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Publisher's Summary

The mutilated body of a young woman. The town doctor lying comatose in the road. And 150 tablets of Canadian OxyContin. This is the havoc that a merciless killer has wreaked on a sleepy Maine seaport.

As detectives Maggie Savage and Michael McCabe investigate, they realize the man they are after does not exist. Nobody knows his real name. Nobody has seen his face. But everybody fears his blade.

The only one who may know the murderer's true identity is an 11-year-old girl - who has vanished into thin air.

Taut, twisting, and starring two unforgettable heroes, Darkness First will thrill fans of John Sandford and C. J. Box.

©2013 James Hayman (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

McCabe & Savage is worth a listen...

Any additional comments?


First I want to say what an excellent performance Stephen Mendel gives with these books. I will certainly look for more books with him as the narrator.

This is the third in the McCabe/Savage series and I think each one gets better and the characters are fleshed out a little more then in the previous.

This book was really good with a complex plot that kept me on the edge wondering just who would escape with their lives.
Pregnant girl goes into local doctor's office, refuses to give her real name, suspicious doctor wants to help girl, doctor snoops in backpack, girl catches doctor, girl leaves doctor's office in a hurry, girl gets murdered and doctor is almost killed but instead ends up comatose in hospital, one of the main protagonist's (Maggie Savage) brother is framed. This is how this book opens - Wow, I need a breather. The killer is known only by an alias, yet known by his true identity in the community by many. It's up to McCabe and Savage to solve the case and the crimes committed by this individual.

Really good series, I recommend all three so far!


If you found this review helpful please indicate so.

Thank You.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 06-25-16

Held my attention

Tired ending! But... but... enough imagination tickling that it held me to last. This is the sort of average who daunt that I wish was the average. Meaning? Well I listen to these to be entertained... or seriously distracted... while ploughing through the minutia of life. You know, the mindless chores. So I look for books that will make me want to mow lawns, do dishes, drive through gridlock... like that. Do stuff that breaks away pieces of time to listen to an escapist mystery story.

James Hayman is the almost perfect writer of these things. He's a commercial writer who creates forgettable yet compelling little stories an d Darkness first is exactly one of those.McCabe and Savage are more like instruments than characters... Instruments that Hayman plays with the excellent collaboration of Stephen Mendel's reading.

I'm guessing that like me, you'll guess the bad guy's identity early on but so what? The dishes will still get clean with the least effort.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

He gets better and better...

I usually love debut novels. It is the novel the author has been dreaming of writing a great portion of their lives. Some authors get better as they go (i.e. John Hart) and I feel it is the same with James Hankins. After being on a mystery/police procedural binge, this series is among my favorites. Can't wait to move on to the next book, and that is a good judgement of how much a series/author is acclaimed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

pronunciation

I really liked the story! Living in Maine made it even more enjoyable. The only issue I had was the pronunciation of Machias. It's actually pronounced like it's spelled. The ch is not like in Michael. Just saying...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 04-26-16

Best novel in a great detective series!

Darkness First is Book 3 in the 4 novel Mike McCabe and Maggie Savage detective thriller series. I read the series out of order (4,2,1,3). All 4 of the novels are great listens but Book 3 is best followed closely by Book 2. The other novels in the series are set in Portland Maine, but Darkness First is set in the small town in extreme northeastern Maine where Maggie Savage grew up and where her 74 year old dad is still sheriff. The McCabe and Savage series is probably the best detective series I have ever read or listened to.

Narration of all 4 novels in the series is by Stephen Mendel. Mendel does a great job.

I highly recommend this series. I expect to listen to it again.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Darkness First

What did you love best about Darkness First?

The viciousness of the enemy. I know that sounds terrible but if you're going to have a good thriller, then you really shouldn't skimp on the "Gore!"

What did you like best about this story?

All of the different "side" stories going on. Plus I like the fact that he wrote this book and made Savage the main character.

What about Stephen Mendel’s performance did you like?

Soothing voice, not grating or irritating on the nerves.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Vicious!!!

Any additional comments?

Good book, was surprised. I didn't think I would really like it since it didn't concentrate on McCabe. However, I was wrong I enjoyed Savage's character a lot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Disappointing Performance

Would you listen to Darkness First again? Why?

No. These are the types of books once you have listened to them and know "who did it", I think that takes away from the surprise element of the book. However, I will listen to James Hayman! I love his books.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, I really liked the plot. It is full of twists and kind of keeps you guessing up until the end who did what and why.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Mendel?

I am not sure who I would have cast. My main issue is that these books are set in Maine. I am 36 years old - born and raised right here in Maine. I lived here my whole life and the way the narrator was pronouncing words was not congruent with a TRUE Maine accent. At times his "Downeast" accent sounded British. He pronounced Machias, Maine like "Ma Ki us". Like I said, I have lived here my whole life and never heard it pronounced this way before.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Mccabe & Savage! I love their connection in all the books!

Any additional comments?

These books are FILLED with lots of information about Maine and I really respect this part about the writer. Now I just wish the narrator would work on his "diction" and do some research on how to perform the book with a true Maine accent. If he can't, then find someone else who can. The thing is... Stephen Mendel is VERY talented and I love his voice for the books. I just think he could have worked on the diction for a Maine accent and made it more authentic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Savage Thriller, McCabe only did cameo

What did you love best about Darkness First?

storyline was good, but you know that whomever they suspect usually is wrong until the very end

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

no but was good

Which character – as performed by Stephen Mendel – was your favorite?

Good job on McCabe when he did appear, does male characters much better than the female

Any additional comments?

Wish they were upfront on the description that this is a Savage story and that McCabe does just a cameo. I prefer McCabe's character to Savage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent writer

This was a very good book as usual by an excellent writer. And good Audio

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

AN INTERESTING STORY

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - if it was someone who was interested in a detailed description of gore.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was different - not a run-of-the mill who done it.

Which character – as performed by Stephen Mendel – was your favorite?

Michael McCabe - he's carrying around a lot of baggage while trying to do his job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Violence in a Seaport Town.