A Map of the Dark

A Map of the Dark

by Karen Ellis

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

A race-against-time thriller for fans of Tana French and Megan Abbott: To save a missing girl, FBI Agent Elsa Myers may have to lose herself...

Even as her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, FBI Agent Elsa Myers can't ignore a call for help. A teenage girl has disappeared from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads obscures the fact that she did not go willingly.

As the hours tick by, the hunt for the girl deepens into a search for a man—who may have been killing for years. Elsa's carefully compartmentalized world begins to collapse around her. She can find missing people, but she knows too well how it feels to be lost. Everything she has buried—her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother's death—threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

Can our most painful childhood secrets be forgotten? Or will they always find their way back into our adult lives? These questions lie at the heart of A Map of the Dark, a riveting portrait of a woman haunted by her family legacy, and a race-against-time thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316505680
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 11/20/2018
Series: Searchers Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 475,094
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Novelist Karen Ellis lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

What People are Saying About This

USA Today bestselling author of WHAT REMAINS OF ME - Alison Gaylin

"One of the most compelling psychological thrillers I've read in a long time, A MAP OF THE DARK grabs you from the very first page and does not loosen its grip.

I read this book in a day—I simply could not put it down—but I will be thinking about it for much longer."

bestselling author of BLUE MOON - Wendy Corsi Staub

"Deftly plotted and packed with blind curves, A Map of the Dark careens into dangerous territory, where Karen Ellis entwines complex storylines with breakneck precision.

A must-read for fans of taut, unpredictable psychological suspense."

Customer Reviews

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A Map of the Dark 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good. Worth the couple of hour's read. I will check for future books from this author
Meemo_B 7 days ago
This one is well-titled. It is indeed dark - and I liked it a lot. It's the first in a series, and as such there's a lot of exposition of the characters of FBI agent Elsa Meyers and Lex Cole, the detective she's reluctantly partnered with for the investigation of the disappearance of a young girl. Elsa specializes in investigating missing children, and as the book progresses we begin to understand why as her own past is revealed through a series of flashbacks interspersed with the current narrative. There are multiple mysteries going on here, and this is a compelling read as Elsa and Lex race to try to find a missing girl during the critical first few days she's missing, and as we anxiously read to find out just what happened in Elsa's past that left her so damaged, both physically and emotionally. It will be interesting to see where the series goes from here. My thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
SherryF 8 months ago
Loved it! Flawed characters, teenagers, kidnapping, murder, serial killer, life and death, cancer. I loved the characters, searching for answers, struggling with life. Glad Dark is in the title, because it’s not only the villain that hides in the dark. I am so happy this is a series because I want a whole lot more of it. Elsa, her new partner and friend, Lex…and his brother, David. she doesn’t have much of a personal life, doesn’t strive to have one, discourages those who try to get close, until Lex who manages to earn her trust. Deep, dark secrets. So glad I have the next story ready and waiting…and I will begin NOW. I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis.
Betababe 8 months ago
SVU on Steroids There are some serious issues broached in this tale of child abduction, including the concerted efforts of law enforcement to recover the victims and prevent tragedy. I am reluctant to go into detail to avoid spoilers but abuse and bullying play large roles in this tough story. Not just the teens are victims!
Selena More than 1 year ago
Seventeen year old Ruby Haverstock disappears on her way home from her after-school job in Queens, New York. The investigation is assigned to FBI special agent Elsa Myers. Elsa specifically finds missing children and she is darn good at it. Unfortunately, Elsa is also dealing with her father's failing health. While Elsa investigates to find Ruby alive, her attention isn't completely focused as she is dividing her time and energy between work and her father deteriorating health in the hospital. Time is of the essence in finding Ruby, but many obstacles are getting in her way. Will Elsa find Ruby before it's too late. This book focuses a lot on abuse and pain, suffering and lots of emotion for. It is a tough read.
Bev_Ash More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I especially liked the way it kept going from past to present in the main character's life. All the characters were well developed and brought to life. The plot had a lot of suspense and action keeping you interested from beginning to end. I received this ebook from NetGalley for an honest review.
Dedee1 More than 1 year ago
This book is a great opener for more in a series. Realistic FBI/police procedural combined with just enough personal backstory. Others have described detailed synopses of the story line quite well so I will just say it's a book that holds your attention and has events you just don't see coming! Enjoy! I received this book as a complimentary copy for an honest review.The opinions expressed are my own.
Dedee1 More than 1 year ago
This book is a great opener for more in a series. Realistic FBI/police procedural combined with just enough personal backstory. Others have described detailed synopses of the story line quite well so I will just say it's a book that holds your attention and has events you just don't see coming! Enjoy! I received this book as a complimentary copy for an honest review.The opinions expressed are my own.
Maru More than 1 year ago
A Map of the Dark is the first book in a new series. While FBI Agent Elsa Myers is quietly spending quality time with her dying father, she gets called in to a missing girl case. As the case becomes more complicated and crosses several states and territories, Elsa must face her dark and painful past while looking towards her future. As her family becomes involved in the case, Elsa must learn to not only fight/face her demons, but she must also trust and entrust her loved ones to her fellow coworkers. This is the first book of Ms. Ellis' that I have read, and I must say that I absolutely loved it. The plot is complex and twisted while keeping me guessing. The characters are well written and thought out. They all connect and interact with each other in a fluid manner. Elsa is a strong and charismatic woman who knows who she is, but she must also learn to rely and trust others. The other characters are strong and very interesting. The villain will keep you guessing his/her identity until it's revealed. I enjoyed reading A Map of the Dark. I found this book to be a promising beginning to a new and interesting series. I look forward to reading what happens next. Thank you Ms. Ellis and NetGalley for allowing me to read your book.
Booklover225 More than 1 year ago
A map of the dark Karen Ellis keeps the reader engaged in this book from beginning to end. Elsa is an agent for the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit. She’s the best of the best in an over taxed department. When a teenager goes missing on her way to school Elsa’s boss insists on her working the case with a rookie detective. Why me she reflects she really should be out on leave her father is dying and she wants to be bedside for him. However, she can’t not help. Elsa has more to contend with than a missing teenager and a dying father, as if that’s not enough, she can’t stay away from her childhood home that was just sold and is being renovated. There are memories of the night her mother was murdered there. Memories that still haunt her. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my unbiased review I recommend this book highly very well written, keeps your interest and well worth your time.
Booklover225 More than 1 year ago
A map of the dark Karen Ellis keeps the reader engaged in this book from beginning to end. Elsa is an agent for the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment unit. She’s the best of the best in an over taxed department. When a teenager goes missing on her way to school Elsa’s boss insists on her working the case with a rookie detective. Why me she reflects she really should be out on leave her father is dying and she wants to be bedside for him. However, she can’t not help. Elsa has more to contend with than a missing teenager and a dying father, as if that’s not enough, she can’t stay away from her childhood home that was just sold and is being renovated. There are memories of the night her mother was murdered there. Memories that still haunt her. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my unbiased review I recommend this book highly very well written, keeps your interest and well worth your time.
gisellsamaniego More than 1 year ago
This novel had many layers which is often the case with stories featuring “damaged” investigators wanting to “make a difference”. It is not an original concept as it is seen more often than not; however, this book introduced us to an array of characters whose lives and backgrounds make the reader want to know more. To say that the lead investigator’s backstory was more distressing and disturbing than the crimes she is investigating would be an understatement. The detective work feels solid and the characters are believable. This was certainly a page turner with a surprise at the end which brings some satisfaction.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
A Map of the Dark has a solid mystery at its core, one that has the potential to be both gripping and chilling. At times it is exactly that, but for much of the book, it gets lost in Elsa's story. Don't get me wrong, her backstory is an interesting one in its own right, but I felt like the author was unsure of the direction this book wanted to take. I enjoy getting to know the characters, particularly if they are going to be main players in a series, but I really wanted more of the case in this one. I did like that Elsa is far from perfect, she works hard to keep her past and her flaws hidden, but they come through little by little. Her partner for this case, Lex, was likable and became even more so by book's end. There is an interesting twist at the end, one that I saw coming, but the surprise for me was a particular character's reaction to that twist. In the end, I felt like this one had some unrealized potential, but it was worth the read, and I'll be interested to see where this series goes from here.
bamcooks More than 1 year ago
I was fortunate enough to receive an ebook copy of this book, which is the first in The Searchers series, from the publisher via NetGalley while they are promoting the publication of book two: Last Night. Many thanks for a good read! A Map of the Dark introduces Special Agent Elsa Myers of the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment division. Elsa is requested to look into the case of a missing teen named Ruby Haverstock from Queens, NY, who disappeared one night while leaving her job at a local cafe. But Elsa is torn about taking on the investigation because her father is in hospital in Sleepy Hollow, dying from cancer. Elsa, who had an abusive mother who was found murdered in their home when Elsa was a child, is understandably very close to her father. Because of the childhood abuse, she is quite damaged both emotionally and physically. But she does take on the case--if nothing else, it is close to home. She can't keep herself from returning to her family's old home which has now been sold and is undergoing renovations. What does she hope to find there? Closure? Or some kind of evidence? Elsa works with a NY Detective named Alexei Cole and soon the two are deeply involved in police procedures. What they learn is shocking and will soon become more personal. This is a very engrossing thriller with a damaged but likable hero. I am looking forward to reading book too and reading other books from this author.
lhill82125 More than 1 year ago
What a great book! This is a page turner and I didn’t want to put it down to even sleep but couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I love the way Karen writes!
thicks More than 1 year ago
I was really excited when I read the blurb on this book and thought it would be a nice change with some suspense and action. well the intrigue was ok but that wasn't what was really expounded on in this story. i mean yeah the search but. . . Anyway it ends up being about this dysfunctional agent and the issues she had going on in her personal life along with the unhealthy habits. So overall it's a decent story just not what I was expecting. I had a hard time connecting with the characters or even feeling any of the suspense or excitement that should have occurred. It's the first time I have read this author and while it wasn't a bad read it's just not my cup of tea.
AnnaDee More than 1 year ago
As the story developed, I was afraid of what I might encounter once it is revealed that the main character is an FBI agent who finds missing children. Thankfully, the reader is not subjected to the horrific details of such pursuits, although the frightening and menacing emotional traumas of child kidnappings are clearly conveyed. Karen Ellis does an excellent job of making us feel the terror of the situation without graphics that overwhelm the other important components of the story. A special request is made by Lex Cole of the NYPD to work with Elsa Myers, a special agent whose reputation for success is renowned. Ruby Haverstock is a seventeen-year old girl who has disappeared after work on Friday afternoon. The footwork, technology, forensics, and intercollegial networking of law enforcement used to solve the crime are realistic, logical, informative. We become involved, a compliment to the author. Elsa has two personal stories that both propel and conflict her work: her father is dying; her childhood is a restless, unsolved conundrum pressing in from several directions. We are kept in the loop, anticipating the answers, given just enough to keep us.listening without anything being handed to us. It would be unkind to unravel such a wonderful story in the review, but here is a hint that will intrigue but give nothing away: the perpetrator has three sisters. A statement that is relevant but does not reveal. This multi-level story piques interest in the very beginning and sustains that interest throughout the entire book. It is a great read, highly recommended. My sincere thanks to Netgalley and to the publisher.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
A Map of the Dark is an excellent police procedural/FBI mystery thriller, peopled with agents and cops that have the right stuff and a cast of victims and parents who do, as well. I felt so bad for the girls and their folks, though thoroughly enjoyed serene Ruby, feisty Hope and smart Melissa, and was brought to a better understanding of self-harm through the thoughts and reactions of the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment team member Elsa Myers. This was a fast, compelling read and Karen Ellis is an author I will watch for under both of her names. I am please to recommend her to friends and family. I received a free electronic copy of this mystery novel on February 12, 2019 from Netgalley, Karen Ellis (Katia Lief) and Mulholland Books - Little Brown in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
JReppy More than 1 year ago
Warning -- this book involves self-harm/cutting -- it is a minor part of the book in terms of overall content, but it is a major aspect of the main character, Elsa Myers. This was a good FBI procedural/mystery/missing girls novel. FBI Special Agent Elsa Myers has a hard edge to her and is a cutter, and that combination made me uncertain if this was a character I really wanted to make an investment in, as I knew this was the first book in a series. However, interwoven through the search for a missing teenage girl (and later two more missing girls) are flashbacks to Elsa's childhood with an abusive mother and a loving but inept father. Those flashbacks help develop and explain Elsa Myers, including why she cuts and why she has such success tracking down missing children and the creeps who abduct them. Elsa has been specifically requested by NYC detective, Alexei Cole (Lex), who is handling the search for the missing girl, Ruby. There is an interesting dynamic between the two of them, especially as Lex involves himself in the personal drama encapsulating Elsa, whose father is dying of cancer, whose family home has been sold and is being remodeled, and whose teenage niece, who is staying with her, is testing her boundaries and worrying her mother (Elsa's sister). There is a well developed plot with lots of twists, turns, and surprises. There is a good supporting cast. The kidnapper in this story is particularly twisted and creepy. There is a good mix of use of technology and old-fashioned police work; the answers do not come too easily to the police and FBI agents. Well worth reading. Looking forward to the second book in the series. I read a review copy via NetGalley.
JReppy More than 1 year ago
Warning -- this book involves self-harm/cutting -- it is a minor part of the book in terms of overall content, but it is a major aspect of the main character, Elsa Myers. This was a good FBI procedural/mystery/missing girls novel. FBI Special Agent Elsa Myers has a hard edge to her and is a cutter, and that combination made me uncertain if this was a character I really wanted to make an investment in, as I knew this was the first book in a series. However, interwoven through the search for a missing teenage girl (and later two more missing girls) are flashbacks to Elsa's childhood with an abusive mother and a loving but inept father. Those flashbacks help develop and explain Elsa Myers, including why she cuts and why she has such success tracking down missing children and the creeps who abduct them. Elsa has been specifically requested by NYC detective, Alexei Cole (Lex), who is handling the search for the missing girl, Ruby. There is an interesting dynamic between the two of them, especially as Lex involves himself in the personal drama encapsulating Elsa, whose father is dying of cancer, whose family home has been sold and is being remodeled, and whose teenage niece, who is staying with her, is testing her boundaries and worrying her mother (Elsa's sister). There is a well developed plot with lots of twists, turns, and surprises. There is a good supporting cast. The kidnapper in this story is particularly twisted and creepy. There is a good mix of use of technology and old-fashioned police work; the answers do not come too easily to the police and FBI agents. Well worth reading. Looking forward to the second book in the series. I read a review copy via NetGalley.
ledLD More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! So emotional and dark, yet the main character, an FBI agent, who is troubled and stumbling through the nightmare of locating a serial killer, at the same time trying to accept and deal with her own personal issues and tragedies, makes this an addicting read. Don’t miss this one!
Horsebranchjess More than 1 year ago
A Map of the Dark features FBI agent Elsa Myers an expert at finding missing children. Struggling with emotional issues from a tortured past and a dying father, Elsa pulls herself up by her bootstraps when a young detective requests her assistance in a missing teen case. As time quickly passes, the clues in the case point to a repeater, a serial killer that abducts the girls in threes. Flashing back to her past, Elsa's story quickly explains the reasons that she pushes people away and the trauma that lingers from her past. The case will open up scabbed over wounds and push Elsa's limits and she may even make a friend in the young detective, Lex. The story twists as it becomes personal for Elsa. The killer is outed about half way through but the suspense picks up as the race is on to save the missing girls. Elsa takes some warming up to but is a very sympathetic character and Lex screams best friend material. The story just picks up momentum the further you read for an interesting novel with the unique law enforcement perspective of the missing children unit. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
Monnie777 More than 1 year ago
What an interesting twisted story. This story is a weave of both the teenager that is missing and Elsa's past that she is still coming to grips with. We follow Elsa as she is with he dying father and pulled into a new case of a teenager missing. She gets pulled back and forth between her father, past and the missing teen. The story grips you and takes you places that you hope don't ever happen in your life. I also think Lex will be a big help to her in the long run. *I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
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