Brockmann's Dark of Night Mystery

Monday, August 11, 2008
Today’s topic is Suzanne Brockmann’s series of Troubleshooters books. The most recent installment, Into the Fire (book no. 13 in the series), was released on July 22, 2008. On her website, Brockmann announced that book no. 14 will be out in early 2009. Dark of Night has caused such a stir because no one has been officially informed who’s going to star in this story. What we do know is that the book begins on the same day ITF ends and Brockmann advises us we should be able to figure out who the main hero and heroine are going to be. But to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t got a clue… okay, so I have plenty of clues, but they’re all so very debatable.

And debate is exactly what Brockmann fans are doing. After googling the story, I found numerous heated discussions. A few that caught my attention are the following sites:
Suzanne Brockmann’s Message Board
Adwoff’s Message Board
DON : Who Do You Think?
An Amazon Discussion
Another Amazon Discussion

Before I continue, I warn you this blog is crammed full of spoilers, so if you haven’t read any of Brockmann’s books or you’re not caught up with the series, BEWARE, I talk openly about what’s already happened. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know about books one through thirteen… er, well, actually I’ll probably only mention books seven (Flashpoint), eight (Hot Target), ten (Into the Storm), and thirteen (Into the Fire). I’ve learned that HEA stands for Happily Ever After, so I’m going to condense the term to that acronym as well.

Okay, then. Most of the discussions I’ve read are certain Sophia stars in DON (Dark of Night), but the real question they debate is who’s going to co-star with her, Decker or Dave? I think it’d be funny if Brockmann tricked us all and published a story about, say, Jay Lopez. But she told us on her website, we’d be able to figure this out. So, let’s start figuring. Two, or maybe three, romances develop in book 13. There's Izzy, Sophia, and Decker. Izzy’s two possible choices are Eden and Tracy, though I have to say, neither affair seemed to end very well. So, I’m going to join the rest of the crowd and say, no, it’s not about him. I’m not even sure Iz has met his fair lady yet.

So that leaves us Sophia and Decker. But the big question is, will they end up together… or with other people. Since Flashpoint, I myself have supported a Sophia/Decker match. Their meet scene will go down in history as one of the most amazing romance scenes of all time. But, wow, I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that they shared an intense moment in Kazbekistan. I think it’s important that it was given from Decker’s point of view too. Since we were in his head, we saw all the heat and passion Sophia sparked in him. She also filled a loneliness he’d been feeling. If we had read this from her point of view, however, there would’ve been fear and desperation and the overall tone would’ve felt more like a perversion than a hot temptation. I don’t think we can ever forget this moment because neither Sophia nor Decker has forgotten it. In the stories Hot Target and Into the Storm, they’re very awkward around each other because of their first encounter and therefore have more sexual tension between them.

But many people are right... the after affects from that scene have dragged on. I sincerely hope Decker's talk with the psychiatrist helped him deal with all the issues he has about Sophia. Since Decker and Sophia have been so uncomfortable around each other, there are some very convincing opinions on the message boards swearing Dave will end up with Sophia. We can’t forget good ol’ Dave by any means. He’s been in every book right along with Sophia and Decker. And he’s gotten close to Sophia, becoming her best friend. They’ve opened up to each other and he’s really stepped it up in the hero department in Into the Storm and especially Into the Fire. I love Dave to pieces. He’s been there for Sophia and he’s the ultimate good guy.

I don’t want him with Sophia, however. This might sound awful because I love Sophia’s character too, but I don’t think she deserves him. Yikes, I do sound bad. As terrible as I sound though, Sophia has confided her feelings for Decker way too many times to Dave and he’ll always wonder if he’s playing second fiddle. I think his heroine should fall for him right away. He’s been so good and patient, he should get a HEA with a woman whose affections he has no doubts about, though that would be a good complication to overcome in DON if he was Sophia's leading man. Does she truly love him or not?

I still have a big thing for Decker though. Dave may be wonderful, but Decker has the alpha hero part down. Even when we’re in his point of view, he seems to hide a part of himself. He’s mysterious and masculine and he really does want to do the right thing, so I feel obligated to cheer for him. When he’s in the same room with Sophia, all the attention seems to suck into around them and focus on their interaction, suggesting they're fated to end up together.

Also, when he talked with the doctor lady, he kept waiting for the moment she’d mention Sophia. He may have dreaded it, but he was also anxious for it. He became tense, thinking she'd want to know how his heart stopped when he thought maybe Sophia had been shot way back in Hot Target. I think that was a very revealing moment. It shows he does have feelings for Sophia. It shows he's working through his messy emotions too and he'll soon be able to star in his own book.

But then he goes and kisses the doctor later and that throws things off because suddenly there’s that attraction to wonder about. And Sophia kissing Dave tosses another wrench in the situation. I mean, what's a reader supposed to think? I have a feeling Brockmann has purposely give us these distractions though, to make us wonder… which she’s successfully done. Oh, yeah. The woman knows what she's doing. If only I could accomplish 5% of her talent. Yes, insert dreamy sigh here.

That’s why I’d like to see Sophia, Dave, and Decker get all their HEAs in one book because whoever Sophia ends up with, someone’s going to get hurt and a small part of me will be disappointed. But if they paired off with their respective loves in one, tidy story, then I could deal. It’d be nice if that all happened in DON, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

So, okay. Let's get back on track. DON will most likely star Sophia or Decker. Sophia's possible matches are Decker, Dave, or Danny Gillman. But I think we'll all agree Danny doesn't have a shot. Then there's Decker. His possible loves are Sophia, the doctor lady (Yeah, I can't remember her name. Sorry), or Tracy.

I know, I know. Tracy? Yeah, that's probably not likely. But they shared a phone conversation where she invited him to open up to her if he needed someone to talk to. They also shared a moment in Into the Storm when he stopped by her room to get warm clothes for Sophia after she fell into the water. But those were just moments. Probably no big deal. Then, there was that attraction Decker felt for Hannah when she stared at his mouth to read his lips. Since she's so much like Tess, maybe he'll wait around for another Tess-like character. But I don't really believe that myself.

There's also the possibility that Tracy could end up with Dave. She was talking about him looking good in jeans. And she cuts his hair. That could get some serious sensual action going on. So, we can't forget about that... though it's also unlikely.

Ergo, the story could, maybe, possibly but unlikely star Tracy with Decker, Dave, or--yep--Izzy. I'm feeling some very odd triangles going on here. Or the story could be about Dave with... Sophia, Tracy, or some unnamed heroine to be. I'm kinda rooting for a newbie to catch Dave. I'd like his woman to feel an instant attraction to him.

So... Those are all my strange ideas. Why don't you leave a comment and let me know who YOU think will star in the upcoming Troubleshooters book, Dark of Night.


  1. I am just as confused as everyone else, although I'm starting to think my confusion is just denial. I am going to be royally pissed if Decker does not end up with Sophia. In fact, I'm already pissed because I have a feeling that she is going to pair Dave with Sophia. I like Dave well enough. He has certainly grown over the last few books. But, really, Brockmann has been toying with the Sophia/Decker thing for too long. I feel like making them end up with other people is a slap in the face.

    I read on another site that Into the Fire felt like a re-write on Decker's part, tampering down his feeling for Sophia to "affection," not love. I could not agree more. Sorry Suz but I have read and remember the sexual tension from all the other books. All of a sudden Sophia realizes she doesn't love Decker after all. Then, Suz was careful to be clear that Decker does not think he's in love with anyone. He told the doc (who I really cannot stand, so help me God if she's the love interest) that he thought he could love Tess but knew he was not in love with Tess. The implication being that he would recognize love if he felt it, ergo he does not love Sophia. Now, if Suz writes that Decker realizes he loves Sophia when she is with Dave, he'll look like an a-hole because she all but wrapped Dave in soft fur, big eyes, and floppy ears in ITF.

    Part of me wants to cling to the fact that perhaps Sophia got scared when Decker looked at her with affection for the first time and turned to Dave because he's safe. Another part of me hopes the doctor was just there to help soften Decker up, get him in touch with his feelings and show him what he wants. However, if Brockmann believes it should be obvious to us who the next book is about, I'd say that, if it involves a Dave/Sophia pairing, it is NOT a book that I intend to read...EVER!

  2. Jerilynne, I agree with you on so many things, it's not even funny. Decker and Sophia have carried this strong sexual tenstion between them in all the previous books, it feels like they'd combust if they finally hooked up. And they both had a breakthrough in ITF: she was able to start talking about her husband and he was able to start talking... period.

    But then Dave turned into hero material and I became so confused. I've wanted Sophia with Decker for so long, reading about her with Dave will be hard to take. It's just not right. We should be able to KNOW who's going to end up with who.

  3. I just did a re-read of ITF and I really believe that we are going to be reading Decker's story in February. I won't be too disappointed if he doesn't wind up with Sophia, but I have to admit that the idea of Dave getting with someone who isn't blind to him from the start is very appealing.

    On another note, I totally fell in love with the Izzy/Eden story and I sincerely hope that Suz sticks with these two. If it comes down to waiting a year or *gulp* two for Eden to chronologically grow up then I will take that over Izzy ending up with someone else!

  4. Let's not forget that Sam not only MARRIED someone other than Alyssa at first, he also fathered a child with that woman. So even though Deck/Sophia might seem like they'd end up with other people, I think in the end Suze will deliver the both of them to us as a couple.

  5. I think that if Suzanne puts Sophia together with Dave and a few years later they split like Sam and Mary Lou, then Sophia and Decker get together,it would hurt the series. I just don't think Suz is as clear as she thinks about knowing who the next book is about, besides, Tess and Nash. I can't wait to hear about them again, they have always been a favorite of mine, I was heartbroken when I thought he was dead.

  6. I totally agree with most of what is being said here. I have been strung along with the Sophia/Decker thing for so long waiting for the HEA that it is almost anti-climactic at this point. I have lost some interest in the series because like another reader said you kind of like to know who will ultimately end up with who. In all the other books even with the occassional distraction thrown in you always knew who was going to end up with each other. If there were other relationships the partner wasn't that involved in the main circle of characters (mary lou) or there wasn't much action (alyssa and her boss). So I definitely think we were seeing distractions thrown at us such as the decker/doctor kiss and the dave/sophia kiss and the DON will be about Sophia/Decker.

    Readers I think would lose interest and trust in their emotional investment if HEA were trailed along over many books only to end with someone else. What would be the motivation to follow along?

    One more point. I think Izzy will end up with Tracy. I think Eden was a distraction and will not a final love interest of Izzy. I definitely did not feel the attraction. The whole relationship felt forced to me. I also think I don't want to know that all the previous love interests are traveling around in the same circle. Can you imagine anyone else in the circle of characters with Tracy after her rocking night with Izzy in the front of the truck? I just don't see it. Other love interests if they were not to be final HEA's were not in the troubleshooters "gang". They were side characters.
    Just my pov..........

  7. I especially liked it when Izzy sang to Tracy in “Into the Storm.” That was fun and sweet. They did seem right together. But I’ve found more clues to confuse me and make me think those two will not get an HEA. On October 23rd, there was a new DON Blurb posted on the Amazon blurb that supposedly came from Brockmann’s Bulletin Board.

    The Blurb was :
    “Taking on the world's deadliest criminals is what Troubleshooters Incorporated does best. But now the elite security force faces a new and powerful threat from their most lethal enemy yet -- a shadowy government outfit known only as The Agency.

    For years, operative James Nash performed ultra-covert "Black Ops" missions for The Agency, but when he walked away from their dirty work, his corrupt bosses weren't about to let him go. After Nash is nearly assassinated, Troubleshooters team leader Lawrence Decker launches a skillful deception to neutralize the threat and protect his friend. With the FBI's help, Deck fakes Nash's death, then brings him to a safe house with his fiancée Tess Bailey, to recover from his injuries and strategize their next move.

    Only a handful of people know Nash is still alive -- and fellow Troubleshooters Dave Malkoff, Sophia Ghaffari and Tracy Shapiro aren't among them. Believing Nash is dead and that Decker has begun a romantic relationship with Tess, Sophia settles for second best and begins a love affair with Dave, who's adored her for years. But it's receptionist Tracy who alone puts two and two together, discovering the truth about Nash -- much to Decker's dismay.

    As passions flare, Decker struggles to keep his scheme afloat, and keep Nash alive. But when he finds himself targeted for death, the game turns even more perilous, and Sophia, Tracy and Dave are swept into the deadly play. Under fire and racing to unmask their relentless adversary, the Troubleshooters know the closer they get, the greater the risks. But sacrifices and consequences come with the territory. No longer just solving a crime, they're fighting for survival -- and forced to choose between love and loyalty.”

    I’m thinking two couples will pair off from a Sophia, Tracy, Dave, Decker 4-way type thing. I just don’t know who will end up with whom, though the phrase “settles for second best” makes me think Sophia won’t stay with Dave. Which would make it a Sophia/Decker, Dave/Tracy match. Don’t you think? Hmm… we’ll see.

    The suspense mounts.

  8. Suzanne Brockmann has finally updated her website. She has posted the prologue to Dark of Night, and to my disappointment, it appears that it will be Sophia and Dave's story. She mentions a story by Carla Kelly (Libby's London Merchant) where the hero is not obvious until the end of the story.
    Well, I was impatient and could not wait for DON to be released in two months. So, I looked up Carla Kelly's story. In that story there is a love triangle where the heroine does not choose the obvious hero. Instead, she chooses a secondary character that has always loved her. This leads me to believe that Sophia will choose Dave. Most likely, Sophia will talk with Decker. They will resolve their issues. Sophia will realize that she really loves Dave and only loved Decker because he was "safe". And, since Suzanne Brockmann mentioned there will be hook-ups in DON, Decker will probably be paired off with Tracy.
    Also, in the prologue, Dave and Sophia sleep with each other. I highly doubt that Suzanne Brockmann will have Sophia sleep with both Dave and Decker. I have to say I am a little disappointed. I have waited a long time for Decker and Sophia's story, only to see her paired off with Dave. Will I read DON? Of course! Suzanne Brockmann is one of my favorite authors.

  9. Hmm, interesting exceprt Brockmann has given us. And I like your thoughts that it's highly doubtful that Sophia will sleep with both Dave and Decker. YET... now that we know she does sleep with Dave, it's a fact that she's had a sexual encounter with both men already (even though Decker's was, like, twenty books ago in "Flashpoint" and felt very impersonal to her. It wasn't impersonal for him).

    Also, it still looks like Decker is the main hero in the book blurb, so... I'm still hopeful here. Maybe hopelessly hopeful, but hopeful nonetheless.

  10. Spoilers (Dave/Decker) are posted at under Dark of Night.

  11. Cool. Thanks. But I'm not gonna believe anything else until I read the actual book. It has to be in my hands with the words right there in front of me. It's only weeks away now. Almost there.

  12. Okay, this is bad. After that last Amazon discussion I read for Dark of Night, I’m actually beginning to visualize a Decker/Tracy HEA and it seems to fit. What’s wrong with me? I’ve always, ALWAYS wanted him with Sophia.

    (Not that it’ll be anywhere in the actual book) but I can just see some scene where this man and a woman are squished in some tight space, hiding and have to be quiet to avoid the bad guys. If it were Decker and Sophia together, they’d be all tense and try to avoid eye contact, and if his body responded to the nearness of hers, they’d both ignore it because they’re all embarrassed. They’re almost too much the same in that way.

    But then I visualized that same scene with Decker and Tracy, and wow… it seemed to go totally different. Tracy would look up into his eyes and maybe quirk an eyebrow as if to say, “Hmm. Interesting.” She’d probably actually say something about the chemistry too if his body responded (she’s definitely a blurter outter). She’s way more the type to make a move on him and nudge him into doing something romantic or physical. And he wouldn’t be so stiff with Tracy because he doesn’t have that embarrassing past with her. I can just see her babbling away to him, inadvertently making him draw closer to her and then eventually opening up a piece of himself to her.

    There just still seems to be too much distance between him and Sophia to do that between those two. It feels so hopeless for them. Maybe I’m merely prepping myself for letdown. But this is starting to bug me.

    I must know the real H/H soon.

  13. I'm going to be so upset if Sophia and Decker don't get together. I like Dave, I just don't think him and Sophia make a good couple. I don't feel a spark between the two of them, like I do with Decker and her. I'll probably either read reviews after somebody has read the book or skip to the end and skim it, to find out who the couple(s) end up being. If it's Dave and Sophia...I don't know if I'll be able to read it. I definitely don't want Tracy and Decker together!! I guess all I do is pray I get the couple I want. ::crossing fingers::

  14. Having read it, I plan to now pretend it doesn't exist.

    There was too much Dave worship going on. And what she did to poor Decker. That is not the character we met in FP. I think Decker & Tracy could have worked as a HEA, but NOT this way. And Sophia became such a wimp.

    What did you think of it?

  15. Another Anonymous says:

    I think Suzanne's editor needs to drink more coffee. Lots of little errors, and I was tired of listening to Nash & Tess argue.

    However, I like the way things worked out!

    I always felt sad that Dave clearly loved Sophie, and didn't seem to have much chance. I'm so glad they are happy together.

    As for Decker & Tracy, I really enjoyed watching him go from complete denial to discussion to a relationship. Tracy grew up a lot over the last couple of books, and she deserves someone like Deck.

    Now, I just have to wait until 2011 to find out what happens to Izzy & Eden.

  16. I loved how Dave & Sophia, Deck & Tracy found their true love in Dark of Night. I thought Suz did a perfect matching up of these 2 couples.

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