Title: Under Dark Skies
(The Nighshade Forensic Files #1)
Author: A.J. Scudiere
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy
First published: 2014
Finished reading: February 3rd 2015
Pages: 378
Rating 4

“Regret for things he had not yet done reminded him why he was here. Though he had personal goals, those didn’t change the fact that the job was to tip society back toward the sane, the safe, the wishful.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


I always seem to enjoy crime/thriller/mystery novels, so when I was contacted with the question if I would like to read Under Dark Skies, I immediately said yes. It’s the first time I’ve read something by A.J. Scudiere, and I must say I’m impressed. There are so many crime novels out there, that it is hard to stand out from the rest. But I think that with this first book in The Nightshade Forensic Files she is able to do just that. A.J. Scudiere combines a supernatural touch with a fast pace and easy-to-read prose which makes you just want to keep on reading. Missing children, murder, forensic investigation, werewolves… The different elements go together so well I would say she nailed it. The characters weren’t all exactly to my liking, but the other elements make up for it. Definitely recommended for crime/mystery/thriller and fantasy lovers!


Eleri Eames suffered a mental breakdown while she was working for the FBI and she was forced to take some time off. But one month before her planned release, the FBI contact her again. They want her to be part of a special FBI dvision called Nightshade, and they need her right away. Eames doesn’t seem to have a choice in her own early release… Her new boss introduces her to her partner Donovan, a former medical examiner with a shocking secret. Together they have to try solve their first case: the leader of a cult called the City Of God seems to be involved in various old kidnapping cases, and the FBI wants him. But can Eames trust her partner and her boss for that matter? Both men seem to hide something.

Slowly they try to discover more about the true location of the City Of God and the missing children. One of the cult members shows up dead, and Donovan is using is very unusual skills to track down the location of the cult. When he rescues one of the kids in his true form, Eames starts to suspect something is off. Suspicions that are confirmed when she visits Donovan at his place… Eames has her own secret though, and together they try to find a way to use their special gifts to solve the case. Will they find the location and the missing children on time?


The supernatural elements in Under Dark Skies make the novel stand out from other forensic crime novels and it is without doubt a refreshing read. The crime and fantasy genre are both among my favorites, and this novel by A.J. Scudiere is a perfect blend of both. The pace is fast and the forensic and fantastical elements are mixed together in a way neither becomes boring. The novel is full of action and while I couldn’t connect to all the characters, the rest of the story makes up for it. I am definitely looking forward to the release of the second book in the future!