Review: The NightShade Forensic Files: Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere

One of the things I’ve been doing lately is scrolling through the free Kindle books at Amazon. There are some interesting titles for $1 or less! It’s a great way to get to know new authors. There are also a lot of free books — most of them are the first title in a series. It’s a sneaky way to get you interested in a series and with this title — it worked!

Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere is the first book in the NightShade Forensic Files series. It’s an FBI procedural that features some unusual agents.

Eleri Eames is the senior agent, but she’s had a rough ride. She was hospitalized after a recent case, but she’s been signed out of the hospital — Against Medical Advice — to take on a new assignment.

Donovan Hutch is a newly-minted agent, fresh out of the Academy. He’s a doctor, former medical examiner, and he has some very special skills he brings to the team. First is his sense of smell:

“I can smell when someone has come in contact with someone else who has been smoking. Perfumes and dyes drive me crazy.

“–I can smell some toxins and the occasional cancers on dead tissue. It’s how I know what to test for in an autopsy.”

Between Eames’ clairvoyant dreams and Hutch’s heightened senses, they have an edge on other agents. And they’re going to need it. The NightShade unit is not like other FBI divisions. It’s quite secretive — they aren’t even allowed to talk to other agents about their assignment — and they have a mandate all their own.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. It would have been pretty easy for it to be schlocky and silly. Instead, they play the procedural part pretty straight. Hutch and Eames are investigating a deadly cult in the heart of Texas and there are plenty of details about their investigation and evidence-gathering. I liked that the story takes the case seriously. For me, that makes it easier to swallow some of the more unusual things in store for a reader. It was a fast, entertaining read with a great mystery at the core. I really enjoyed it!

My copy of The NightShade Forensic Files: Under Dark Skies came from my personal library, purchased on Amazon. And because I liked this one so much, I bought the box set of the first four books!

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