The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens

The Deep Dark Descending

Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife's death, even when he believed that a reckless hit and run driver was the cause. But when he learns that in fact she was murdered, he devotes himself to hunting down her killers. Most of his life he had thought of himself as a decent man. But now he's so consumed with thoughts of retribution that he questions whet...

Title:The Deep Dark Descending
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Edition Language:English

The Deep Dark Descending Reviews

  • PorshaJo

    The Deep Dark Descending is a gripping read, keeping you thinking until the very end. Homicide Detective Max Rupert is still hurting from the loss of his wife Jenni. Then he learns that she was murdered. He is consumed with rage and revenge. He will stop at nothing to find out who killed his wife and why. When the story opens, you meet Max. Currently on the edge of and descending into madness and the story is slowly laid out for you as to how he got there. The story alternates back and forth fro

    The Deep Dark Descending is a gripping read, keeping you thinking until the very end. Homicide Detective Max Rupert is still hurting from the loss of his wife Jenni. Then he learns that she was murdered. He is consumed with rage and revenge. He will stop at nothing to find out who killed his wife and why. When the story opens, you meet Max. Currently on the edge of and descending into madness and the story is slowly laid out for you as to how he got there. The story alternates back and forth from the present time and a few days ago leading up to the current situation. You ask yourself constantly....what kind of man IS Max Rupert. Up until the very end.

    The Deep Dark Descending seems like a slow burn, but the story unfolds very quickly. You are quickly pulled in to this in-depth character study of man suffering such grief at the loss of his wife. This is the fourth book my Eskens, which has many of the same characters in them. I read his first book (which I loved)

    . I did not read the next two, yet, but have been told they can be read independently. With The Life We Bury, I was *immediately* hooked and obsessed with finding out the entire story. That did not happen to me with this one. It did not grab me from the beginning. Once things started to happen in the book, I was totally engrossed in the story. But a few times, I felt it drag just a bit (hence only 4 stars for me).

    Overall, a good read, one for all thriller fans. This was a Traveling Sisters read which I started with the group, but life gets busy and I fell far behind. I'm glad this was a Sisters read, getting me back into Eskens books. I have already ordered another of his books in audio.

    Thanks to Edelweiss, Seventh Street Books, Random House and Allen Eskens for an advanced copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. And thanks to the Traveling Sisters for picking this to read.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I always have trouble writing reviews for books I like to refer to as "follow ups", meaning sequels or novels containing reoccurring characters with a continuing plot that crosses over multiple stories. That's exactly what 

     is, and while you CAN read this as a standalone, there is so much backstory you'll be missing that I can't in good faith let you go on without recommending reading all of Eskens' books in order. You might remember my glowing review for his previous nov

    I always have trouble writing reviews for books I like to refer to as "follow ups", meaning sequels or novels containing reoccurring characters with a continuing plot that crosses over multiple stories. That's exactly what 

     is, and while you CAN read this as a standalone, there is so much backstory you'll be missing that I can't in good faith let you go on without recommending reading all of Eskens' books in order. You might remember my glowing review for his previous novel 

     last year, and this latest was a fantastic continuation on the tense mystery surrounding the murder of Detective Max Rupert's wife Jenni. If you absolutely refuse to start with his first novel, then I recommend at a bare minimum beginning with THMF solely for the characterization and backstory surrounding the main events here.

    While last years story was a traditional police procedural with a hefty dose of mystery, 

     is much less mystery and much more action thriller. I would go as far as saying the mystery stops near the beginning of the book, as we find out the who early on, and from there the plot is paced quickly with breath taking action and building suspense. The real showstopper here is this final development in Max; we've now seen him grow from a responsible member of law enforcement to a man tortured by the death of his wife who is hellbent on seeking revenge, even at the cost of his own civility and insanity. I won't say more about the plot, but I am very intrigued to see where Eskens decides to take us next, as the ending of the book was pure perfection and wholly satisfying in my humble opinion.

    If you enjoy connected novels that are ever changing in style, structure, and pacing, these crime fiction books are a must read. I cannot recommend all four of

    ' novels highly enough; they are short, easy reads that pack a powerful punch, and I have only witnessed him grow further as an author with each story that he writes. If you haven't had the pleasure of learning his backstory and how he became a writer, I would highly recommend seeking out his biography as it is one of the most interesting I've encountered. Eskens is consistently talented and I adore his work so much that I block out a week at the beginning of fall to ensure I have no distractions while reading his latest book. Excellent character building and a plot worthy of gasps and awe, please consider adding 

     to your fall TBR.

  • Debra

    Still hungry for answers, Homicide Detective Max Rupert has not stopped looking for the person(S) responsible for his wife's death. Initially her death was ruled a hit and run but now information has come to light that proves that she was in fact, murdered, it becomes all-encompassing search for answers and suspects. It haunts him, and he is not willing to stop searching for the truth until he gets some answers. He blames himself believing that she was murdered because of one of the cases he was

    Still hungry for answers, Homicide Detective Max Rupert has not stopped looking for the person(S) responsible for his wife's death. Initially her death was ruled a hit and run but now information has come to light that proves that she was in fact, murdered, it becomes all-encompassing search for answers and suspects. It haunts him, and he is not willing to stop searching for the truth until he gets some answers. He blames himself believing that she was murdered because of one of the cases he was working on or someone he arrested is seeking their revenge but soon learns that may not be the case.

    As he begins to investigate, and the clues begin to make terrible sense, he comes to a cross roads on a frozen lake on the US–Canadian border. Max has always thought of himself as a decent man, but now he is full of vengeance and anger. Knowing that he cannot continue to be a "good cop" while investigating and tracking down those responsible for his wife's death he has a decision to make...will he fall into madness and vengeance or will he make the decision that he knows would have made his wife proud?

    This book has duo time lines, but they are not confusing and help the reader get into the mind of Max and his internal struggles over his wife's murder. This book is gritty and raw - just like the emotions of the main character. How far will one man go to get the truth? Will knowing the truth be enough? This is another well thought out and crafted book with an intelligent and riveting plot.

    See more of my reviews at

  • Kaceey

    A deeply emotional read….and it left me breathless.

    Max is trying to move on 4 years after the death of his wife Jenni. In his heart, he’s convinced there is far more to her death than just a simple accident. Now he’s beginning to gather the evidence he needs to prove it. The question is, where will that lead him? What dark road will that journey take him down?

    This book is labeled a standalone but some of the characters, including Max, are recurring from previous books. I’d read only one previou

    A deeply emotional read….and it left me breathless.

    Max is trying to move on 4 years after the death of his wife Jenni. In his heart, he’s convinced there is far more to her death than just a simple accident. Now he’s beginning to gather the evidence he needs to prove it. The question is, where will that lead him? What dark road will that journey take him down?

    This book is labeled a standalone but some of the characters, including Max, are recurring from previous books. I’d read only one previous book from this author so when I realized this (about 25% into the book) I was worried I would miss out on the character development. Nope....this book stands firmly on its own!

    There are dual time lines that at the beginning I had trouble following. Felt a little scattered to me. But once I got caught up in the storyline, it started flowing smoothly and was difficult to put down. The suspense builds in a big way during the final third of the book, with a shocking ending. I just had to sit quietly once I finished to process what I just read. Wow!

    A Traveling Sister group read with Brenda, Norma, Susanne, Diane, Jan and PorshaJo!

    For this review and our full Traveling Sister review Please visit Norma and Brenda's fantastic book blog:

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Allen Eskens, and Seventh Street Books for an ARC to review

  • JanB

    4.5 out of 5 stars!

    A moral decision must be made by Max, and there lies all the tension and suspense in the book. Max, a detective whose wife was the victim of a hit and run 5 years prior, learns her death was murder, not accidental. He’s been lonely, sad, and isolated since his wife's death, but now his life has a renewed purpose. He is consumed with tracking the murderers down and he wants justice. Or is it vengeance he wants? There are no easy answers and the reader questions everything: will

    4.5 out of 5 stars!

    A moral decision must be made by Max, and there lies all the tension and suspense in the book. Max, a detective whose wife was the victim of a hit and run 5 years prior, learns her death was murder, not accidental. He’s been lonely, sad, and isolated since his wife's death, but now his life has a renewed purpose. He is consumed with tracking the murderers down and he wants justice. Or is it vengeance he wants? There are no easy answers and the reader questions everything: will he or won’t he kill the people who murdered his wife? And if he does is this the type of person he wants to be? is this what his wife would want? Will Max target the correct guilty parties or are they innocent of murder?

    This sound a like a simple premise but the way the author writes this dark story is anything but simple. It’s fast-paced, brilliant and the tension is palpable. The frigid Minnesota winter was as much of a character as Max was. I was guessing/hoping how the events would play out right up until the very end. And what an end it was! Highly recommended!

    This was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Diane, Susanne, and PorshaJo. It's a book that generated interesting discussions. This review and others can be found at:

    *Many thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

  • Brenda

    4.5 Stars

    Traveling Sister Group read with Norma, Kaceey, Diane, Susanne, JanB,and PorshaJo

    We read The Deep Dark Descending along with five of our Traveling Sisters. The Deep Dark Descending is the fourth book by the talented author Allen Eskens. The books are connected with recurring characters but can be read as standalones. One sister in our group has read and enjoyed all four previous books and suggests if you really want to get more background info into the characters to read The Heavens May

    4.5 Stars

    Traveling Sister Group read with Norma, Kaceey, Diane, Susanne, JanB,and PorshaJo

    We read The Deep Dark Descending along with five of our Traveling Sisters. The Deep Dark Descending is the fourth book by the talented author Allen Eskens. The books are connected with recurring characters but can be read as standalones. One sister in our group has read and enjoyed all four previous books and suggests if you really want to get more background info into the characters to read The Heavens May Fall before reading this one. All of us read the first book The Life We Bury where the main character makes his first appearance. We all thought this one worked really well as a standalone though.

    The Deep Dark Descending is an engrossing, extremely tense, fast-paced, and a well-written read here that explores the deep dark desire for vengeance as we see how our very well loved main character Max is battling with his descent into the deep dark desire for vengeance and retribution. We all were completely engrossed in his battle as he was wrestling with his decisions and we could really feel his anguish, grief, anger, and desperation. This had us all wrestling with his decisions as well. The tension and suspense increased for us and had us nervously questioning his actions throughout this whole story. Eskens’ does a fantastic job here working our emotions, examining our own moral thoughts and had us questioning if his actions were for justice or vengeance. That created a very interesting, thought-provoking discussion with the sisters.

    The story is chilling in more ways than one as we follow Max on his mission for vengeance to the frigid US - Canadian border. Eskens’ brilliantly constructs this well-done story with an extremely enthralling plot by adding danger to the story with the frigid atmosphere and chilling scenes. We all were sitting at the edge of our seats in dread yet hoping that Max would leave with his soul. We are not sure that any of us stopped to breathe until reaching the end.

    The Deep Dark Descending is an extremely fast-paced and thrilling novel with an ending that holds quite the punch that left us all frozen in place sending chills right through us all.

    We all are very curious and will be waiting patiently to see what Allen Eskens has to offer next with Max’s character. The ending brought out quite the discussion as well and had us all wondering what is next for Max. We all loved his character that much! Would highly recommend!!

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Seventh Street Books and Allen Eskens for a copy to read and review

    All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:

  • Susanne Strong

    Max Rupert is a man consumed with one thing and one thing only. Finding out who killed his wife, Jenni. It happened five year ago and he hasn’t been able to let it go. It was previously deemed an accident by the police and although Max Rupert is a cop, he

    Max Rupert is a man consumed with one thing and one thing only. Finding out who killed his wife, Jenni. It happened five year ago and he hasn’t been able to let it go. It was previously deemed an accident by the police and although Max Rupert is a cop, he was not a part of the investigation. Recently however, he found out that it was not an accident, after all. And now Max wants justice.. or vengeance. Call it what you want.

    In “Deep Dark Descending” by Allen Eskens, Max Rupert is a man hell bent on seeking revenge against his wife’s killers, no matter what the cost. Max’s anger, despair and torment are felt deeply within these pages. Every moment of his angst becomes your angst. I have been with Max since the beginning, since he first appeared in Esken’s The Life We Bury and to be honest, I feel like I know him. And to know Max, is to love him. How can you not love a man who loves his wife so desperately, even though she has been deceased for 5 years? Even though he wants restitution for her death.

    As a cop, Max has always had strong morals, integrity and a solid sense of self. As a man, he is now at odds with the cop he has always been. And now that has been given information that leads to his wife’s killer, all bets are off. He discovers that there is a fine line between justice and vengeance and for Max, those lines have become completely blurred.

    I’ll tell you this, (in case it isn’t obvious), my concern for Max knows no bounds. I love him. It’s that simple. I want him to overcome his pain and sorrow and I want him to find peace, but I can’t say whether or not he was able to do so. That, my friends is for you all to find out for yourselves.

    You must read “Deep Dark Descending” and the other books in this series. While this book has been billed as a “Standalone” – I highly suggest that you read all of the books in this series as they are they are MUST READS!

    This was a Traveling Sister Read for me. It included: Brenda, Norma, Kaceey, Diane, JanB and PorshaJo. The discussions we had over this novel were absolutely incredible and it was a testament Esken’s range as an author, as to the feelings he pulled out of each of us.

    Thank you to Edelweiss, Jill Maxick, Prometheus Books and Allen Eskens for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Edelweiss, Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon on 10.9.17.

  • Diane S ☔

    How strong are your morals? Opinions on vigilante pay backs? All these questions and more are at the forefront of this strong character driven novel. Max Rupert, his beloved wife killed ,thought to be an accident. But, was it? Brought into a case about a young girls murder, Max finds out things, that may connect this case to his wife's death. What to do, what would you do?

    We get the full flavor of a complicated, many faceted character, a character who is a police officer, sworn to uphold truth a

    How strong are your morals? Opinions on vigilante pay backs? All these questions and more are at the forefront of this strong character driven novel. Max Rupert, his beloved wife killed ,thought to be an accident. But, was it? Brought into a case about a young girls murder, Max finds out things, that may connect this case to his wife's death. What to do, what would you do?

    We get the full flavor of a complicated, many faceted character, a character who is a police officer, sworn to uphold truth and justice. It is a slow uncovering, of following threads, clues and a great deal of mental pondering. At times it was violently graphic not blood and guts,just a small warning. So good though, intense for sure. Loved being privy to thoughts that take us back to small offerings of Max's back story. His partner Nikki, who wants nothing more than to stand by him regardless of where this takes him. He takes on someone trying to force out both he and Nikki, a power hungry superior. The steps he takes will change his life and leaves the reader wondering what comes next for this intriguing character.

    Thanks again to the sisters for another wonderful read and discussion.

    ARC from Edelweiss.

  • Norma

    Traveling Sister Group read with Brenda, Kaceey, Diane, JanB, Susanne and PorshaJo

    4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars!

    This book was one of the most chilling, intense, thought-provoking, and brilliantly written novels that I have ever read with extremely intriguing and compelling characters that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish! Even though this book has recurring characters from Allen Eskens' previous novels it reads very well as a standalone. Would highly recommend!

    The full Traveling Siste

    Traveling Sister Group read with Brenda, Kaceey, Diane, JanB, Susanne and PorshaJo

    4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars!

    This book was one of the most chilling, intense, thought-provoking, and brilliantly written novels that I have ever read with extremely intriguing and compelling characters that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish! Even though this book has recurring characters from Allen Eskens' previous novels it reads very well as a standalone. Would highly recommend!

    The full Traveling Sisters Review can be found on our sister blog:

    Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Allen Eskens, and Seventh Street Books for the opportunity to read this book!

  • Larry H

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