Customer Reviews: 9th Circle (Darc Murder Mysteries)
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My daughter gave me a Kindle for Christmas and it is about the best gift I have ever received. It can be purchased on and you have a wide variety of books in all price ranges at your disposal. I bought The 9th Circle by Carolyn McCray from as the title intrigued me. The genre is something I enjoy if it is well written. This starts out to be literally blood and guts.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but as I read on I discovered there was much more to it than met my critical eye. Henry is jauntily arriving to his place of work. And here you get a bit of a shock because he works in a slaughterhouse and this young man takes a morbid delight in his job. We will be hearing more about him later on.

Now the story goes in a complete different direction. Trey Keane is a detective working with another detective, Robi Darcmel, who has Asperger's syndrome and can't communicate verbally with anyone.However he is brilliant in other ways. They are zeroing in on a serial killer and now have found a live witness, a little girl who had to watch as her parents were being horribly murdered. He is described as very tall and burly and not at all intimidated and inspires confindece in our little eye witness.

She has refused to speak to anyone except the Asperger detective, Darc, who relates very well to her. She feels safe with him. He is trying to decipher bloody images left by the killer. It takes him quite a while but he can see things that the others can't. He wants to take her to her home but in steps a child psychologist Dr. Mala Charan who is trying to protect the child from further trauma but the child wants to go with him because she knows she can help him uncover clues. She knows instinctively that he will protect her and only with her by his side will he truly be able to catch this killer. She seems to understand his condition and his genius for figuering out the hundreds of signs and strange symbols that the killer has left behind; left behind on purpose for Darc. She isn't afraid when she is with him.

Of course as each caracter is indroduced you are given a profile or back story that helps you to understand how they work together. Only the serial killer has yet to be profiled but that only keeps you in suspense as to what to expect.

Yes, it is a bit gory but Darc isn't at all impressionable and looks at these things as just another puzzle to be worked out and he really wants to keep this child by his side.. The dynamics between these four people are very interesting. It is fairly well written and what I really appreciate is the absence (at least until now)of foul or course language except, that is, in Spanish and that doesn't bother me at all.

There are times that you can't help a chuckle or two as Trey tries so hard to keep up with Darc both phsically and mentally. Darc is almost always in his own world and his power of concentration is absolute. At times it is rather funny which is good because it brings a little lightness to an otherwise heavy atmosphere that surrounds the story.

This book will keep you entertained and as each espisode finishes in this serial sends you the following episode free. It is a good read.

Now that I have read Episode five chapter 11 I have to add to the above that this is way too grafic for my taste. The clincher comes when someone is grabbed by the throat with a meat hook and it is described right down to the last detail. I woke at 2:30 am eyes wide open. Frankly it gave me nightmares. I realize that not everyone is as susceptible as I am. However, if this wouldn't bother you by all means keep on reading.

Dorothy Pardo

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on September 9, 2012
A pathological serial killer is terrorizing Seattle and the only person standing in his way is Detective Robi Darcmel. From the chilling opening scene to the last lines of the first episode, I don't remember taking a deep breath. As one observer notes in the opening scene at the slaughter house to a man clearly intrigued by the sight and smell of blood, visceral and flesh--"You are one sick puppy, dude." Indeed.

This is a fascinating if horrific read. One of the most unusual "heros" I can imagine, Detective Robi Darcmel has Asperger's Syndrome. His affliction is his gift. Protected his partner Trey Keane, Robi sees the world through his own special lenses. Trey provides a buffer between Robi and the rest of society. He understands that what is an enigma to others makes perfect sense in Robi's unusual mind. Or as Trey admits in exasperation and admiration, Robi's special brand of insight that could as easily be mistaken for clinical insanity.

I had no idea what to expect from a serial novel. Now I know. At least for "The Ninth Circle" it means I will be counting the days until the next episode is released.

Be prepared to be shocked, and hooked. Bring on the next episode and make it quick!
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on February 7, 2013
I rarely give bad reviews and even though I have slogged through some really bad self published kindle books, this is the first time I have ever wanted my money back. And the sad part is that I say that not because of the poor writing skills of the authors, or the poorly imagined characters but because this has so much potential to be a really great book but it seems as if the authors chose to rush into publication without rewrites, possibly only driven by the desire to make money or more sadly, because they have no ability to be critical of their own work.
The most egregious errors were in the time lines, the sheer amount of physical labor that would have had to have been expended by the criminal could not have possibly occurred in the time lines they allowed.
Second to that, it was impossible to believe the sheer amount of deaths described being able to occur without bringing Seattle to its knees and bringing in serious federal intervention.
The partnered detectives are actually fascinating characters, it is so sad that they were not given the love and labor to enable them to become fully alive.
These obviously talented authors should be ashamed of their own hubris, impatience and possibly greed, then they should write the story, with depth, detail and plausibility that Robi and Trey deserve.
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on September 20, 2013
This book goes way too far. A serial killer who kills most of the police force, apparently hundreds of people, and yet no task force, no fbi, just two cops. I love serial killer books, but I won't be reading any more of this author. I got it for free, and paid too much.
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on September 13, 2012
The first episode of this serial grabbed my attention immediately, and I couldn't turn my Kindle pages fast enough! The sharp sensory detail drops you into every scene, and the superb characterization adds unexpected layers to the storyline. Detective Robi Darcmel is simply fascinating, and the characters around him are the perfect foil for his brilliant peculiarities. 9th CIRCLE is vividly cinematic. I can't wait for the next episode to be delivered to my Kindle!
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on August 4, 2013
I have really enjoyed this series, so far. I really like the idea of one of the main characters-and the people surrounding that character-having to deal with something that is becoming as common as Asperger's Syndrome. More ppeople should write books showing that people that have what were once referred to as "disabilities", are JUST PEOPLE. Yes, they may look at things differently than the reader, REAL life, everyone has their own views, too! I am thinking that it's about darn time we have something like this available! Thank you for writing them.
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on November 21, 2012
Other than the somewhat interesting interaction between the autistic detective and his partner, I thought this book was unnecessarily gruesome and quite stupid in parts. There is not even an attempt at an explanation as to how the super-sleuth detective (Darc) divines his clues from "symbols" at the crime scene or on the little girl's drawings. The new episode describing being CHASED by venomous snakes is so bogus I started to laugh. I'm not quibbling about the price of $1.99, but I won't bother to finish this book.
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on July 1, 2014
so far over the top it was totally unbelievable. killing cops in full body armor with hand weapons,. no security or security cameras in a hospital, possessing dozens of venomous snakes, etc, etc. Scary and mysterious is fine. this was just ridiculous. could not finish it
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on July 27, 2013
Rarely do I finish reading an ebook and feel compelled to instantly write a review. However, "The 9th Circle" is such an entertaining and great read that I needed to share the positive experience.

The dectective duo of Drac and Trey take the term "odd couple" far beyond the ozone shield. Drac is the super logical one seeing the world in stark black and white--500 shades of grey cause non-interactive "social" problems. Trey is the "Dude, you gotta be eeffing kidding me" partner always ready to provide comic relief and the lone voice of reason in the weird world created by the mass murderer. He's typically two or three steps behind where Drac is--which is frequently where the reader is.

Bravo on the introduction of Mala to effectively explain the ridgid structure of Drac's unique application of logic to solve the perverted puzzle with twisted pieces. She is the needful protector of Jamey who survived a bizarre blood-bath.

I believe this ebook sets a record for the number of horrific deaths caused by a serial-killer--it sure establishes a new benchmark for depicting massive amounts of blood and gore while the reader journeys through the carefully crafted circles in this hellish tale.

The famous horror authors need to take note of this evolving duo of authors, Carolyn and Ben have a natural ability to spin a story that sparkles like fresh blood in the light of a full moon and it will surely give you chills during the hottest heat wave. Their talented efforts are worthy of five-stars--I'd give them six-stars if that was an option.

Enjoy often... John
Author of "Blasting the Hell Out of Tornados"
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on February 27, 2014
This book is an interesting, although rather gory, story about a detective with Asperger's, who's an autistic savant, trying to stop a serial killer.

Some aspects of the story strain your credibility a bit, like the way the killer knows exactly how much time it'll take the detective, Darc, to get from one crime scene to the next. Also, some of the things he uses to commit his murders would require a lot of wealth which a person in his line of work probably wouldn't have. Additionally, the killer's church (in which I was raised) doesn't have some of the beliefs that fueled his psychosis. Can't be more specific without a plot spoiler, but the killer's twisted theology was Catholic, not what he was supposed to be. (I don't mean that Catholic theology is twisted, just that the psychotic's take on it was twisted.)


The authors give a very good look into some of the difficulties faced by even highly functional autistics when trying to deal with the peculiarities of "normal" people. I think this book is worth reading for that alone. Like when he has to assess someone's body posture to guess at his emotions- is he constipated or does he feel hurt? Autistics have to be specifically taught things like the meaning of body language, because they don't have an innate sense for that. His repeated attempts to assess what body language means are routine for someone with his condition, although it seems odd to most of us,because we *do* know it innately.

While the plot is a variation on the old topic of obsessive religious beliefs run amok, it takes some new and unexpected twists.

The "idiot sidekick", while annoying you sometimes with his juvenile outlook, really cares about his partner and seriously tries to understand his problems and to help him with both his difficulty interacting with people and in getting the job done. He also manages to demonstrate that courage doesn't mean being too stupid to be afraid- it means doing the right thing no matter how badly you want to wimp out.

Will I buy more in this series? Finances permitting, definitely. Hopefully the authors will keep their standards equally high in the sequels.
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