Darkness Rising - Lis Wiehl, Pete Nelson I recently recieved an ARC copy of [b:Darkness Rising|14487684|Darkness Rising|Lis Wiehl|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1344542215s/14487684.jpg|20130237] the second book in the East Salem Trilogy by author [a:Lis Wiehl|568299|Lis Wiehl|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1253462652p2/568299.jpg]. Of course, before reading the second book I headed to my local library to check out the first book of the trilogy, [b:Waking Hours|10634346|Waking Hours|Lis Wiehl|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349015144s/10634346.jpg|15542990]. I enjoyed the first book so much that I was glad that I had the second book waiting to be read immediately. In this book we again find the main characters of Dani Harris and Tommy Gunderson. In addition, we also get more of some of the other characters that I grew to love. In fact, several of the best ones play bigger roles in this book, such as Tommy's aunt, his spiritual adviser Carl, and a few of the other characters from the first book. As the book begins, we become aware that, although Tommy and Dani solved the murder in the first book, their job is not over. In fact, in solving the murder they uncovered a darker plot that needs their attention. This plot is the center piece of the second book. As the story unfolds, not only are Tommy and Dani faced with difficult decisions, but several of their friends and acquaintances are being drawn into the story more fully.

Many times in a series where the first book is a five star read for me, the second book does not live up to that level. In this case, though, Lis Wiehl has another definite hit on her hands. I was excited to see that this book continued with the combination of the elements of a first rate mystery/thriller and the elements of the supernatural that where so successfully woven together in Waking Hours. In addition, I was fascinated with the historical elements that were included in this one as I love history in any form. To have an author combine local history so successfully with a riveting thriller story line was part of what made this book a big hit for me. Another of the enjoyable parts of the story was the ability to weave supernatural elements into the story without resorting to the "they live among us" story line that is so common these days. Not that I don't like that story line (I am a big fan), but it is refreshing and delightful to see an author approach the supernatural from a different direction. In fact, I would class this book as more of a mystery/thriller with a definitely "evil" twist than a supernatural mystery/thriller. However you class it, though, it works!

As for the character development in this installment of the trilogy. Dani and Tommy continue to grow as characters, but, thankfully, in the end Dani is still Dani and Tommy is still Tommy. They are still looking at things from a very different perspective, which was one of the things I most enjoyed about them in the first book. I was excited, though, to see that some of my other favorite characters from the first book (Carl and Tommy's aunt, to mention two of them) got to play bigger roles as the story continued. In addition, I was able to find some new favorites among the characters that were introduced in this book, like Quinn. The inclusion of his character gave the author a chance to delve more fully into the workings of the human brain from the scientific viewpoint, which she did without talking over the reader.

Once again the ending of this book left me both satisfied with where I was in the story, and wanting more. I am excitedly waiting for the third book. Unfortunately, it has a publishing date of September 2013, as I would love to read it now.

After reading the first two books in the East Salem trilogy, I can proudly say that I am a definite fan of Lis Wiehl and look forward to reading some of her other mystery/thrillers while waiting for the third book in this series. I give both books in this series 5 out of 5 stars based on my feelings that the characters and story were first rate, and on the level of enjoyment I had in both the reading , and trying to guess what the end result would be. In fact, I have already recommended both books to several of the people in my reading circles and those that have read them loved them as much as I did.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is an fan of mystery/thrillers and feel that Lis Wiehl can hold her own with the top writers in this genre