Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fade to Black by David Rosenfelt

First Sentence:  Social workers asked him for his name when they gave him a meal, or if he checked in for a cot on a particularly cold night, but they wrote it down without paying much attention.
      
Officer Doug Brock suffered retrograde amnesia after being shot in the line of duty.  He’s back at work, even with gaps in his memory, but has the help of his partner, Nate Alvarez, and girlfriend Jessie, a state police lieutenant with the cyber division.  To aid in his recovery, he attends an amnesia support group.  Fellow member Sean Connor approaches Doug asking him to look at what seems to be the scrapbook of a murder victim he’d found in his attic.  Doug receives permission to reopen a cold case, discovering a connection to his own past.
      
It’s interesting when an author makes you take not and consider from the very beginning.  In this case, it’s about people who work in any type of social services.  The shock of that which follows fully captivates one’s attention.
      
Rosenfelt’s uses language well—“Even though I’ve been spending so much time here, I still enter warily.  That’s because Jessie’s dog, Bobo, doesn’t seem thrilled by my being around.  “He’s never been aggressive toward me; he just stares at me with a barely concealed disdain.” 
      
He writes in short, quick chapters that flow well from one to the next.  The premise of the story is fascinating.  One keeps running into twists and small “wow” moments, although the direction the plot takes seems a bit cliché.  Still, it is very well done.
      
The characters are real and relatable.  It’s nice to have a team of people who all work together, both internally, cross-departmentally, and even across state lines.  Some of the details are a bit questionable, but it all works, even though the actual climax seems a bit anti-climatic.  
      
Fade to Black” has a very good escalation of suspense.  One is caught off guard when the link is made between the two segments of the plot.

FADE TO BLACK (Pol Proc-Officer Doug Brock-New Jersey-Contemp) – Good
      Rosenfelt, David – 2nd in series
      Minotaur Books – March 2018

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