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Crystal Allen
Into The Black

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Detective Nance Spinosa feels her hard work and perseverance have paid off when the Long Beach Police Department hires her to head their homicide division. But her first case opens a trove of local dirty secrets and she finds herself navigating a labyrinth of crime and corruption. Nance receives a tip that a series of seemingly unrelated fatalities have a connection. Certain the bizarre accidents are focused around a decades old scandal, Spinosa takes her findings to her superior. He crushes her theory of a serial killer and declares the case cold. Refusing to give up, Nance investigates on her own time, sure she can apprehend the killer before someone else winds up dead. With an uncooperative boss, and a team of second-guessing detectives who assume they could do a better job, she ends up on everyone’s radar, including the killer, who is closing in and setting Nance up for disaster. Now, pursuing her investigation through an ever-darkening landscape, Nance must either apprehend the killer or risk losing everything.

Amazon Book Reviews and BookSprout


C. Chojnacky

5.0 out of 5 stars Serial killer covers tracks--motive revealed much later

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 5, 2023

Verified Purchase

An amazing book with compelling characters, lots of unexpected twists and turns. Two female leads with their own take on doing the right thing are played off very effectively. Nance the energetic outsider brought in to clean up a homicide department with much baggage not of her own making; being young, female, latina makes it more challenging with the good old boys. I love how she does her job, wheeling & dealing, not into petty rules but catching bigger fish. Tremendous integrity and determination to bring justice even for questionable people. Yve the cold fish prosecutor has to be one of the most complex and intriguing characters I have ever met. This book set my need to stop bad guys in total conflict with my vigilante need for justice. One particular unresolved injustice kept me awake all night. Good work!


Clarence Saner

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 6, 2023

Verified Purchase

I felt like I lived slept ate and breathed this book from page 1!
So many twists and turns.
I just couldn't put it down.
Rarely in this world of overwhelm is there such a gripping read


deborah l. shomsky

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprise Ending

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 5, 2023

Verified Purchase

In most books you know who you’re rooting for. It’s very cut and dried. In this book, with a thought provoking issue at the base of the crimes, you find yourself rooting for both.


BookSprout Review

Into The Black by Crystal Allen is a gripping detective novel that plunges readers into a world of crime, corruption, and relentless pursuit of justice. Detective Nance Spinosa, recently appointed as head of homicide in the Long Beach Police Department, faces her first case that unravels a web of secrets and forces her to confront a labyrinth of danger. From the very beginning, Allen hooks readers with an intriguing premise. As Nance uncovers a connection between a series of fatal accidents, she becomes convinced that they are linked to a long-buried scandal. Determined to expose the truth, she faces resistance from her superior, who dismisses her theory and declares the case cold. Undeterred, Nance embarks on her own investigation, risking her reputation and personal safety. The strength of this novel lies in Allen's ability to create tension and suspense. With an uncooperative boss and a team of skeptical detectives, Nance becomes a target herself. As she gets closer to the truth, the stakes escalate, and the killer's presence looms ever closer. The author skillfully crafts a dark and foreboding atmosphere, heightening the sense of danger and keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Nance Spinosa is a compelling protagonist. Her determination, resilience, and refusal to give up make her a relatable and admirable character. As she navigates the treacherous landscape of crime and corruption, readers are drawn into her world, rooting for her success and fearing the consequences of failure. Into The Black is a relentless and pulse-pounding thriller that will captivate fans of detective fiction.

Crystal Allen's writing is taut and immersive, painting a vivid picture of a world teetering on the edge of darkness. With its well-paced plot, intriguing characters, and a race against time, this novel delivers a satisfying blend of mystery and suspense. Prepare to be engrossed from the first page to the explosive finale.