After the Dark

Cynthia Eden
After the Dark
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HQN Books
Release Date
March 2017
Book 1 of Killer Instinct
Contemporary Romance, Lawyer/FBI Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Former FBI agent Samantha Dark was one of the most respected profilers in the bureau, an expert on the twisted minds and dark hearts of the most depraved criminals. But when her own former lover turned out to be the serial killer she was hunting, Samantha's career was destroyed. Blamed for the FBI's failure on the complex case, Samantha fled Washington, DC, for the quiet anonymity of Alabama.

Now an all-too-familiar killer is hunting once again. She can catch the sadistic assassin, but that means putting her trust in her former partner, Blake Gamble. Ex-military, Blake is tough, protective, precise. With her entire life on the brink, she knows he wants her back in the FBI…and possibly more.

But someone else wants her, too. A threat is waiting in the dark, a killer who has set his sights on the ultimate trophy victim—Samantha.

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Jan 20, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
90 people found the following review helpful
The stylistic hallmarks of Cynthia Eden never show up more clearly than in her romantic suspense thrillers: the unapologetically tense atmosphere, the brutality of the murders, the psychopathic killer(s) and the characters with their own baggage that hinder them from moving on properly. If it all sounds somewhat repetitive, it's because it is to an extent, but Cynthia Eden manages to make every crime story fresh despite the similarities of her tortured heroines and alpha heroes who tend to populate the pages of these thrillers. In fact, I thought very much about the Lost series as I went through this book and saw how much this is already mirroring it.

But from the moment I read The Gathering Dusk, I was eager to see how Samantha's and Blake's very obvious chemistry was going to combust and AFTER THE DARK didn't disappoint as it kicked the drama into high gear with betrayal, a relentless body count and mind-bending psychoanalysis. There's always the hunter and the hunted, but Ms. Eden complicated this predatory relationship and I liked how this became a game of wits as it showed how personal the relationship really was between Samantha and Latham—with Blake as the unusual third party who got in the way with his steady and admirable straight shooting behaviour. There's no straightforward whodunnit moment like most crime books, leaving you with the feeling that the game could be won either way—with fate playing a huge hand in it.

It all makes for good storytelling, really. I liked how the climax played out (the resolution was sort of expected) but most of all, I liked how this series is keeping me excited for the next book to come.
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Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
May 29, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
68 people found the following review helpful
Cynthia Eden brings a fresh breath of air into the romantic suspense genre with AFTER THE DARK.

I've read my fair share of books in the romantic suspense genre, and although there were a few variations, it was the same old, same old. Not that I was tired of them, mind, since I continued to read them. But from the first page, AFTER THE DARK was different.


1. You know from the start who the villain is.

2. The villain is a close friend of the heroine. In fact, all the books in this series feature villains who are close, in one way or the other, to the hero or heroine of the particular book.

3. Externally, there's the suspense and action of finding the villain and taking him down, which is common in the genre, but internally, there's another struggle going on in Samantha, owing to the close tie she has/once had with the villain.

4. The author doesn't pull her punches when it comes to her characters. I've never seen main characters that bleed so much--both literal and figurative--and that computer scene--I really feel for them both. I just can't imagine how a person could stay sane after seeing the scene on that computer. I'm amazed at both Blake's and Sam's strength of character; that goes beyond the toughness required in their profession.

AFTER THE DARK is one hell of a ride, and I'm happy to see there are more books in the series.
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May 25, 2018 06:02 PM ( EST )