After last year’s exciting ride with Poison Artist, Moore returns with another San Francisco-set novel that’s part thriller, part-police procedural in The Dark Room, one that had Auntie M glued to the book and flipping pages way past bedtime.

SFPD homicide investigator’s don’t come more experienced than Gavin Cain, which explains why when he’s in the middle of an exhumation order, he’s suddenly pulled off that cold case to take on the one revolving around the city’s mayor. Someone is blackmailing His Honor, sending photographs that show a progression where an attractive blonde is forced to swallow pills, then stripped and handcuffed to a bed and raped. The letter Mayor Castelli receives with the photos makes it clear more explosive photos will be released, unless the Mayor commits suicide.

Castelli is a tough man, and delving into his background and his family offers up a plethora of clues for Cain and his team to sort. Then a connection is made between his exhumation case and the blackmail, and all bets are off as they are racing toward a killer who will stop at nothing to stop their investigation. Just who is calling the shots, and why?

The FBI is called in, and as the unthinkable happens over and over, readers will be as glued to the pages of this tightly plotted thriller as Auntie was, with its believable characters and Cain’s team and his private life at risk. It’s an intricate dance with evil, and Moore handles it just right.

San Francisco and its communities spring to life in its rainy, dreary season. The characters are realistic individuals, and the dialogue-filled action shows why Moore is Stephen King called The Dark Room “electrifying.” Highly recommended.