GOLDEN REVIEW Book! “Darker By Degree” by Keri Knutson

The best thing about this book was the characters. I love Maddie! Even after I figured out “whodunit” I still wanted to keep reading to figure out how Maddie was going to get herself out of trouble. I like books with strong women characters who don’t wait to have somebody else come save them. The dialogue was good and the action was exciting, and I felt the relationships between the characters were well-developed and believable. I can’t wait to read the next one!  –  Katie

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A missing girl. A mysterious break-in. A brutal murder. Struggling actress Maddie Pryce is looking for her big break and a way out of her day job at a crumbling movie palace from Hollywood’s heyday, but finds herself at the center of a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. Soon she’s tangled up with a persistent detective, a driven director, a playboy producer, and an unstable ingenue. Can Maddie unravel the clues before her next role is as a serial killer’s victim?

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If it wasn’t for a steady supply of criminals, actress Maddie Pryce’s razor-sharp wit might be West Hollywood’s most dangerous weapon. Whether meeting up with junkie burglars or snide corporate theater owners, sadistic murderers or snarky homicide detectives, she manages to hold her own.

The situations are intense, the descriptions vivid, the action vibrant, and the twisting plots are always driven by headstrong, curious Maddie. Detective Kyle Oberman says, “An angry Maddie is like letting loose a bouncy ball in the housewares aisle.”

As Maddie moves impulsively through everything from vandalism to serial killings, she manages to keep her instincts honed, calling to bear something her mother noticed in her, even as a young child. “My mother used to tell the story of my first swim lesson, when I walked right past the instructor and the water-wings in her outstretched arms and jumped right in to the deep end of the pool. She called it the look-before-you-leap syndrome.”

That’s Maddie . She’ll have you on the edge of your seat while she comes up with the most resourceful way to extract herself from a killer, then have no concept of how to deal with a romantic entanglement. She’ll draw beautiful pictures of Southern California, then uncover the dark underbelly of crime. You may feel at times like you’re in the great Golden Age of Hollywood until Maddie opens her mouth, then you know for sure where you are. Just one more way Maddie has of putting people in their place.

This book is equivalent to a 300 page paperback.

This reader loved it!

This book was recommend by a friend because I really enjoy serial mysteries, especially with female lead characters. The first thing that struck me about this book was that the writing was as good or better than any of the “big name” writers I regularly read, like Kathy Reichs or Patricia Cornwell, but with a much lighter touch. It was fast-paced, with believable dialogue and action and enough humor to lighten the suspense. I read the last third of the book all in one sitting. Also it was the first book I bought up for my new Kindle and it looked great on the device. I’m looking forward to the continuation of the series and have already picked up the next book!  – Dareth March

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