Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell is an intense thriller focusing on some heavy-duty topics, such as stem-cell research used in nefarious ways, unwanted and unplanned pregnancies, abuse, and so much more.
The book is the second installment in the Holt Foundation series, and while I haven’t read the first book, I had no major troubles following the plot or the characters.
Seth Crawford was once a police detective, now turned lead investigator for the Holt Foundation. He is working along Marissa Rooney and her team on their latest case: the recapture of two missing pregnant teenagers who might have been abducted for some sinister purposes. The team must find them before it’s too late. Or is it…
The story is fast paced, it really quite well, and it does captivate the attention throughout. Despite the despicable acts of human beings, there is still humanity shining through the pages of the book. The author’s evil characters are flawed and retched, but they all have some human decency in them. There is a spark there that didn’t fully give in to darkness, which I admire.
The good guys have their flaws as well, including Marissa and Seth, who are in a complicated relationship with each other. Nobody is perfect in Chris Patchell’s world. But, still, there is hope in the book. Hope that humanity will prevail at all costs. Or so we hope.
While I haven’t read the first book, I could strongly sense that emotional tie between the two main characters. They are conflicted between wanting to be together and feeling that circumstanced don’t allow them to, right until something happens that threatens their relationship in a big way. This is the moment when they know that being together is far more than just a fad. They are meant for each other. They are a family.
The book was well researched. For example I already knew a bit about stem-cell research, so what I’ve read matched well with my knowledge on the current hot topic. A somewhat related topic, black market adoptions, was also written with knowledge under the pen. This is not a book written in a hurry.
While the book started a bit slower, after the first half it really picked up, become a serious roller-coaster towards the end. A dark, edgy thriller that will leave you at the seat of your chair pretty much all the time.