Agent Dean Taggart brings years of street experience to the FBI's new cyber-crime unit. Nothing in his past prepared him for Satan's Playground. Whoever the sick individuals are behind this website, they pale in comparison to the Reaper – who advertises his kills on a theatre marquee and allows high-paying patrons to dictate the murder methodology.
Eight victims have already been murdered, with their brutal torment captured forever on the Internet. Searching for clues leads Dean and his team to Hope Valley, Virginia and the local sheriff's missing persons report. Could Lisa Zimmerman be one of the Reaper's victims?
Sheriff Stacey Rhodes wears her office well. From a family of law enforcement officers, the sheriff spent time with the Virginia State Police before returning home to replace her ailing father. She knows her constituents, the troublemakers and the blow-hards. She cannot believe that something this evil has passed through her jurisdiction.
As the clues all point to a local connection, Stacey and Dean will have to work together to find out what happened to Lisa and pinpoint the killer. They will have to be careful not to let their growing relationship get in the way of the investigation. With other members of the Cyber Action Team – CAT – they will have to work fast. The Reaper has a new target, and this time it is a young child.
The debut novel of a new series always has a lot of ground to cover, and author Leslie Parrish does a great job in Fade to Black. She has to clue the reader in on all the team members, give just enough background to set the stage, and allow each one to offer a perspective on their roles in the group. I think we have just enough to tease us into reading more Black CAT novels.
The key plot in Fade to Black is both shocking and compelling. The suspenseful action will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The book does not give away the villain – at least not to me – until the very end, when Stacey is facing him. There is just enough misdirection to keep everyone guessing. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.