Jane Knudsen is an exceptionally brilliant and intimidatingly beautiful workaholic attorney. Every morning, she goes to work by 6am and spends at least 14 billable hours. But on this fateful morning, she reached her office to find her boss, Ray Corrigan, lying in a pool of blood. To be on the safer side, Jane retains Allison Barton, her former roommate at UVA, to represent her.
Rumor is that, Jane and her boss had an affair and Jane is responsible for his death. Jane has always been secretive about her life. Especially her past. She made sure no one would ever find out about it. But when the police suspect Jane of killing her boss, the truth of her past must come to the surface. But Jane would rather spend time in jail than reveal her dark past…
The Darkest Web is the second book in Kristin Wright’s Allison Barton Legal Thriller series.
The story alternates between Jane and Allison’s narration. It begins with Jane finding her boss’s dead body in the office. Meanwhile, Allison, a single mother, is finding it difficult to bond with her 6-year-old daughter Libby. Since Allie’s divorce from Steve and Steve marriage to Karen, Libby has been a bit distant.
Jane sends Allison an email, requesting to meet up with her when free. Allison and Jane were roommates when they were students at UVA. Allison never got along with Jane – mostly because Allison found Jane to be attractive, pretty and gets-what-she-wants-at-any-expense – in brief, jealousy. Allison never knew about Jane’s childhood back then. Jane was very secretive about her personal life. Now, Allison is a tad surprised that Jane has contacted her out of the blue.
When Jane arrives at Allison’s office, she learns of a murder at Jane’s office. Ray Corrigan is killed and Jane wonders if she might end up as a main suspect in the case. Ray was a bad boss. He made his employees work overtime and had no respect for their personal lives (no work-life balance.) So technically, all the employees working at the firm were suspects. Rumor is, Jane and her boss had an affair. The police are keen on pursing Jane after hearing the rumor. Though Jane denies this allegation, she soon ends up being the main suspect in the case.
Allison wants to learn of Jane’s past. But Jane will not tell her. Allie’s boyfriend Emmett was also a fellow student at UVA. He had once dated Jane for a couple of months. So Allie manages to find one tiny detail of Jane’s past – and it leads her to the place where Jane grew up but she hardly learns much – apart from one shocking detail. There’s more to the story and only Jane can tell her the rest. But, Jane would rather go to jail than let people know of her past.
The Darkest Web is one of the best books I have read this year. Explosive twists are plenty and sure to keep the reader hooked on to the story. I must warn readers of the triggers – sexual abuse, child abuse, child pornography and grooming. This certainly is a very sensitive topic and it was heart-wrenching to read about Jane’s abusive past.
There is a mention or two of Allison’s previous case – which is the first book of this series. Though I haven’t read the previous book yet, I am eagerly waiting to catch up. Though investigation forms a major part of the story, we have a significant amount of information on Jane and Allison’s personal lives too – their struggles, their ups and downs and much more.
The storytelling is absolutely brilliant. The characters (Emmett, Jane, Allison and little Libby) are likable and well portrayed. Suspense is well-maintained throughout and the ending is full of twists. In brief, this is a very well-written legal thriller.
If you love legal thrillers with explosive twists, you might want to give The Darkest Web by Kristin Wright a read. Highly recommended!
I received an ARC from Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.