Saturday 25 November 2017



2017 Macavity Award nominee, Best Novel

Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly and Robert Crais

Private Investigator Rick Cahill fears the next knock on his door will be a cop holding a warrant for his arrest. For murder. La Jolla Chief of Police Tony Moretti is convinced Rick killed a missing person. No body has been found, but the evidence that's piling up says murder and it all points to Rick. With Moretti on his tail and the bank about to foreclose on his house, Rick takes a paying case that will stave off the bank, but pits him against Moretti and the La Jolla Police Department.

Brianne Colton, a beautiful country singer, is convinced her estranged husband's suicide was really murder. Rick is unconvinced, but the mortgage has to be paid. Each new piece of evidence convinces him she's right. He breaks his number one rule and falls for Brianne, even as he begins to question her motives.

As Moretti cinches the vise tighter, with Rick unable to trust the FBI, evil forces emerge from the shadows who will do anything, including torture and murder, to stop Rick from uncovering the truth.

Dark Fissures is my third time reading Matt Coyle and his ex-cop, PI Rick Cahill.

Here Cahill is in trouble. The bank is about to foreclose on his property, his La Jolla PD nemesis, Chief Moretti is threatening him with imminent arrest for murder and his only ally seems to be his dog, Midnight. Looking into the death of a cop, Jim Colton ruled as suicide on behalf of the victims estranged wife, Brianne might not win him any friends with La Jolla PD, but it might defer foreclosure for another month or so.

The suicide ruling initially looks reasonable, but on closer examination there are unexplained questions - the rope that helped with the deed was of the rock-climbing variety and Jim Colton was scared of heights. His cell phone was missing. There were unexplained phone calls to the FBI in the days before his death and doubts over whether Colton would do such a deed in the knowledge that his son would be the one to find the body.

Coyle gives us lots to ponder with plenty going on here..... a sexy widow, who has a bit of a reputation and may just tempt Cahill into breaking a few of his golden rules, the ex-SEAL background of our victim, possible issues of corruption at work - Chief Moretti again, the increased volume of phone calls to his ex-service buddies, the shadow of previous events dogging our main man, to mention a few.

Not my favourite book in the series, but enjoyable enough. I like Rick Cahill as a character, but on this occasion the constant fear of his past catching up with him, kind of irritated after a while. The present day case was interesting and the slow unravelling of the threads binding the mystery was well done. I was unsure who could be trusted as events edged towards a climax. Coyle kept me off-balance, as I tried to determine who was responsible. There's a clever twist at the end, which might hopefully put the past to bed for Cahill and enable him to move forward.

Overall 4 from 5

The two previous books in the series are Yesterday's Echo and Night Tremors. The fourth in the series - Blood Truth is published soon.

Matt Coyle has his website here.

Read in November, 2017
Published - 2016
Page count - 360
Source - review copy from author

Format - trade paperback ARC


  1. I am not sure I would like the hero being constantly haunted by his past. But you really enjoyed the first two books, so maybe I will try this author someday.

    1. I did prefer the first couple to this one - that said I still liked it. I'm currently on to the next in the series - 30 pages in. I'm hopeful that the particular elements which kind of annoyed (maybe too strong a word) last time have been resolved.

  2. Another tempting one - there's something about a country singer as a character...

    1. You might like this, though the country singer bit is mostly background than forefront to our mystery. Have you read Kinky Friedman?

  3. Thanks, Col. I am going to start at the beginning with this series.

    1. Elgin, I think its one of my most enjoyable new series of recent years.