Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Review: Running into the Darkness by D.A. Bale

Running into the Darkness

D.A. Bale

November 2011

FREE at Amazon * B&N * Smashwords

Goodreads synopsis:

Death follows Dr. Samantha Bartlett throughout her life until it claims everyone close to her. There's one powerful man responsible on whom Samantha sets her sights for revenge. The price is her soul. For centuries, sex has been the weapon of men...now it's her turn.

“I never intended to kill the President. As a doctor, I swore an oath to protect life – not take it. But that was before...”

Second year resident, Dr. Samantha Bartlett, is swept from the frigid New York winter to once again confront the sting of death back home – and face those she left behind. But she’s not alone. A strange man she dubs Shades haunts her every step as she seeks answers to the inferno which claimed her grandmother, an eerie reminder of her parents’ deaths. The secrets Samantha uncovers forever changes her image of those she only thought she knew.

Confronted by Shades, Samantha joins a secret underworld known only as the Elite, where a web of power and control is woven deep within governments worldwide. Their sights are set on the power structure of the United States, and Samantha becomes the unlikely key to infiltrating the White House at its most intimate levels.

The quest for blood threatens to destroy Samantha. From the darkness there is no escape.

My Review

Running into the Darkness contains nonstop action which creates a page-turner that's hard to put down. Every scene drives the reader to the next, as more of the mystery is laid out. I'm on the fence with this one. I really liked the plot, it was intriguing and suspenseful. On the other hand, I didn't connect with the main character much at all, so didn't feel the stakes like I should.

Samantha has been through life-changing  tragedy. To escape her past, she flees to medical school and a residency in New York, rarely going home to see her Gramm, the only family she has left. When her grandmother dies, she returns to her hometown and is swept up in a shady organization. She handled being kidnapped (for the most part) to be turned into some sort of super spy quite well. So well in fact that the emotion was somewhat lacking. She was dealt surprise after surprise which would be enough to drive a normal person crazy. Yet, she manages to soldier on.

I loved the pacing of this novel. Ms. Bale draws the reader in from the beginning and doesn't let go. In fact, I'm not sure if I even took a breath until about a quarter of the way through. The plot was intricate and interesting: espionage, politics, etc. The lines between good guys and bad guys were so blurred, I'm still not sure if there even were any good guys.

This is not my normal read. It's gritty, in your face, and unapologetic. Things aren't sugar-coated. Some of the scenes may offend some readers. I just about dropped the book at the first mention on incest. Yuck. But it's all part of the plot in a world of corrupt politics and power struggles. The ending was rather surprising. I really didn't see it coming at all. If you like thrilling, action-packed suspense, add Running into the Darkness to your TBR list.

About the Author

Sometimes life emulates fiction.

Life is filled with tragedy and Ms. Bale's writing reflects this reality. However, there is always a silver lining...even if one must spend their entire life searching for it. In her previous career, Ms. Bale traveled the United States as a Government Relations Liaison, working closely with Congressional offices and various government agencies. This experience afforded her a glimpse into the sometimes "not so pretty" reality of the political sphere. Much of this reality and various locations throughout her travels make it into her writing.

She dreams of the day she can return to visit Alaska.

Links: Blog:  DA Bale Publishing
Twitter:  @DABale1
Facebook:  D-A-Bale


  1. Kimber Leigh, thank you for taking time to read and review my novel. I'm glad the pacing kept you interested. The book was difficult to write at times too, so I understand your concerns. Let me know if I can ever return the favor!


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