In Deep Zero by V. S. Kemanis, we return to the complex world of the District Attorney Dana Hargrove, who, once again, in her line of work, is dealing with several unusual cases. Incidentally, one of them involves her own kids.
When a bullied teenager jumps from a bridge into the Hudson River, everyone wants justice for the girl, and somebody should pay.
But who? The story takes place in 2009 when cyberbullying is not yet a major thing – not a punishable offense anyway. Now Dana has to find a way to prosecute those people who virtually pushed the young girl to take her own life, even if they didn’t actually use their hands to shove.
Dana, in her new job as a DA, takes on several important issues, including drunk driving, substance abuse, and vehicular manslaughter. Considering that now she has to also research cyberbullying, she has plenty on her plate. Not to mention that her husband, Evan, is working another important case that tangentially touches Dana as well.
When one of their kids gets entangled in a case of underage driving and partying with alcohol, it is up to Dana and Evan to figure out what is going on.
There are so many things happening in this latest book, that reading Deep Zero gets you fully engaged in the story. There are no quiet moments, the plot is extremely suspenseful, and drama abounds as well.
In my review of the previous book, Forsaken Oath, I mentioned that the family dynamics were more important than the cases the two main character solved. Here, we still see family as equally important – Dana and Evan would do (and are doing) everything for their kids and for each other – but the action does take center stage here. There were times I was literally on the edge of my seat because the suspense would never let up. Things were definitely chaotic in Dana’s world.
I liked how at the end, all threads were neatly resolved. I think I wanted something more in the cyberbullying case, but I keep forgetting that fighting that particular crime was still in its infancy in 2009, and I’m looking at it with the 2018 eyes, where it is now a punishable offense.
The cyberbully incident brought me back to my own younger years when Facebook was rather in its beginnings. In fact, it was that very same year, 2009, when Facebook started to implement its Likes feature on the platform. How far we’ve come in almost 10 years since then … Deep Zero was a highly enjoyable and quite suspenseful trip down memory lane.
Having read all four books in the Dana Hargrove series, I can safely say that they can be read as standalone novels, however, I do suggest you pick them up in order. This way you get to learn more about Dana, experience her character development from book to book, and meet her family, including her two kids whom I adore.
Deep Zero by V.S. Kemanis
Series: Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery #4
Published by Opus Nine Books
Genres: Legal Thriller
Source: Review Copy
Also by this author: Thursday’s List, Homicide Chart, Forsaken Oath