself was separated from her father for over a year. It’s why Ren and her father went to the United States. So why is dad like, whatevers? And even without that backstory, what parent would stay away? And then Jamie finds some tunnels and gets caught in a cave in. All the dogs howl, but no one is smart enough to connect the howling with the earthquake that caused the cave in. Her knee gets hurt, but don’t worry despite it being two times its normal size, she is still able to keep up with everyone else. What’s worse, the two of the other strong women become weak. It’s like the female FBI agent has a brain transplant or something (mostly because she is supposed to be a red herring), and the news reporter gets killed because she didn’t listen to the big strong man. No men die though. Blood also seems to be trying to use the ghosts to up the horror, and in some ways, they are the most interesting part of the story. The downhill slide is a shame because if it had been workshopped or edited more, it would have been a far better book. There are plausible reasons why Ren’s father might not show up – he’s in the field, he’s on a plane, he’s out of country – instead of the half ass on that we are given. The ending could have been smoothed out and tightened. The ghosts could have been allowed more room, the mood could have been better. As it is now, it goes from a book that had promise at the beginning to a book that kills any desire to read anything else by the author. Two stars because of the strong beginning.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marleen

    It’s difficult to put my finger on it, but for some reason things didn’t come together in this book for me. The part about Search and Rescue was half okay, but that whole history about the Redfield family felt so far-fetched and amateurish I couldn’t believe it when I read it. And the ghosts in the forest? No, I was not convinced. I could empathize with Jaimie Flint, her son Bear and the other rescuers, but other characters like the FBI agents didn’t sound professional. They didn’t come across as It’s difficult to put my finger on it, but for some reason things didn’t come together in this book for me. The part about Search and Rescue was half okay, but that whole history about the Redfield family felt so far-fetched and amateurish I couldn’t believe it when I read it. And the ghosts in the forest? No, I was not convinced. I could empathize with Jaimie Flint, her son Bear and the other rescuers, but other characters like the FBI agents didn’t sound professional. They didn’t come across as real. As a law enforcement they simply cowed before the Redfields. It was ridiculous. I love dogs and I enjoy dogs being featured in books, but here I wished for more solid story-telling. I will not be continuing this series, nor pursue this author. *1,5* stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    I've read and enjoyed Jen Blood's Erin Solomon pentalogy so after humming and haaing about this, and seeing as I was in dog book mode I gave in a bought it. Although I remember little about the story it can't have too bad as I gave it 4 stars at the time. It seems though that you would enjoy this more if you had read the Solomon books as there is a bit of history that helps and it gets glossed over too quickly in this story. Mind you the Erin Solomon book WERE bloody awesome and I would recommen I've read and enjoyed Jen Blood's Erin Solomon pentalogy so after humming and haaing about this, and seeing as I was in dog book mode I gave in a bought it. Although I remember little about the story it can't have too bad as I gave it 4 stars at the time. It seems though that you would enjoy this more if you had read the Solomon books as there is a bit of history that helps and it gets glossed over too quickly in this story. Mind you the Erin Solomon book WERE bloody awesome and I would recommend them to anybody.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    Honestly, this book is all over the place. Two young women have disappeared in the mountains of Vermont. The disappearance is eerily similar to the disappearance of other young women years before. Jamie Flint and her search and rescue dogs and associates get called in from Maine (!) to help. There may be a supernatural element to the disappearances. There is a certain a non-corporeal spirit helping those who can see, like Jamie and her son Bear. I never got a real sense of the physical locations o Honestly, this book is all over the place. Two young women have disappeared in the mountains of Vermont. The disappearance is eerily similar to the disappearance of other young women years before. Jamie Flint and her search and rescue dogs and associates get called in from Maine (!) to help. There may be a supernatural element to the disappearances. There is a certain a non-corporeal spirit helping those who can see, like Jamie and her son Bear. I never got a real sense of the physical locations or passage of time in this book. It seemed to me that searchers would go out, be gone all day, and return to hotel and headquarters in minutes. People searching through tunnels underground that i thought were a long way away from the "settlement", but the can hear what's going on in the settlement? I may just have missed something, but the distances and times just didn't make sense for me. Also (view spoiler)[ Bear, Jamie's son, and his dog find the first girl's body. So what does the crazy patriarch do? He SHOOTS BEAR, because he wants to give Jamie an incentive to find the other girl alive within 40 hours. You SHOOT THE EFFECTIVE SEARCHER THAT FOUND SOMEONE???? That was what really boggled my mind. This guy (who is apparently batshit crazy) apparently had some idea that Jamie and her dog(s) were the only ones that could find the other girl. It just didn't make sense to me personally. It looked like a plot device just to force some tension into the story. (hide spoiler)] Anyway, even the dogs weren't quite enough to redeem this one for me. There are also a lot of references to events that happened before this book opened. They were a bit distracting, but not too bad. Just made me know that the author is working to get you interested in her other books. Nothing wrong with that, just a little distracting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Readsall

    This book is a very good mystery suspense with a good dose of paranormal. The story keeps you guessing who the murderer is right to the end. I can usually determine who the murderer is before the end of a book. But more than once with this book I thought I had figured out who was guilty to find I was on the wrong track. The characters are complex and the story is tight. I would recommend this book to every mystery lover.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laz the Sailor

    It's always difficult to get the entry point for a first book perfectly. Do you spend the first half world-building and then start the story? Or do you jump in the middle and hope that the readers will keep up? This book chose the latter and was mostly successful, except there were too many characters from the past to track. The bad guys are from a large family, which brother did what, which sister was nicer. Plus there was a paranormal aspect that wasn't mentioned anywhere, which became a distra It's always difficult to get the entry point for a first book perfectly. Do you spend the first half world-building and then start the story? Or do you jump in the middle and hope that the readers will keep up? This book chose the latter and was mostly successful, except there were too many characters from the past to track. The bad guys are from a large family, which brother did what, which sister was nicer. Plus there was a paranormal aspect that wasn't mentioned anywhere, which became a distraction, and then a major pivot point. The mystery was dark and twisted, but certain parts defied explanation. I don't think I will read the next one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    This is a supernatural thriller/crime story that would normally be off my radar, but with a lack of new material to read, I gave it a shot. There is a lot to like in here, but I kept getting the feeling I was reading the second or third book in a series rather than the first. I also felt like there was some backstory missing in a lot of places that would have helped. Without giving away anything, the plot is more or less as the description says, only there is some history between Jamie Flint and This is a supernatural thriller/crime story that would normally be off my radar, but with a lack of new material to read, I gave it a shot. There is a lot to like in here, but I kept getting the feeling I was reading the second or third book in a series rather than the first. I also felt like there was some backstory missing in a lot of places that would have helped. Without giving away anything, the plot is more or less as the description says, only there is some history between Jamie Flint and Jack Juarez that never gets explained here. There's also a lot missing about Jamie and the father of her son, Bear, but that's not as crucial to anything except filling in some details about who Jamie is and why. Which might have explained some of the supernatural elements to the story, such as why Jamie and her son can see -- and talk to -- ghosts. Other than the supernatural angle, which does play a part in here, this story rings as very believable. Characters, though not fully fleshed out, are defined and definitely not cardboard. Even with their abilities, Jamie and Bear are very human and mortal, and the resolution to the story doesn't hinge on some deus ex machina to make everything okay. Even the ending was hard to figure out until it was almost upon me -- something that is often makes mysteries boring to me. There were a couple areas that bothered me though. There were at least two people who knew what was happening (I'm counting the perpetrator), and one of them could and should have done something but didn't, which was baffling to me. The reason for what was happening was also known by two people (still counting the perpetrator but a different person here than before), but again, nothing was done when it certainly should and could have been. And there was a death at the end that made absolutely no sense to me on any level and did nothing for the plot. All told, this was a good book and if you like strong female characters, crime stories, and a little supernatural, this is certainly a worthy read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    3.75 stars rounded up I grabbed this book at Amazon when it was offered for free because of the cover and the blurb. I got hooked with the Canadian TV Series Hudson and Rex, so I thought, oh mystery series with a dog! Cool! This book apparently is set in the same universe of Erin Solomon series by the same author. So I admit, even when the author said that this series could be read as stand alone, there were background things about the main character Jamie Flint and FBI agent Jack Juarez that happ 3.75 stars rounded up I grabbed this book at Amazon when it was offered for free because of the cover and the blurb. I got hooked with the Canadian TV Series Hudson and Rex, so I thought, oh mystery series with a dog! Cool! This book apparently is set in the same universe of Erin Solomon series by the same author. So I admit, even when the author said that this series could be read as stand alone, there were background things about the main character Jamie Flint and FBI agent Jack Juarez that happened off page, that I wished I understood. I was also surprised that this series had a touch of paranormal element to it -- Jamie has "senses" and her son could see/talk to the dead. Having said so, I did enjoy this book. This story is set only for few days when Jamie, her son Bear, and Bear's friend Ren, alongside Jack and other FBI agents are trying to find two missing girls. When one of them found dead and the father of the girls ends up taking Bear and Ren hostage, Jamie must do everything to find the other girl to help her son. It's quite thrilling -- and chilling, with the paranormal element thrown into it. The book is written from few perspective: Jamie using 1st person POV and then Bear and Jack using 3rd person POV. I have no problem following the writing though. I think I'll try following this series. I see that book #2 and #3 are released already...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacqie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Parts of this book were 5 star and parts were 1 star, so I'll even it out to 3 stars. What I liked: I haven't read a mystery with a search and rescue dog handler as the main character before. Although I think this is the author's first book in this series, it began seamlessly and I was instantly intrigued by main character Jamie Flint, a rescue dog trainer and handler from rural Maine. Jamie is down to earth and smart, but she's also open to the possibility that supernatural aspects of life may ex Parts of this book were 5 star and parts were 1 star, so I'll even it out to 3 stars. What I liked: I haven't read a mystery with a search and rescue dog handler as the main character before. Although I think this is the author's first book in this series, it began seamlessly and I was instantly intrigued by main character Jamie Flint, a rescue dog trainer and handler from rural Maine. Jamie is down to earth and smart, but she's also open to the possibility that supernatural aspects of life may exist, in her own teenage son for example. This was surprising to me- the book's marketed as a mystery and the fact that Jamie's son Bear can see ghosts would usually get a big "paranormal" marketing push. As is, though, that is just part of the story. Ghosts are part of this book, part of the mystery, and honestly probably a bit of plot lubricant. I didn't mind it, though- Jamie and Bear both deal with ghosts pretty matter-of-factly, just like they deal with weather conditions and animal behavior as part of their jobs. The characterization of the main characters was good- Bear and Jamie were quite different but both relateable. Federal agent Jack Juarez, who is apparently part of another series by this author, seemed less well drawn and also showed much worse judgement. I liked the dog characters! The dog handling part seemed quite real, and I'm a sucker for a good dog in a story. The dogs weren't preternaturally smart, they were just dogs trying to obey their people and follow their instincts. I don't know too much about search and rescue dogs, but how dogs and handlers interacted seemed fairly realistic. What was not realistic: the plot. Here's where we get one star. The reason for the search is that a doomsday prepper sort's twin teenage daughters have gone missing. The backstory for all this is quite confusing, but it involves the prepper's FBI agent brother(these two are from the same family?!) who was also somehow convicted of being a serial killer of a very specific ritual sort. Plus the search must take place in bad weather in extremely rugged terrain. Before the first hundred pages of the book are done, one of the girls is found dead in exactly the ritual way that this guy's brother had apparently killed women before. And the prepper guy, in front of at least one armed FBI agent, takes Bear hostage so that the searchers will keep searching instead of fading back because of the ARMED SERIAL KILLER that is apparently stalking the woods. He also gives a countdown, so Jamie now only has a short amount of time to find this missing girl, or he'll kill the very guy (Bear) who just found one of his daughters. It really made no sense at all that 1. the FBI would put up with this instead of treating it like a hostage situation and focusing on getting Bear back 2. that this prepper would think that taking the very guy who just found one of his daughters as his hostage would be a remotely sane idea and 3. that this guy wouldn't automatically become suspect #1 after his erratic and hostile behavior. I could go on, but I won't. I couldn't finish the book after this, because I was so disappointed in the nonsensical way the author had chosen to drive up tension. It's a weirdly uneven book. The author is undoubtedly skilled at drawing her main characters, but the plot backstory really made no sense and what she used to drive the plot made me lose respect for her storytelling ability after a good set-up. I stopped trusting her, and couldn't finish the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nikii

    There is nothing in the description to indicate that this is anything other than a search-and-rescue mystery, a sub-genre I enjoy. What it actually is, is a supernatural mystery. There I was reading along and the story is starting to look interesting, and then suddenly there's a bunch of woo-woo about ghosts and spirits and empaths. I tried to keep reading, because the mystery part was good and the author definitely knows how to string words together in a pleasing fashion, but the farther in I g There is nothing in the description to indicate that this is anything other than a search-and-rescue mystery, a sub-genre I enjoy. What it actually is, is a supernatural mystery. There I was reading along and the story is starting to look interesting, and then suddenly there's a bunch of woo-woo about ghosts and spirits and empaths. I tried to keep reading, because the mystery part was good and the author definitely knows how to string words together in a pleasing fashion, but the farther in I got the more woo-woo there was, and I ended up putting it down forever about halfway through. The supernatural stuff was such a big part of the story that looking back at the book description, the lack of any mention of it reads like a deliberate effort to mislead. This is the description to which I refer (taken from Amazon near my time of purchase, it may be different elsewhere): For fans of John Connolly, Nevada Barr, and dogs of all shape and size, the first novel in the new Flint K-9 Search and Rescue Mysteries, from the author of the bestselling Erin Solomon Mysteries! When teenage sisters go missing in the mysterious “Bennington Triangle” of Vermont, an area renowned for its disappearances and strange occurrences over the past hundred years, FBI agent Jack Juarez brings K-9 handler Jamie Flint and her dog Phantom in to assist with the search. When Jack realizes the case shares haunting similarities with the murders of the missing girls’ aunts ten years before, it becomes clear that he and Jamie are dealing with much more than two girls who simply wandered off the beaten path.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol Gronli

    I was disappointed in this book. It starts out dark and heavy and that was okay. But the empathy the reader should have gotten from the characters - I just didn't get. No connection to the dogs either, which is beyond strange. The plot was woven using too many gadgets, too many "weird" occurrences which takes away from the impact of any one of them. This author just got carried away with the occult, the weird, the other-worldly and forgot that the readers have to be able to connect to the story I was disappointed in this book. It starts out dark and heavy and that was okay. But the empathy the reader should have gotten from the characters - I just didn't get. No connection to the dogs either, which is beyond strange. The plot was woven using too many gadgets, too many "weird" occurrences which takes away from the impact of any one of them. This author just got carried away with the occult, the weird, the other-worldly and forgot that the readers have to be able to connect to the story line. Maybe teenagers would enjoy this type of writing, but I didn't.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    *Audio Review* A spooky read that was just right with its references to the disappearances in the Bennington Triangle, chilling ties to an old horrific pair of murders, the dark whispers from the forest, and fresh terror for all those involved. The Darkest Thread begins a new series, but word of caution, its a spin-off for the author's previous Erin Solomon series. In fact, the heroine and others are tied-in with that series so the connection is mentioned a few times. This is its own story as far *Audio Review* A spooky read that was just right with its references to the disappearances in the Bennington Triangle, chilling ties to an old horrific pair of murders, the dark whispers from the forest, and fresh terror for all those involved. The Darkest Thread begins a new series, but word of caution, its a spin-off for the author's previous Erin Solomon series. In fact, the heroine and others are tied-in with that series so the connection is mentioned a few times. This is its own story as far as the mystery, but the reader gets the feeling that the character side is part of an ongoing story. This author, Jen Blood, knows how to put you right in the story and feel the atmosphere of her story. It was a murder mystery that delivered the thrills and tingles without getting too far over the line into horror or thriller. I enjoyed that a search and rescue animal handler is the primary detective in this story and she has her own vulnerabilities and troubles from the past. Jamie is a tough gal and she likes going her own way, but she is working with a whole host of others to find the missing girls in time. Jamie is surrounded by a strong cast of characters including Jack Juarez and let's not forget the dogs who stole the show a few times. I was iffy on Jamie a few times because she sometimes was pretty narrow with her focus and her feelings (though who could blame her a few times when things happened particularly with Bear), but overall, I enjoyed her as a lead character. Jamie's son Bear also gets to narrate and we get the story from his younger point of view and see how his psychic gift weighs heavily on him. I liked the juxtaposition of mother and teenage son which was different. They have the usual tension of family dynamics, but also that of the darker gifts they share that can be more like a curse in their line of work. There are some romantic inclinations, but this is at the forefront a paranormal mystery. The case is a good one with twists that had me pointing the finger falsely a few times. The narrator, Elise Arsenault, was great. I hadn't listened to her narration work before, but I thought she was a good match for the story and the characters. She had a lot of characters to do and had to get the tone of the story right which she really did. All in all, this first outing with author and narrator was a success and I want more of these dark, twisting murder mysteries. If you like a few thrills and chills without it getting too scary, this mystery series is probably a good match for you. My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    K-9 Search and Rescue along with supernatural happenings in the Vermont mountains Jamie Flint was a young teenage mom that persevered and ended up starting a wildlife sanctuary and Flint K-9 that trains all kinds of dogs on an island off the coast of Maine. Her son Bear is now 17 years old and is a dog handler/trainer, just like she is. They, along with Ren, a young Nigerian refugee who also handles dogs, are called out on a search and rescue for two missing teen sisters in Vermont, along the Long K-9 Search and Rescue along with supernatural happenings in the Vermont mountains Jamie Flint was a young teenage mom that persevered and ended up starting a wildlife sanctuary and Flint K-9 that trains all kinds of dogs on an island off the coast of Maine. Her son Bear is now 17 years old and is a dog handler/trainer, just like she is. They, along with Ren, a young Nigerian refugee who also handles dogs, are called out on a search and rescue for two missing teen sisters in Vermont, along the Long Trail on Glastenbury Mountain. Thick forests, pouring rain, and steep mountainsides all add to the danger factor especially since the girls have been living with their anti-government family in the area. Also there are similarities in the disappearance to some serial killings in the past. I liked this story but I didn't love it. There was just TOO much crammed into one book. Ritualistic killings, kidnapping, a plethora of suspects and then a heavy dose of the supernatural on top of all that. Some of the elements could have been cut and made a much cleaner story. It had great potential and fell short. But it was good enough that I'm going to read book two in the series INSIDE THE ECHO next.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This was pretty good, very fast-paced and plenty of action with a mystery. The characters were complex. But the world and plot had aspects which were unbelievable, even for fiction with a hint of paranormal. But the paranormal bits weren't the part which bothered me. Who would take teenagers out into a heavily forested area in the mountains in heavy rains to search for lost girls with a serial killer on the loose? They started before they knew the killer part but still they continued. The dialog This was pretty good, very fast-paced and plenty of action with a mystery. The characters were complex. But the world and plot had aspects which were unbelievable, even for fiction with a hint of paranormal. But the paranormal bits weren't the part which bothered me. Who would take teenagers out into a heavily forested area in the mountains in heavy rains to search for lost girls with a serial killer on the loose? They started before they knew the killer part but still they continued. The dialogue or people relationships didn't feel right. I'm looking forward to see if the second book improves things a bit.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandra McKee

    This book is a very good mystery suspense with a good dose of paranormal. The story keeps you guessing who the murderer is right to the very end. Several twists and turns that keep you thinking you have it figured out but another twists takes you in a different direction. The characters are complex and their stories are somewhat revealed throughout the story. The ending of the story left somewhat hanging as to the “darkness” but overall enjoyed the book as it kept me captured wanting to read mor This book is a very good mystery suspense with a good dose of paranormal. The story keeps you guessing who the murderer is right to the very end. Several twists and turns that keep you thinking you have it figured out but another twists takes you in a different direction. The characters are complex and their stories are somewhat revealed throughout the story. The ending of the story left somewhat hanging as to the “darkness” but overall enjoyed the book as it kept me captured wanting to read more. I would recommend this book to every mystery lover. Will definitely read the next in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine✰✰✰

    A good surprise I didn't know what to expect with this story. I pretty much just got it because it takes place in VT and that's a rarity. It was way better than I was expecting. The search and rescue with dogs was enough to keep my interest, especially with one of the dogs being a pitbull (go team pittie!), but the addition of the FBI scandal and the ghostly paranormal touches made it so much better. I'm very interested in picking up the next book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Huxtable

    Interesting Although this book didn't completely grab my attention, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed it enough to consider reading the next in the series

  21. 4 out of 5

    Charray Johnson

    I like the main character, Jaime, though I definitely didn't learn enough about her. The dogs are a great part of the story, and I enjoyed the touch of paranormal.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    K-9 handler Jamie Flint is called in to help with the search for two missing teenage sisters in a rainy forest in Vermont notorious for mysterious disappearances. With the girls’ unstable and erratic father getting involved, a possible attacker on the loose, and mysterious ghostly voices, Jamie - along with her dog and an FBI agent - rushes to find the girls before it’s too late. This book sort of has a lot going on - the search for the missing girls, the crazed father who believes the FBI is som K-9 handler Jamie Flint is called in to help with the search for two missing teenage sisters in a rainy forest in Vermont notorious for mysterious disappearances. With the girls’ unstable and erratic father getting involved, a possible attacker on the loose, and mysterious ghostly voices, Jamie - along with her dog and an FBI agent - rushes to find the girls before it’s too late. This book sort of has a lot going on - the search for the missing girls, the crazed father who believes the FBI is somehow involved, the odd similarities between the girls’ disappearance and the disappearance/murder of their father’s sisters years before, the hinted romance between Jamie and Jack (the FBI agent), the supernatural elements, etc. - BUT, it all kind of comes together and works, at least in my opinion. The book’s details about search and rescue dogs were so fascinating, the protagonist was likable, the mystery kept me intrigued, and for once, something in a book actually creeped me out! I won’t spoil it - but this twisty weird story gets pretty eerie.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Black Wolf

    Canine Search-And-Rescue (SAR) units find bodies, ghosts, and a serial killer in a haunted wood, thanks to persistent neo-feminists risking their lives and careers against male liars and evildoers. And that’s more description than this book deserves. This book needs an editor who understands language, punctuation, grammar, and plot flow. I understand the need to "write from the gut," but one must edit from the mind. To hear that this book not only has sequels but has "best-seller" status gives m Canine Search-And-Rescue (SAR) units find bodies, ghosts, and a serial killer in a haunted wood, thanks to persistent neo-feminists risking their lives and careers against male liars and evildoers. And that’s more description than this book deserves. This book needs an editor who understands language, punctuation, grammar, and plot flow. I understand the need to "write from the gut," but one must edit from the mind. To hear that this book not only has sequels but has "best-seller" status gives me little hope for the reading public. I might give half a star for having attempted a good ghost story. You may read the full review on my website Black Wolf's Imaginarium. One (of many) pet peeve: Unless you are referring to a sometime military designation, the inclusion of the characters "K-9" in the title of something (e.g., a business name), or the given name of the Doctor's robotic dog, do NOT refer to your dog as a K-9. The word you're looking for is "canine," and those of us with blood relation to these fine animals are very irritated by your laziness.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Warning: Don't read this if you want to do anything else today!!! What a fantastic story! I found this well written, interesting, different, and was the first book that I have read for a while that I couldn't put down. My chores had to stop, nothing could be done, the world had to stop until I had finished the book. Wow. So many thrillers nowadays have these ridiculously long titles telling you it is the years best suspense novel, or the best psychological thriller of the year, or all those other Warning: Don't read this if you want to do anything else today!!! What a fantastic story! I found this well written, interesting, different, and was the first book that I have read for a while that I couldn't put down. My chores had to stop, nothing could be done, the world had to stop until I had finished the book. Wow. So many thrillers nowadays have these ridiculously long titles telling you it is the years best suspense novel, or the best psychological thriller of the year, or all those other irritating long titles. People, this book is the real deal.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page. The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real. i would highly recommend this author and this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    April

    From the first chapter, I feel like I am going to learn a lot about the intricate details of the training of dogs for search and rescue teams & law enforcement. This story begins in a sweet way, with one of Jamie Flint's rescued shelter dogs, Phantom, discovering a couple of orphaned fawns, tangled in some underbrush of a Maine forest. This book definitely did not disappoint! It had an intriguing mystery, bone-chilling suspense, gruesome horror, a glimpse into the supernatural and even a touch of From the first chapter, I feel like I am going to learn a lot about the intricate details of the training of dogs for search and rescue teams & law enforcement. This story begins in a sweet way, with one of Jamie Flint's rescued shelter dogs, Phantom, discovering a couple of orphaned fawns, tangled in some underbrush of a Maine forest. This book definitely did not disappoint! It had an intriguing mystery, bone-chilling suspense, gruesome horror, a glimpse into the supernatural and even a touch of romance as well. I was surprised to be leaving Odd Thomas, only to jump right into the story of multiple people, all sharing similar "unique" abilities, which only helped the mystery to be even spookier than it would be otherwise. My favorite character developments were the relationships between the dogs and their handlers, without a doubt. Being a dog-lover, I can relate to those special types of bonds that humans can develop with their dog, albeit not a search-and-rescue kind, but still, the same general principle applies. And I loved how the dogs' roles in the story were intertwined with what was happening at the time. It added to the emotional pull of the scenes, at least for me. The only complaint I have is that it felt as if the ending was slightly rushed, after the mystery was solved and everyone was able to get back to their normal lives. But at the same time, it didn't take away from the book as a whole. The style of writing kept me coming back to it every day, anticipating what would happen next for Jamie and her team. I would recommend this to anyone who's even slightly a fan of any of the genres that I mentioned previously!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I enjoyed this book, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. I signed up for a regular mystery, and had no idea that I was getting some horror and supernatural mixed in with my straightforward SAR mission. It's not that I particularly mind mixing the two, but it reminded me of I Am Not A Serial Killer where you're rocking along on a standard mystery and then SUDDENLY, MONSTERS. The above paragraph may technically contain spoilers, but I refuse to apologize for saying things that should ha I enjoyed this book, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. I signed up for a regular mystery, and had no idea that I was getting some horror and supernatural mixed in with my straightforward SAR mission. It's not that I particularly mind mixing the two, but it reminded me of I Am Not A Serial Killer where you're rocking along on a standard mystery and then SUDDENLY, MONSTERS. The above paragraph may technically contain spoilers, but I refuse to apologize for saying things that should have been on the back cover of the book. Although this was a #1 of a series, there were times where I felt like I'd been dropped into the middle of a story, since many of the characters had history and were referencing situations and events that had occurred before. Sometimes I thought that it was a deliberate tactic on the part of the author, since most of the important references were explained, to give the series a feeling of establishment right off the bat. It was only when I got to the end of the book and found that the characters from this series were introduced in a previous series that I realized that my initial reaction of being in the middle of something was correct. I'll definitely be back tracking to get those books and fill out some back stories, even as I go forward with the Flint series. The ending felt a little unfinished to me, as there were questions that were never answered and issued that were not fully resolved. I think that was deliberate, though, because in real life you are always going to have situations that don't tie up with a bow, and you have to take what you can get and move on as best you can. That was more realistic than getting every little thing explained and handled in perfect time. Also, yay for using pit bulls as working dogs! They get such a unfair reputation that seeing them in the book made me really happy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    M

    Unsavory Mixture of Genres Some mild spoilers ahead The synopsis/blurb touts this as a mystery involving FBI agents utilizing K-9 search and rescue teams to find missing teenagers, plus a hint about the possibility of connections to old serial murders. However, this book is heavily weighted with supernatural and horror elements to the point that, at times, the mystery seemed secondary. I don’t mind protagonists with premonitions or even characters whose thumbs prickle, but I’d like some forewarni Unsavory Mixture of Genres Some mild spoilers ahead The synopsis/blurb touts this as a mystery involving FBI agents utilizing K-9 search and rescue teams to find missing teenagers, plus a hint about the possibility of connections to old serial murders. However, this book is heavily weighted with supernatural and horror elements to the point that, at times, the mystery seemed secondary. I don’t mind protagonists with premonitions or even characters whose thumbs prickle, but I’d like some forewarning about a horror/supernatural “mystery.” I almost stopped reading several times, but I wanted to know who the serial killer(s) was/were. I skipped pages about characters trudging through forests in pouring rain, about many dogs false-alerting all over a mountain, ghosts emitting ear-piercing shrieks, and people crawling through collapsing tunnels. I did riffle through sections that seemed relevant to the mystery. IMO, the killer was a character out of left field and not believable as a serial killer for various reasons. The ending was unsatisfactory, because there were many questions left unanswered.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    This book popped up when I was searching for representative books under the “Cozy Mystery” category, but it is a little outside the bounds of that genre. The story is dark and foreboding: it takes place on a gloomy heavily wooded Vermont mountain, during cold drenching thunderstorms, and takes the characters underground through narrow inky disused tunnels, in search of two missing girls. A K9 dog handler, Jamie Flint, and her son Bear, bring their search dogs to assist the FBI. Bear has a well-d This book popped up when I was searching for representative books under the “Cozy Mystery” category, but it is a little outside the bounds of that genre. The story is dark and foreboding: it takes place on a gloomy heavily wooded Vermont mountain, during cold drenching thunderstorms, and takes the characters underground through narrow inky disused tunnels, in search of two missing girls. A K9 dog handler, Jamie Flint, and her son Bear, bring their search dogs to assist the FBI. Bear has a well-developed sixth sense, a connection with the victims, and Jamie is starting to feel their call as well. Bodies are found mutilated in a very disturbing way, unique to a series of older murders which were never solved. I enjoyed the working relationship between Jamie and her dog, and the inexorable unfolding of the mystery as more bodies are found and the girls’ parents grow increasingly desperate. The disturbing nature of the mutilation stood apart from the rest of the story, an isolated and unnecessary “yuck” moment which was not fully integrated into the rest of the story or the character of the murderer. A dark and involved read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I got this from the library before reading any of the goodreads reviews, and I'm glad I did, since this book seems to be super hit or miss with people, which might have deterred me. I enjoyed this book. The writing was good, the story fast-paced, and the author kept things moving. I will say: this book is NOT what I expected, but that's not necessarily bad. I was just surprised to find that it was about dogs a little, but it's also a thriller, mystery, contains gruesome murders, touched with sup I got this from the library before reading any of the goodreads reviews, and I'm glad I did, since this book seems to be super hit or miss with people, which might have deterred me. I enjoyed this book. The writing was good, the story fast-paced, and the author kept things moving. I will say: this book is NOT what I expected, but that's not necessarily bad. I was just surprised to find that it was about dogs a little, but it's also a thriller, mystery, contains gruesome murders, touched with supernatural. There was a lot going on in this book, but I thought the writing made up for it and made this a fast, engaging read. There were a couple stories going on that I think got lost and leaving us with loose ends, hence knocking my review down to 4-stars, but maybe she is keeping those storylines open to explore in another installment. I'll continue reading the K9 Search & Rescue mysteries in hopes that we get more focus on the dogs, but so far, this author gives us creepy mysteries and fast-paced adventures, so you won't waste your time even if the dogs take a backseat to the story.

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