Related series Smoky Barrett. Peter Hillstead. Don Rawlings. Jenny Chang. Charlotte Ross. Tommy Aguilera. Leona Waters. Robert Street. Marilyn Gale. Alan Washington. Callie Thorne. James Giron. Then the dawn comes and we shush them up and gather them back into our heart of hearts and do our best to carry on with living. Success at that endeavor depends on the size of the secret and the individual. Not everyone is built for guilt. Young or old, man or woman, everyone has secrets. This I have learned, this I have experienced, this I know about myself.
I look down at the dead girl on the metal table and wonder: What secrets did you take with you that no one will ever know? In her early twenties. Long, dark, straight hair. She has skin the color of light coffee, and it looks smooth and flawless even under these harsh fluorescents. Pretty, delicate features go with the skin: vaguely Latin, I think, mixed with something else.
We toss in bed or we walk the halls or we get drunk or we get stoned or we howl at the moon. Success at that endeavor depends on the size of the secret and the individual. Homosexuality, sex, drugs, alcohol, infidelity, no sin is forgiven and The Preacher is going to get them. She was one of the best, until a madman terrorized her family, killed her husband and daughter, and left her face scarred and her soul brutalized. Turning the tables on the killer, Smoky shot him dead—but her life was shattered forever. Everyone has a secret they don't dare tell anyone. Some knock hard and some knock soft, but whispering or screeching, they come.
Probably Anglo. Her lips have gone pale in death, but they are full without being too full, and I imagine them in a smile that was a precursor to a laugh; light but melodic. The murdered move me. Good or bad, they had hopes and dreams and loves. They once lived, like all of us, in a world where the deck is stacked against living. Between cancer or crashes on the freeway or dropping dead of a heart attack with a glass of wine in your hand and a strangled smile on your face, the world gives us plenty of chances to die.
This offends me. I hated it the first time I saw it and I hate it even more now. I have been dealing with death for a long time.
I am posted in the Los Angeles branch of the FBI and for the last twelve years I have headed up a team responsible for handling the worst of the worst in Southern California. Serial killers. Child rapists and murderers. Men who laugh as they torture women and then groan as they have sex with the corpses. Which is why I have to ask the question.
What are we doing here? He gives me a sideways glance, part thoughtful, maybe a little bit annoyed. AD Jones looks exactly like what he is: a veteran cop. He exudes law enforcement and leadership. Shadows in a strongbox. The obvious is simple curiosity: Why here? Why me? He has always been that rarity in a bureaucracy, someone who questions orders with impunity if he feels it is warranted. I comply, bemused. He has the necessary rugged good looks and political savvy, but he also has real experience behind him. He started as a cop, went to law school nights, and ended up in the FBI.
This is integrity incarnate for a Director.
Hey, everyone has their faults. I have to angle my head to look up at him. Actually, it was a problem, a big fucking problem, but AD Jones will catch any fallout I generate by being difficult. Rathbun nods at AD Jones. The AD is about eight years older than Director Rathbun and more worn around the edges for sure. AD Jones wears a watch that he probably paid thirty dollars for ten years ago.
Each has the same tired look to the eyes, a look that testifies to the carrying of secret burdens. Here are two men that would be hard to live with, I think. Love, but no flowers. Director Rathbun turns to me, again. Possible victim of homicide.
See the outlines? Those bruises were caused by a hand. You have to grip someone pretty hard to cause bruising as defined as that. She was murdered.
On a commercial airliner as it headed from Texas to Virginia. No one knew she was dead until after the plane was empty and the flight attendant tried to rouse her. Is that a joke, sir? But I want you to see it all fresh, with no preconceptions. More appropriately—why you? What is it about this woman that warrants direct involvement from the Director of the FBI? But first, I want you to see something.
10 stars for The Darker Side, book 3 in the brilliant Cody McFadyen Smoky Barrett series! The masterful characterization in this series is unmatched by that of. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Full of horrific violence, this solid third thriller to . This is the third book in the series about FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett. She and her hand-picked team work out of the Los Angeles office, profiling.
Humor me. He goes over to the body and lifts the sheet away from her chest. He holds it up. AD Jones and I move to the head of the table so we are looking down her body from top to bottom. I see small breasts with brown nipples, a flat stomach. My gaze travels down her young form, arriving at her pubic area with impunity, one of the many indignities of the dead. And there I stop, shocked.