C for Chilling, C for Commendable- Too Dark to Sleep by Dianne Gallagher

The blurb reads,

Time to wake up…

Maggie Quinn was the top homicide detective in Chicago’s Area One before she suffered a devastating loss. Now Quinn is damaged… perhaps beyond repair. Once the best detective in Chicago, she is haunted by dreams of a faceless man she could never catch. When the killer returns, Quinn agrees to serve as a consultant, but most cops in Area One tag her as a hazard. Except rookie detective Nick Dublowski who quickly realizes the only way the Chicago Police will catch this elusive killer is with the help of Maggie Quinn.

Back on the job, Quinn becomes as tenacious and sharp as ever. But as the investigation closes in on a suspect, the escalating murders hit dangerously close to home. Quinn’s sanity again begins to fray and her judgment is questioned. Did the suspect really do it? Or is Maggie’s tormented mind pushing her to ruin the life of an innocent man?

Avid readers of crime fiction, noir or psychological thrillers will find Too Dark to Sleep a fresh take on their favorite genre. This is the first book in a gripping new series and not to be missed.


So I opted for a Making Connections tour after a long time and I wondered how this thriller would be. I admit, the blurb really attracted me to it, and I haven’t read a great thriller for a long time. I have been excited with the Noir genre and one of my goals in 2015 was to explore genres I had only skirted the boundaries of.

When the author sent me the book, I admit, I lost it in my Yahoo mail. I admit, I’m a total GMAIL convert. I’ve lost countless emails in my Yahoo and without the systematic categorising on Gmail, I lose track of the books. Anyway, a simple reminder that the blog tour was coming, got me into action and I started.

Maggie Quinn is not your typical hero. She is sharp. She is merciless. She has a past. And it is catching up on her. When a serial killer lets loose, Maggie returns to face her demons and to exhume the past. Maggie has had a traumatic life. Her daughter died and that pushed her off the edge. This new job does nothing to help her sanity. It borders on the edge and darkness claws, waiting for the perfect opportunity to consume her.

This is not a book which is a race against time. No clocks ticking, no bodies falling. Cold, calculated attacks from both sides. Maggie has a skilled opponent. We are sucked into the world, much like how Harry Potter is sucked into the Pensieve (I’m sorry for the Harry Potter reference, I just saw Goblet of Fire before I write this!!) We see the world like mere spectators. We call out but it is not heard. We want to hold Maggie and comfort her when she tethers on the edge. But we can’t. And we just watch as things crumble.

What I love about this book is the oddly twisted form of redemption stored towards the end. You think that the stage is set only to realise it never was. Closure comes in the most different way and  you are left wondering over its brilliance or left lamenting over its tragedy. That is what this book was about.

I can’t ignore the other characters. I don’t want to talk about the serial killer at all. It would take away all the delight when you finally come to read it. And I can’t talk about the other characters who end up feeling so much like home after the book ends. Maggie is a brilliant character supported on the back of so many characters who end up becoming like people you’ve known for a long time. As you complete the pages, there seems to be some familiarity with the characters and a need to know them much better.

And the DARK! My gosh, if there ever was a character so chilling in the book, it would have to be the Darkness. Never thought it would be so chilling. I’m not scared of the dark usually, but I admit it can get creepy and dangerous. And in this book, darkness played its part to the hilt. It was perfect. It crawled on your skin too when it tortured Maggie and I was happy to be in a lit room when I was reading the book. Absolutely ironically brilliant that an abstract forms the strongest part of the book.

I have loved this journey and this book. I truly recommend this. I am so glad 2015 turned out this gem right at the very beginning.

My Rating: 4.5/5

4.5 stars

2 thoughts on “C for Chilling, C for Commendable- Too Dark to Sleep by Dianne Gallagher

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