cover image The Deep Dark Descending

The Deep Dark Descending

Allen Eskens. Seventh Street, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-63388-355-0

In Edgar-finalist Eskens’s engrossing fourth Max Rupert mystery (after 2016’s The Heavens May Fall), the Minneapolis police detective has yet to recover from the death five years earlier of his wife, Jenni—struck by a hit-and-run driver, who was never identified, as she was leaving her administrative job at the Hennepin County Medical Center. Drinking too much and running afoul of his higher-ups, Rupert is close to losing his job, the only thing that gives his life meaning. Then D.A. Boady Sanden, a former friend, presents Rupert with evidence that Jenni’s death was no accident. When a case sends Rupert to Hennepin County Medical to interrogate a murder suspect, Rupert takes the opportunity to visit a coworker of Jenni’s, who sets him on a trail toward identifying his wife’s killer. In the end, Rupert must decide what he’s ready to do to obtain his goal: vengeance for Jenni. Eskens relies too heavily on coincidence, but a well-constructed plot and a sympathetic lead will keep readers turning the pages. Agent: Amy Cloughley, Kimberley Cameron Agency. (Oct.)