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Publisher's Summary

Rufus O’Callaghan has eked out a living on the streets of New York City by helping the police put away criminals as a confidential informant. But when Rufus shows up for an arranged meeting and finds his handler dead, his already-uncertain life is thrown into a tailspin. Now someone is trying to kill Rufus too, and he’s determined to find out why.

After leaving the Army under less than desirable circumstances, Sam Auden has drifted from town to town, hitching rides and catching Greyhounds, until he learns that a former Army buddy, now a police detective in New York City, has died by suicide. Sam knows that’s not right, and he immediately sets out to get answers.

As Rufus and Sam work together to learn the truth of their friend’s death, they find themselves entangled in a web of lies, cover-ups, and accelerating danger. And when they witness a suspect killed in cold blood, they realize they’re running out of time.

©2020 C.S. Poe, Gregory Ashe (P)2020 C.S. Poe, Gregory Ashe

What listeners say about A Friend in the Dark

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Profile Image for Amy Begnene
  • Amy Begnene
  • 02-02-2021

Please get a new narrator!!!!

This is a terrific story and an awesome beginning to a new series. The only problem is the narrator is one of the worst I’ve ever heard. Both authors are always a great read. This was a great writing duo!! I look forward to the next book. Please get a new narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alicia Z. Ramos
  • 23-01-2021

Excellent start to a promising series

I love both these authors' writing, so it's no surprise that I grabbed this book as soon as it was released. It was a treat to revisit it in audio format (with thanks to Greg Ashe for the complimentary copy). I enjoyed spending time with the characters again and am now impatiently awaiting book two. My only complaint is the narration. Too many mispronounced/misaccented words and long midsentence pauses that made it hard to follow the narrative. That part, sadly, was disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sadie G
  • 14-01-2021

Must listen

In my opinion, this book sounded a little more like a CS Poe book than a Gregory Ashe book. Meaning: I didn't have as hard of a time trying to figure out who the big bad was. One of the things that I love about Gregory Ashe's book was found in this book. Broken but tough men. It ends with a soft cliffhanger which is a bummer since the next book isn't out yet. I really need to know what happens next! Still, I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sandra Kirchner
  • 20-02-2021

Great mystery with a lot of heart

Everything about Rufus makes me want to wrap him in a blanket and take care of him. Despite everything he's been through, he hasn't lost his belief that good things do happen and his desire to be loved. That's what made the ending even more heartwrenching.

Sam has a much harder shell around his heart than Rufus does, but I loved that we were able to see that shell cracking throughout the book.

The mystery plot was great, with twists and turns that kept me engaged even though I already knew the ending.

It was awesome to hear Sam and Rufus come to life and the narrator did a great job voicing them. My only complaint (and it's so incredibly minor) is that there were weird pauses throughout the narration. Sometimes the pauses were in the middle of sentences where you wouldn't normally pause and they went on so long that I often looked down at my phone to make sure it was still playing. It was annoying, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the performance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dana Piazzi
  • 19-02-2021

good start to a series

I am a big fan of Gregory Ashe, and have listened to all of his books that have been released on audio. While I am not as familiar with C.S. Poe’s books, the ones I have listened to, I enjoyed. What I have read/listened to from both of them separately definitely had me interested in seeing how they would collaborate with each other.


Rufus O’Callaghan is a street “rat” or CI for the New York Police Department. The officer he helps is Jake, who ends up being murdered by someone who tries to take out Rufus when he shows up for their meet-up. Sam Auden was a former soldier who served with Jake and also a former friend with benefits. Sam comes in from the Midwest to try and find out who would kill his friend. I feel like both of these characters are complicated in different ways. Sam has tremors and nightmares from his past. He also has no plans to let anyone get close to him. Rufus has a history of self-harm. While I’d like to see both of these characters explored more in depth in future books of this series, I didn’t really connect to either of them in this book. Perhaps it was all of their defensiveness with each other.


Somehow they are both able to work out the mystery of their friend’s death. The force Jake worked for has it’s share of crooked cops and though we kind of know who is responsible by the middle of the book, the real trick is for Rufus and Sam to prove who is behind the murder and help bring them to justice. I found the crime solving satisfying in this book, and while a romance might be simmering between the two main characters, things seem to be off between them by the end of this book. I do like a slow burn and I think it would be good for them to figure themselves out before we see a HEA or HFN.


Besides this being a new collaboration between these two authors, this was also a new narrator to me. I found him to be pretty good and I would listen to him again. Though the ending is a little up in the air in regards to the characters and their future direction, I like what I have listened to so far and eagerly wait for the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kp
  • 23-01-2021

Loved It!

What do you get when two of your favorite authors collaborate on a new book? Perfection and the best kind of book hanger!

A Friend in the Dark is a richly written, beautifully complex story. There is nothing easy about either of the main characters. Both Rufus and Sam are deeply damaged, flawed men who have come together to figure out what happened to a mutual friend, Jake. What takes place is a fast paced, action filled, beautifully built up story of betrayal, greed, loss and so much more.

The chemistry and connection between Rufus and Sam is as confusing to them as it is palpable to the reader. The friction they create together at first creates a physical connection. This quickly morphs into an emotional attachment neither one is prepared for.

I really loved the dialogue between these guys. It's full of snark and sass, my personal weakness!
The surprising abrupt ending leaves the reader desperate for more! Garrett Kiesel does an amazing job of bringing these characters to life! I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the Auden & O'Callaghan Mystery serie

1 person found this helpful

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  • jodikayti
  • 15-01-2021

4.5 stars

I’m a fan of Gregory’s and now need to read CSPoe. I adored Rufus! There was snark, banter, feelings, mystery, more feelings, kidnapping and more feelings. Enjoyed the narrator. Need book 2 now!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kathy V.
  • 11-01-2021

Great Read

Compelling story, flawed characters & intrigue. I love Rufus & Sam, two flawed men who somehow manage to fit. Their path may be rocky, but at least they are on the same page.

Great narration as well, which is essential in bringing these intriguing characters to life.

Looking forward to book 2.

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  • WallE
  • 20-02-2021

A great start to new series

I was give this audiobook as an advanced listener.
When I reviewed the ebook I voiced the fear that the fact that two of my favourite writers coming together to write a book I was worried that I would be disappointed. That was not the case.

So what does listening to the audiobook add. Garrett Kiesel was a good choice as the narrator. I had wondered if we might get two narrators to give the different perspectives of Rufus and Sam as in the book but it wasn't necessary as Kiesel made their characters and voices distinct and quite quickly I could hear their thoughts and was their with them through their travails.

As previously stated admittedly it was a slow start but the foundation was necessary as the story took off. Rufus and Sam's characters were built so that you wanted to invest in them and both Poe and Ashe know how to write a good story that forces you go along even when you should taking break and getting on with more mundane things.

We need book two as there is much more to understand as to how Rufus and Sam came to be as they are now.
We also need to keep Garrett Kiesel because as the narrator as he is a good find.

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