Cover Image: Darkness Drops Again

Darkness Drops Again

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Member Reviews

If you want a family drama meets legal thriller, this is the book for you this summer. 
Maeve Shaw’s life seems perfect: she has a wonderful family with her husband and their two young boys, and she is finally on the way to making partner at her law firm. 
As always though, nothing is as perfect as it seems. After all, her husband hasn’t shown any interest in her in a while and her work always demands more of her than a mother of two can give. 
When she is then also put on a pro-bono case defending a mother accused of killing her daughter, everything starts to crumble: She has to put in extra billable hours, she’s noticing messages on her husband’s phone, and her new case of family violence brings up a lot of memories.
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I read Darkness Drops Again in 4 hours. It is a quick paced read that flows easily from one chapter to the next. It is labeled as a criminal thriller, but I feel that is incorrect. Yes, the main character is a lawyer working on a criminal case, but the same feelings I get from a thriller genre book are not there with this read. 
I am also uncertain as to how the title fits with the story. There are references to a darker time in her childhood that come flashing back to her during the present day. But I really struggle to see how those flashbacks fit with the title, even if they are the closest connection that I can make.
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This was a quick read, interesting enough but somewhat superficial treatment of addiction, murder, cheating, friendship and the legal system,  Not a bad book just forgetable
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An excellent debut and an exciting legal thriller!  In many respects, I can personally relate to Maeve, the main character, who is stressed beyond belief being a wife and mother of two young boys while working as a senior associate at a large law firm.  Having been a litigation associate at a major law firm, what Maeve goes through with her workload — particularly the push for billable hours and the toll that takes on one’s life — is spot on!  But Maeve’s struggles only form the backdrop for a well-plotted legal drama as she joins her firm’s pro bono team to defend a woman who allegedly murdered her drug-addict daughter.  (Not to mention that Maeve herself is also dealing with demons from her past.  There are plenty of twists and turns along throughout this page-turner, and the courtroom scenes are completely realistic.  All in all, I hope that this is the beginning of a new series!
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Maeve is a mother of two and is married to Patrick. Maeve is a strong professional in the legal field but she has some personal issues from her past. While Maeve is trying to scrape up some money she gets put on a pro bono case that triggers her. We learn about the onset of Maeve's personal issues. As if this wasn't enough for Maeve to handle, she sees a text and grows suspicious of her husband. This is lot to put into one book but Melissa E. Manning did an outstanding job. I was engaged the whole time and I kept wanting to learn more about Maeve's past and what she was going to do about her marriage. I work in the legal field so I enjoy reading thrillers that take place in my world. This was an action packed thriller and I highly recommend you give it a read.
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Thanks NetGalley, Bowker and Melissa E. Manning for a copy to review. 
An engaging legal thriller with enough plot twists to keep you guessing. I loved Maeve's personal growth road.
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Maeve Shaw is an attorney trying to balance work, being a wife, and being a mother and not doing a very good job of it. She is sure her husband is having an affair which makes it hard to concentrate on work.

A fellow employee and friend convinces her to take a pro-bono job to defend a pageant type mom being accused of strangling her own daughter.

I am really struggling to write this review because honestly this book is a hot mess. Maeve is one of the most annoying characters I have come across recently. She is obsessed with her husband having an affair but rather than confront him about it she decides to go on a diet, wear sexy lingerie, and get a Brazilian wax in order to entice him back because it must be HER fault he is cheating.

"I didn't need to put a bow on my vajajay to coax him into it. Now I'm not so sure. There has to be some reason Patrick wants Marcie's punani and not mine."

Um, gross.

As far as storylines go I was not invested in either one. Not her sham of a marriage and not the boring as can be murder trial. I hate to be so critical but this book was a complete dud. 1 star!

Thank you to NetGalley and Bowker for my DRC.
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Book Info
Paperback, 217 pagesPublished June 5th 2020 by Bowker (first published January 5th 2020)
ISBN 173504931X (ISBN13: 9781735049311)
Edition Language English
Other Editions (3)
Source:Netgalley EARC
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"With jaw-dropping twists balanced perfectly with down-to-earth mom-moments, Darkness Drops Again is a sexy crime thriller that isn't afraid to push the envelope." - Indies Today

Thirty-nine-year-old attorney Maeve Shaw has painstakingly constructed the perfect life. Her husband, Patrick, is a handsome senior manager at a prestigious consulting firm. They have two adorable boys, Declan and Seamus. And if Maeve just keeps her billable hours up and her mouth shut, she could actually have a shot at making partner at her male-dominated law firm.

But Maeve’s perfect life starts to fall apart when she discovers her marriage might not be what it seems and a new case at work brings up long hidden, dark memories from her own childhood. Determined to save her marriage and keep secret her childhood demons Maeve attempts a balancing act that leaves her more vulnerable than she’s ever been. And soon she’s unsure if everything she has worked so hard for will crumble as darkness overtakes Maeve once again.

Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Celeste Ng, this page turning legal thriller will keep readers hooked till the very end.
My Thoughts


Maeve Shaw is living the American Dream, good job, handsome husband and 2 beautiful little boys that keep her days and nights full.

However, as all good dreams must Maeve’s turns out to be not exactly what it appears to outsiders. Instead things begin to spin out of control to the point struggle becomes more about keeping her head above water mentally as Maeve’s darkest childhood memories are triggered.

The story addresses real issues and at the same time delivers the thrill of discovery as the pro-bono case Maeve finds herself at first reluctantly a part of becomes more and more intriguing, both to her and the reader as it’s secrets unfold.

Solid plot lines, characters and execution.

Looking forward hope author pens and releases book 2 sooner than later!

[EArc from Netgalley]

On every book read as soon as it is done and written up for review it is posted on Goodreads and Netgalley, once released then posted on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles as well.
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When Maeve Shaw graduated from law school, she had a solid picture in her mind of the path her life would follow. After marrying a classmate, Patrick, the two worked diligently to build the perfect life with their two young sons. However, Maeve was not content with her position, realizing that preparing briefs on student loans wouldn’t help her make partner, especially at the age of 39. The offer to be part of a pro bono criminal case was a terrifying thought, given her past, but Maeve had no choice, and she spent a lot of overtime hours in order to work on the defense while creating enough billable hours to satisfy her supervisor. In addition to the pressures at work, her sons were developing anxiety, according to their day care providers, and Patrick’s position at work was such that he was out of town from Monday to Friday each week.

I’m a huge fan of crime drama and legal thrillers, and Darkness Drops Again did not disappoint. I enjoyed watching Maeve navigate through panic and betrayals all while balancing motherhood and work expectations. I found her work ethic easy to relate to, having been a single parent of a small child while working a demanding job, and her awful boss Jabba was also familiar. This was an exciting story, with several unexpected twists, and my attention was captured from the beginning.
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A fun book! The subplots worked well and I loved all the twists. I wasn’t totally sold on how immediately accommodating the protagonist was to her husband’s infidelity with her best friend.
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Rollercoaster of a ride.  This is a amazing story of a woman in the law profession handling cases, marriage and motherhood.. Absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat!  Unbelievable read!
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Maeve Shaw, a lawyer in a prestigious law firm, is hoping to make partner soon.  She needs to get her billable hours up though in order to have a chance.  She has two young boys and her husband spends his week out of town for his job.  Then she gets picked to be on a pro bono team defending a woman who has been charged with the murder of her daughter.  She doesn't want to be on this case for two reasons, she won't get billable hours and she has a family background that causes her to have panic attacks.  
As she is dealing with her work problems, she sees a text on her husband's phone and decides he is having an affair with one of his coworkers.  Her life is falling apart but she puts everything she has into the criminal case.
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This was an enjoyable read.  I liked how both elements of the story -- the legal thriller and the personal sides -- were equally flushed out and interesting.  Recommended!
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Are women still being discriminated against in the workplace for having children? It’s a central question in this debut legal and domestic thriller, in which the protagonist struggles to find a workable balance between the demands of family and a career in the competitive world of the law.

Maeve Shaw, associate at a large Chicago law firm, steers clear of criminal cases because of her own traumatic childhood. But when a female counsellor is needed on the pro bono team representing a woman accused of murder, she has no choice but to agree. She’s already in trouble for lower billable hours after she took her second maternity leave.

Tammy Sanford stands accused of strangling Kyleigh, a child beauty pageant winner, now an addict after being subscribed opioids for a back injury. The crime takes place in the run-down apartment of her drug-dealer boyfriend Simon where she’s been living with her young son. 

While Maeve puts in long hours on the case, she’s also on a personal mission. She suspects her husband Patrick may be having an affair, and is set on discovering the truth and sparing her boys the insecurity she suffered as a child, whether she can save her marriage or not.  

Maeve is central to this character-driven story in which personal relationships are as pivotal as justice for her clients. While I felt she came across as rather weak and self-pitying in the first half of the book, this is explained through her back story, and ultimately she digs deep and finds the courage to fight for her family and for her right as a mother to a successful career.

The case is very interesting. Did Tammy kill her own daughter? Why didn’t the police look more closely into the Simon’s alibi? Was Kyleigh in fact murdered at all? These are the questions that I suspect will keep you reading late into the night.

Thank you to Bowker and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Maeve has it all: a high-paying job at one of Chicago’s top law firms, a handsome husband, and two adorable kids. Except she doesn’t: her boss is not happy, her husband may be cheating on her, and the kids are clearly picking up on her stress levels. It’s a story about the problems of a contemporary woman. Like many contemporary US women, she is faced with impossible choices that result from outdated and unreasonable workplace expectations.  

Why I recommend this book: Maeve’s story is very relatable. Her character remains sweet and likable, and manages to stay true to herself, even when her life completely falls apart. 
The book has two main plotlines: a murder mystery case that Maeve is assigned to, Maeve and her husband marital problems.  Both kept my interest and had clever and unexpected twists and resolutions. What I really loved was that all plot twists felt natural and made sense. In many books in the suspense/mystery genre, the twists are often too unrealistic and leave gaping holes. 

The writing is clear and engaging. The backdrop of Chicago and local details add a fun touch, although the scene at the Aviary is completely inauthentic for anyone familiar with the place.

Critiques [possible spoilers]: If I were to pick one thing to critique it would be that there just did not seem to be enough room for this many plotlines in a single book. In addition to the main two plotlines that happen in the present, there is also a shorter one of Maeve’s childhood in a troubled household. I felt like each storyline needed at least 100 more pages to fully develop. I understand how they the work and the personal life stories were both necessary to highlight the work—life balance tensions, but the childhood story did not seem necessary at all. As a result, all three plotlines felt somewhat inauthentic. The character was somehow able to switch on and off so easily between her personal and professional life. The only way the two affected each other was in terms of competing for time—for example, the character frequently had to leave work early to pick up her kids.  Beyond that though, she did not let her personal drama spill  into her work performance in any way.  She was able to stay completely detached and professional, and excel at her job, even when her marriage was clearly handing by a thread. Also, no real human can function on as little sleep as Maeve got. And no one’s friends are as understanding. Maeve repeatedly shows up at her friend’s place in the middle of the night.

The same with the ending. Nobody is as reasonable and as forgiving. It just felt like the author ran out of space.
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Maeve Shaw has the perfect life ...or so people think. She's an attorney,married to a senior manager at a consulting firm, and they have two young boys. Things are slowly falling apart. She's trying to make partner, and working a lot of hours. She's not spending much time at home with the boys.

She's tapped to participate in the defense of a woman accused of murdering her adult daughter .. pro bono. With her background, she really doesn't want to do this as it stirs up long buried memories of her dysfunctional family .. a past that she has not shared with her husband.

And speaking of husbands ... Maeve is finding that her marriage may not be what it seems.

It's a balancing act trying to please everyone ... and it's not working. Eventually something has to give.

This is a page-turning legal thriller featuring a female attorney determined to keep her life on track and failing miserably. The personal and professional lives are at odds with each other. It's steady paced from the very beginning to the surprising conclusion.

Many thanks to the author / Bowker / Netgalley for the digital copy of this legal thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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This was my first time reading this author but I will be looking for more. This book was so good, it was hard to put it down. It centers around a female attorney who is married with 2 children. Her employment has been threatened and to add to her woes, she has been pulled into a pro bono murder case , which will have her working with a male friend she shares with her best friend. Little does she know, the male friend brings more upheaval to her life. How? Read it and find out. I really recommend this book. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for the arc of this book in return for my honest review. Receiving the book in this manner had no bearing on this review.
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