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Review: ‘Dark Site’ is sinister and disturbing

June 3, 2019

“Dark Site” (Minotaur Books), by Patrick Lee

What at first appears to be a random attack on a man and a woman ends up being far more sinister and disturbing in Patrick Lee’s latest thriller, “Dark Site.”

Danica Ellis is attacked as she heads to her car after buying groceries. A man and woman try to grab her and throw her in a van. She’s able to thwart the attempt and get away. Former Special Forces operative Sam Dryden, last seen in Lee’s novel “Signal,” also avoids being abducted. He’s able to obtain one of his attacker’s cellphones where he learns that the men who came after him are also after a woman named Danica. He learns where she’s heading, and she has no idea she’s about to head into an ambush.

Sam arrives just in time to rescue Danica from the team trying to take her out. The team was successful in killing her stepfather, but not before he gave her a series of documents that she was never meant to see. While she and Sam drive away, Danica reads about a horrible accident that occurred years earlier in a small town. What happened was so traumatic that two people were subjected to potent drugs to wipe their minds of the entire episode. The two forced to endure this erasing procedure were 12-year-old Sam Dryden and Danica Ellis.

The story jumps back and forth between the present with two adults seeking answers and the past where a 12-year-old Sam moves to a small town and meets a 12-year-old Danica. Lee’s imagination knows no boundaries, which makes the story elements completely unpredictable. He also knows how to pace the story to keep the reader from putting down the book. Just when it seems clear what’s truly going on, another surprise appears, adding one more twist to the tale.

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