Alice Blanchard Darkness Peering

ISBN 13: 9780553581294

Darkness Peering

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9780553581294: Darkness Peering
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Darkness Peering

The dead girl lay face up on the edge of the pond, a snake coiled in the muddy hollow of one arm. For Police Chief Nalen Storrow, it was a shocking reminder of the violence he thought he'd left behind when he moved his family to Flowering Dogwood, Maine. Then, Storrow's investigation leads to a chilling possibility...the murderer might be his own son, Billy. Eighteen years later, a different cop is obsessed with the unsolved case--Rachel Storrow, Nalen's grown daughter. But no sooner does Rachel reopen the investigation than another young woman disappears. Once again Billy is a suspect--but not the only one in a town with long-buried secrets.  A cunning psychopath is moving undetected through Flowering Dogwood, taking Rachel on a relentless journey of suspicion, doubt, and bone-deep fear.  And nothing can prepare her--or the reader--for the staggering revelation that awaits.  

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Review:

Moving from writing short stories to a novel is more than a test of endurance--it involves a daunting feat of courage as well as working a whole new set of muscles. Luckily, Alice Blanchard (whose collection The Stuntman's Daughter won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize) has courage and muscles to spare. Her debut thriller starts on familiar turf: the transplanted big-city cop taking on the job of small-town police chief to create a better life for his family. But Nalen Storrow, who moved from Boston to the Maine community of Flowering Dogwood, hasn't found the paradise he or his family was seeking. The faded town has a rather high crime rate, including the murder of a teenage girl with Down's syndrome in 1980, which begins the book. Nalen's own teenage son, Billy, quickly hooks up with the wrong crowd--and local gossip connects him to the murder. Billy's behavior has driven a wedge between Nalen and his wife, damaging their marriage. In fact, the only family member who seems bettered by the move is daughter Rachel, who at age 9 is a smart and pretty child who idolizes her father.

Blanchard has a heaven-sent gift for summing characters up in a phrase--like the local medical examiner: "Archie was all dancing belly--a balding, fortyish indoor enthusiast who barreled toward the scene with the kind of eagerness most people reserved for sex or steak dinners...." She guides us through Nalen Storrow's disintegrating world with deceptive ease. And then she segues seamlessly into Rachel's inevitable reappearance 18 years later as a police officer in the very same town. Rachel uncovers leads to the unsolved murder of the young girl from two decades ago and also investigates a new murder. Along the way, we get wonderful helpings of poetry from Poe (including the perfect title) and from Yeats. Who could ask for anything more--except a sequel? --Dick Adler

From the Back Cover:

"[A] Knockout."
--Entertainment Weekly

"A very impressive debut."
--Jonathan Kellerman

"Deeply scary"
--The New York Times Book Review

"Gives Thomas Harris a run for his money."
--The Denver Post

"Mesmerizing...an engrossing seamless mixture...the psychological thriller, the woman in jeopardy, the whodunit, the police procedural--And it does well by all of them."
--Los Angeles Times

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780553111538: Darkness Peering

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0553111531 ISBN 13:  9780553111538
Publisher: Bantam, 1999
Hardcover

9781568958293: Darkness Peering

Wheele..., 2000
Hardcover

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