DEFCON Darcyby A.J. Lape (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Darcy Walker #4
on February 15, 2015
Genres: Comedy, Mystery and Suspense, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Tour Company
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Tour Company in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fisher Stanton, Valley High School’s Nantucket wannabe, has a cheating girlfriend. When he hires Darcy Walker to chase her to a local club, in true Darcy fashion she stumbles upon a dead body. Thing is, this body has secrets...and Darcy’s mysterious friend, Jaws, and the reporter, Tito Westbrook, have a vested interest. Both enlist Darcy to find the person responsible who has eluded them for years, but Darcy doesn’t solve crimes for free anymore—especially where Jaws is concerned. Knowing Darcy’s Achilles heel, Jaws blackmails Darcy into working for him.
In a true test of wills, Darcy and Jaws battle head-to-head—Jaws needs Darcy to help him end a bitter grudge war; Darcy needs Jaws to divulge the mystery surrounding her mother’s death. Haunted by a past that shaped her present, Darcy will stop at nothing to get answers. Even if it means breaking the law and being disloyal to her new boyfriend, Dylan Taylor, in the process.
DEFCON DARCY gives Darcy’s demons a name and ties up loose ends that made Darcy into the verb that she is. What she thinks she knows as truth, isn’t. What she wishes wasn’t true…is.
The problem is, when your life goes DEFCON 1, not everyone lives to tell about it.
The Darcy Walker series is one of my favorite sets of books, and I burned through the three available books one right after the other over Christmas 2014, eager to delve deeper into the fun and often dangerous world of young ADHD sleuth Darcy and her group of boys that do her dirty work. I reviewed books one through three in one post back in January 2015, and I couldn’t wait for DEFCON Darcy to come out so I could see what kind of trouble Darcy found herself in. Now that book 5, FOOLPROOF is available today, let’s take another look at my review for the fourth book in the series (and my second favorite so far) to bring you up to speed before the new release.
Darcy Walker, P.I. — for actual money this time…
In the previous books, Darcy has stumbled upon her cases and talked her way into getting something out of them. But in DEFCON Darcy, her fellow students have seen her get results and start approaching her so they can hire her to investigate certain things–like cheating girlfriends or thieving best friends. While Darcy’s boyfriend Dylan Taylor doesn’t think it’s the brightest idea for her to take on these cases, he knows that he won’t be able to stop her since she’s bored and nosey–and that’s a combination that keeps him on his toes.
And in true Darcy Walker fashion, one of these seemingly innocuous investigations has a dead body falling right at her feet in a night club. This body seems to have a connection to not only the reporter Darcy has worked as an informant for previously, but also for a deadly thug named Jaws that has also wanted Darcy to do his bidding. And he has information that she’s desperate to obtain: more info about her mother and the murder that stole her away right in front of Darcy’s eyes at such a tender age.
This is deeper and darker than A.J. Lape has gone before…
While Darcy is still her snarky, sugar and coffee-addicted self, the sadness and haunting weight from her mother’s murder and her own brushes with death lurk just below the surface in DEFCON Darcy. Her boyfriend Dylan is being vigorously recruited by a ton of universities for football, and he’ll need to make the difficult decision soon. Darcy doesn’t want to hold him back, but she doesn’t want to lose him either–especially when she knows that the same colleges may not be in her future–if she goes at all. Darcy is very conflicted and confused, and she makes more rash decisions and mistakes than she might normally make.
The investigation gets personal, but by then it’s too late…
Darcy takes things in the usual investigative route, bringing her boys in, like Vinnie (my personal favorite) and Finn, but things take a turn for the worse and she’s held captive for quite some time. I won’t give many hints because it would spoil so much of the last part of the book, but I was so surprised by who supported Darcy and fought for her through that stretch. This was a turn that I never saw coming, and it was bleak and hopeless at times, but Darcy kept her wits about her and made the most of the situation. She’s a fighter, a verb, as she’d say.
So many questions were answered…
After experiencing three books and now the fourth installment, there were some questions that had been burning for answers. Most of them were finally wrapped up quite nicely. It’s great to have completion and answers, so maybe now Darcy can heal.
I give DEFCON Darcy a five out of five. This emotional roller coaster of a fourth book was the second best installment in this series so far for me (the fifth installment, is my favorite). It’s heartbreaking, full of hope, and just so great. A.J. Lape’s depth and descriptions really shone here, and her versatility was in fine form throughout. You really get it all in this book: witty banter, steamy moments between Darcy and Dylan, danger, family dynamics, and mysteries to unravel. This is one of my favorite series, and I highly recommend it to everyone.
Excerpt from DEFCON Darcy:
“Then let’s talk price.”
Fisher’s eyes went as big as a freaked-out lemur’s. “There’s a charge?”
“New policy as of January,” I giggled. “Payment can be in the form of United Dairy Farmers, Pink, Visa, Starbucks, or Target gift cards. If gift cards don’t work for you, then I’ll always take cash. And for this particular job my fee is fifty bucks.”
“Wow,” he whistled. “Does UDF do gift cards?”
“Not my problem,” I said, “and I can deliver within the week. If I deliver before next Friday, the price is doubled.”
Before we could shake on it, the ground underneath me metaphorically trembled. Only one person held the absolute power to make or break my day. When I met Dylan’s amber eyes, my first thought was I wish he’d get hit with an ugly stick. At six foot two, two hundred and twenty pounds, he was a powerhouse of muscle. Dark skin adorned his body, showcasing a face and abs so chiseled they could cut you. His jet-black hair was the type you wanted to run your hands through—everything to make you a ten on the perv scale.
Wearing faded jeans and a black letterman jacket, his stride was confident and sexy. Laughter plus a hormonally anxious prayer left my lips as he made his way closer. He’d ruin this for me. One snap of his fingers, and I’d go Pavlov’s dog and wag my freaking tail. “Here comes Dylan,” I nervously giggled. “Help me distract him.”
Fisher looked like I’d asked him to walk on water. “I can’t distract Taylor,” he gasped. “That’s like asking someone to distract God when he was forming the Earth. He’s everywhere, Darcy,” he shuddered. “Scares the pants off of me actually.”
I rolled my eyes. Dylan definitely cast a long shadow, but Fisher put the “c” in coward. “Just distract him.” I said, “I don’t expect you to shoot fireworks out of your butt, but come up with something when he starts asking questions.”
Don’t forget to check out FOOLPROOF, book five in the DARCY WALKER SERIES, out today!
Jon Bradshaw needs a girlfriend stat. When he convinces Darcy Walker to be his wingman at a speed-dating event, one debacle leads to another, and before you know it, they’re the proud new owners of a dead body. Problem is, the body has a tie to Darcy…making her a person of interest in a murder.
Things quickly jump from bad to worse when someone hijacks the name of Darcy’s alter ego, framing “Jester” in a Hitchcock-like blend of crimes that leaves her head spinning.
In FOOLPROOF, Darcy battles an adversary who tests her IQ while she navigates the daunting worries of a high school senior. Add on the emotional fallout of her latest caper, a cop breathing down her neck, and a hot but stubborn boyfriend, and she’s at her wit’s end.
Can she find her zen and unmask the real murderer? Or get used to a life of prison orange?