REVIEW: Dark Associations by Marie Sutro, a crime thriller novel

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I received this book, Dark Associations by Marie Sutro, to review for Siouxland News.

A bit of background on Sutro from her website: Sutro was born and raised in the San Francisco area and currently resides in Northern California. San Francisco serves as the setting for Dark Associations.

Dark Associations was released on January 10, 2017 and landed on Amazons Best-Seller list. It also received the 2018 IBPA Ben Franklin Gold Award for Best New Voice in Fiction.

As an avid reader, I have cracked the covers of many books by new authors, so I was excited to get my hands on this piece.

The books heroine is San Francisco Police Detective Kate Barnes. She is your typical novel police detective. She is strong, yet bothered by her past. She is determined to show her worth, but still finds herself struggling to keep up with the "boys club" that is law enforcement. She has a dark history and that is what led her to pick up a badge. She is relatable and as real as a fictional character can be.

Sutro's character development with Detective Barnes throughout the book is strong and very well done. She introduces her at the start, but doesn't give to much away, unveiling Barnes little by little as the pages turn.

Dark Associations can easily be considered a crime thriller. It's exciting, but at times a bit too predictable.

Detective Barnes and her team, along with a macho FBI guy, try to track a killer who is kidnapping and torturing young women, all of whom are somehow connected to Barnes. While Barnes is struggling to find this heinous killer, she is also battling demons of a more personal kind... love.

Sutro's story line and development of the crime itself was strong, but as stated above, predictable. It seemed to follow the same line of nearly any police procedural with a female lead, but there were twists and turns I didn't expect.

Overall, Sutro's debut novel stood strong and Detective Kate Barnes is a determined and believable leading lady with a lot of potential for character development throughout books to come.

If you are looking for a thriller with a teasing of romance thrown in, Dark Associations is one you want to pick up.

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