Book Review - Dark Prophecy: A Level 26 Thriller by Anthony E. Zuiker
Sometimes I pick up a novel not knowing whether it's going to be something I end up regretting. I read and reviewed Anthony E. Zuiker's Dark Origins awhile back, as it was something different. He created the CSI television series, and Dark Origins was a combination of book and video vignettes... a "digi-novel" if you will. I was not overly impressed, as the plot had a number of holes and the videos, while high-quality in production, were rather strange and very uneven when it came to the acting.
Zuiker's back with a sequel to Dark Origins titled Dark Prophecy. Steve Dark has left the agency that tracks down Level 26 murders, and he's trying to straighten out his head after losing his wife to the killer in Dark Origins. But someone wants him back in the game to track down what looks to be the start of another serial killing spree, and she's not willing to take no for an answer. Dark can't figure out her motive, nor can he get a fix on how she's able to command so many resources to get him what he needs to find the killer. His old agency isn't at all happy with his involvement, and might well resort to drastic measures to make sure he's not part of the equation. But Dark is the only person who has figured out that the killer seems to be modeling their crime scenes after tarot cards, and that's the only clue he has to try and get a jump on the next death.
Dark Prophecy was much better than Dark Origins, hands down. The story wasn't as way out there as Origins, and the videos were of higher quality when it came to acting and meaning. I still had problems figuring out the "why" behind the killers. The stated reasons didn't seem to be worthy of that type of killing spree, and definitely not something deserving of a Level 26 rating. Dark's new "partner" needs to have a bit more of her background filled in, as one is left wondering how she's able to pull all the strings she does. On the other hand, Dark's background is filled in very well via the videos, and there's plenty of room for additional installments of the Level 26 series.
Zuiker's background in TV is obvious in his writing, as you could see this story being played out in a one or two hour show. But if the Level 26 franchise continues the improvement seen from Origins to Prophecy, this is a series I would look forward to following.
Obtained From: Library