Wednesday, November 23, 2011

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Code of Darkness by Chris Lindberg

Good morning, all, and welcome to another exciting  The Virtual Book Tour stop, this time with Chris Lindberg, author of the sci-fi thriller, Code of Darkness. Chris has been gracious enough to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a e-book copy, so stay tuned for full details following my review!

Chris was born and raised outside Chicago, Illinois.  After graduating from Northern Illinois University in the mid-1990s, he headed out to the west coast for a couple of years, where he began writing as a casual pastime.  Some time after returning to Chicago he began attending writers workshops at StoryStudio Chicago, where he wrote two character studies, both of which have since been developed into key characters in Code of Darkness.  Chris now lives outside Chicago with his wife Jenny and their two children, Luke and Emma.  You might catch him working away on his second novel while commuting on his morning train into the city.

SYNOPSIS: When a routine bank robbery takes an unexpected turn, veteran Chicago police officer Larry Parker witnesses a heroic act by a mysterious intervener. But seconds later the Samaritan disappears, leaving Larry only with unanswered questions. Suddenly, vigilante activity begins popping up all over the city – including several murders. Larry begins to gather the missing pieces of the puzzle, and finds evidence the Samaritan might be tied to them. When he learns the man’s identity – a loner known only by the name Rage – he prepares to move in for the arrest. But there is much more to Rage than meets the eye: the case has also drawn the attention of a covert Black Ops division within the Pentagon. Their mission: find Rage, while keeping their operation out of the public eye. Seen as knowing too much, Larry suddenly finds himself in the crosshairs as well. After a deadly standoff, Rage is captured, forcing Larry to search for answers while on the run. The deadly chase leads cross-country to a top-secret military facility in Virginia, where Rage and Larry uncover the greatest danger of all -- and only they can stop the unthinkable from happening.

REVIEW: Code of Darkness starts with a rather simple scenario – a bank robbery – that very quickly goes wrong, only to be set right by the intervention of a mysterious stranger.  If it sounds like a big budget action flick scenario, or the opening of a DC comic book, then you’re on the right track. This is a story that’s big and bold, full of big ideas, even bigger conspiracies, and the kind of sci-fi tinged action that goes just far enough so as to stretch your disbelief, without becoming cartoonish.

What sets this apart from the standard Hollywood thriller is the way in which the lines between good and evil, between hero and villain, are slightly blurred. While it’s easy to decide who to root for, it’s not always so comfortable being on their side. Good people are forced to do bad things, and bad people . . .  well, it’s no surprise that there are always ulterior motives behind anything they might do.

If you’re a fan of the darker superheroes, comic book rogues like Wolverine or the Punisher, then I suspect you’ll take to Rage as well as I did. In many ways he reminded me of Jack Bauer (of TV’s 24) at his meanest and darkest, a man with the best of intentions, who honestly believes the end justifies the means. Elias Todd (aka Asset One) is definitely harder to like, coming off a career as a mercenary assassin, but you can’t help but feel for his role in the conspiracy. If all of that makes you feel a little dirty for wanting to enjoy it, Larry Parker (police officer) and Mira Givens (social worker) not only serve the reader’s perspective into events, but also as heroic palate/conscience cleansers.

Generally, I’m not a fan of the short, quick chapters, but they lend themselves well to a story like this. Instead of becoming unwelcome breaks in the narrative, they’re more like quick scene changes, giving the book that blockbuster, Hollywood feel. Having said that, the character building is fantastic (both the heroes and the villains), the government conspiracy angle is probably a bit too clever and well thought out for Hollywood, and the ending . . . well, I’d rather not spoil the ending.


As I mentioned earlier, Chris Lindberg has offered up an e-book copy of Code of Darkness to one lucky reader!

To enter, simply leave a comment below . . . it's that easy . . . and I'll pick a winner via on December 1st. For bonus entries, let me know if you've added Code of Darkness to your Goodreads shelf, and whether you've marked my review as 'helpful' over at Amazon.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


  1. Great Review. So swamped with books, I don't even want to enter contests these days. I just get nervous when another book comes in!

    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

  2. Very nice review! I've discovered many great books by looking at people's blogs.
    I've added Code of Darkness to my Goodreads shelf and marked your review as helpful at Amazon.


  3. So not my usual read, but I do have quite the crush on Jack Bauer (he can yell at me any day!), so count me intrigued.

  4. Very awesome blog !! I couldnt have wrote this any better than you if I tried super hard hehe!! I like your style too!! it's very unique & refreshing…

  5. Great book! I enjoyed being part of the tour!