Book review: Too Dark To Sleep

Too Dark To Sleep


Too Dark To Sleep

Dianne Gallagher
Brayer Publishing

US Release date:
also available as ebook
suspense, mystery, thriller




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My last review was about a fabulous psychological thriller, All Is Not Forgotten, and here is another one! The author was unknown to me. I met her at Chicago Printers Row Lit Festival, she chatted briefly to me about her book, Too Dark To Sleep. The synopsis sounded really good, so she graciously offered a review copy. I am so happy I stopped by her booth!

Detective Maggie Quinn lives in Chicago  – this was neat for me to recognize local landmarks. Before her young daughter died, she was working on cases of strangulation that seemed to be the deed of a serial killer. But the death of Erin was a major trauma for Maggie. She had to stop working for a year, struggling to find back her will to live and her sanity. She is slowly recovering, except for one major obsession of the dark. Darkness provokes hallucinations, nightmares, and paralyzing anxiety attacks.
As another case of strangulation emerges, Maggie is asked to help her former colleagues.

At the beginning, chapters alternate between her’s and the killer’s perspective. As a matter of fact, both Maggie and the reader identify quite quickly who the culprit is. The suspense is not on the who, but on if, how, and when Maggie will manage to find the necessary evidence to arrest the serial killer. Meanwhile, victims multiply…

This amazing suspense is enriched by the background, with the world of detectives, of what’s going on between different police forces, as well as the back wings of prisons: Maggie’s dad has actually been a prisoner at Joliet. He is doing quite well there, at the head of a major black market deal, with close connections with the Outfit, as the mafia is called in Chicago. There’s also a lot on the dynamics between lawyers. Justice does not work as nicely as one would imagine or hope!

Besides, there are very real passages about inner struggles and turmoil one faces after a major ordeal. And the descriptions of her fear of darkness are incredible. If you suffer from something similar, this is definitely not a book you want to read in the evening!

Maggie is excellent at her job, with her great ability at paying attention to every detail surrounding her.

The Boys swore Maggie was psychic. It was a lazy man’s way of explaining logic. She simply paid attention. To everything. Every movement, every detail, every bead of sweat and drop of blood. If you watched people, got to know them, saw how their minds worked and had a clean scene, there wasn’t a crime that couldn’t be solved. It wasn’t about being psychic. It was about paying attention.

But the killer is also super smart, which makes for a very enjoyable read, as you witness this amazing battle of the brains.

Now please, can we have more adventures with Maggie?

VERDICT: A stunning new voice in psychological thrillers. An amazing battle of the brains you are not going to forget.


Time to wake up…
Maggie Quinn was the top homicide detective in Chicago’s Area One before she suffered a devastating loss. Now Quinn is damaged… perhaps beyond repair. Once the best detective in Chicago, she is haunted by dreams of a faceless man she could never catch. When the killer returns, Quinn agrees to serve as a consultant, but most cops in Area One tag her as a hazard. Except rookie detective Nick Dublowski who quickly realizes the only way the Chicago Police will catch this elusive killer is with the help of Maggie Quinn.
Back on the job, Quinn becomes as tenacious and sharp as ever. But as the investigation closes in on a suspect, the escalating murders hit dangerously close to home. Quinn’s sanity again begins to fray and her judgment is questioned. Did the suspect really do it? Or is Maggie’s tormented mind pushing her to ruin the life of an innocent man?
Avid readers of crime fiction, noir or psychological thrillers will find Too Dark to Sleep a fresh take on their favorite genre. This is the first book in a gripping new series and not to be missed.


Dianne Gallagher

Dianne Gallagher
has learned one big lesson.
Life is never a straight line.
Starting in theatre with a BFA
from the University of Minnesota,
Dianne focused on performance initially,
but then discovered play-writing
with several of her competition-winning plays
being performed at the University.
A move to Los Angeles gave her the opportunity to do a little screenwriting.
While working on her own spec material,
she formatted, edited, critiqued scripts…
and even wrote a redux of that B-movie classic, The Crawling Eye.
Now in the Chicago area,
Dianne has put her energy into novels.
After increased success in ghosting and editing,
she started writing for herself.
The result is the debut novel, Too Dark to Sleep.

Visit her website,
follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Eiffel Tower Orange

What’s your favorite mystery set in Chicago?

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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counted for these Reading Challenges

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5 thoughts on “Book review: Too Dark To Sleep

  1. Pingback: 2016 New authors reading challenge | Words And Peace

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