When All Light Fails by Randall Silvis _ Book Review

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A new mystery from Randall Silvis, critically acclaimed master of crime fiction

When powerful men pull strings to get what they want… someone almost always ends up dead

There’s not much that would convince retired police sergeant Ryan DeMarco to take on another private investigation case, but he can’t refuse a nine-year-old Michigan girl begging for help finding her biological father. The road trip to the Upper Peninsula promises DeMarco and his partner, Jayme, a chance to heal from their last case, which ended in a traumatic brush with death for DeMarco. But things aren’t as they first appear in the woods of Michigan, and the seemingly simple paternity investigation soon morphs into something deadly.

The deeper DeMarco, Jayme, and the rest of their team dig, the more ugly truths they reveal, all while doing their best to keep one member of their team, from falling prey to her own kind of darkness. This investigation just might be the most emotionally troubling one DeMarco and Jayme have yet encountered, for there are plenty of people who will do whatever it takes to shut them down before the truth comes to light.

I received a digital arc on NetGalley for an honest review]


I am beyond grateful that the publisher granted my wish to read an arc of When All Light Fails by Randall Silvis. The Ryan DeMarco Mystery series is one of my absolute favorites and this fifth book did not disappoint.

When All Light Fails
 picks up right at the climactic ending of the last book in the series. After a high tension /emotional beginning the story slows its pace. Ryan DeMarco isn’t the angry grief filled man he was in previous books. He’s different after his Near Death Experience, he is more at peace and easy going. Yet even his positive outlook is tested throughout the book as he struggles with the case involving a 9-year-old girl that he and Jayme both bond with.

“Evil exists, boy,” he told patient Hero, “and it will always exist in abundance, if only to give the good an opportunity to shine.” He scratched Hero’s skull. “Truth #4.”

Randall Silvis’ writing is as beautiful and seamless as usual. He just has a magical way with words that brings everything he writes to life with perfect clarity. The characters and plot are strong and the crime mystery unfolds at the perfect pace.

I have grown quite attached to Ryan and Jayme, both such passionate and complex characters. Much of the novel focuses on Ryan’s life altering near death experience. It has changed him greatly, and he spends a lot of time pondering the meaning of it all. The positive Ryan is a bit of a mystery to Jayme but even though that seems to have created a space between them, he is still supportive and loving with her. His love for her is just so big it makes me emotional thinking of it.

“her smile was a sunrise, an invitation to hope. She began and ended every day for him, even when they were apart.”

Overall, When All Light Fails is very satisfying. Ryan and Jayme have spent the series struggling and always fighting battles, physical and mental, and now they can finally have a breather. It was a peaceful ending and one I feel our main characters earned.

—-Written by Amanda—

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