“The Darkness Of Evil” by Alan Jacobson brings back FBI profiler Karen Vail in a unique story. He clicks into the curiosity of many who question how does a serial killer’s family not know, and what is it like to be related to one?
The plot begins when Jasmine Marcks, the daughter of a serial killer, writes a book about her life experiences. After receiving a threatening letter from her father, she must cancel her book tour. Her testimony about some bloody duct tape and other items helped to put her father in prison with a life sentence and no chance of parole. Vail goes to visit Marks there to evaluate how much of a threat he is to Jasmine. Shortly thereafter, the murderer, Roscoe Lee Marcks, escapes from prison to seek revenge on his daughter. Vail, the local police, and the U.S. Marshals, must all work together to find him before he achieves his target.
“I always do a lot of research, speaking with my go-to experts, FBI supervisory special agents and retired senior FBI profilers, Mark Safarik and Mary Ellen O’Toole,” Jacobson said. “I also talked with some U.S. Marshals about the escapes of convicts. They happen more often than not, but we only hear about the ones that succeed. When you talk to the different agencies; you find how they compete with other law enforcement organizations in terms of budget. They always complain how the FBI is viewed as the favorite child. Pretty much what was written in the book is true, about the rivalry and competition. As they begin to work together on a case there is some friction, but in the course of working it they bridge relationships and find a way to work together.”
Interestingly, in almost all of his books, people learn about facts of the different agencies. In this novel Jacobson uses realistic scenarios to make the plot believable. The escape of Roscoe will remind readers of the ex prison worker, Joyce Mitchell, who aided two killers in escaping in upstate New York. The author also shows how Vail, a tough and seasoned profiler, must re-examine the case she inherited as a rookie, putting forth a different set of eyes.
This book has a riveting story with many twists and turns. It explores a subject matter from a different angle that allows the reader to have an original storyline.