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River of Darkness (Signed First Edition)

Rennie Airth

4,646 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0708941656 / ISBN 13: 9780708941652
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Dan Pope Books
West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.

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AbeBooks Seller Since October 12, 2002

About this Item

Viking (NY), 1999. First edition. First printing. Hardcover. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. New in dust jacket, a perfect unread copy. First novel by South African-born Airth introduces John Madden, a Scotland Yard inspector whose experiences before and during World War I have left him scarred both physically and emotionally. 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # 5779

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Bibliographic Details

Title: River of Darkness (Signed First Edition)

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title

Synopsis:

It is 1921 and a terrible discovery has been made at a manor house in Surrey - the bloodied bodies of Colonel Fletcher, his wife and two of their staff. The victims have all been stabbed and the lack of disturbance in the house suggests that the attack was one of terrifying speed. The Surrey police force seem ready to put the murders town to robbery with violence, but Detective Inspector Madden from Scotland Yard sees things slightly differently. For, he has experienced the horrors of World War I and has seen madness at first hand. And he is certain this crime has been perpetrated by a psychopath who will strike again...and soon. 'One of the most gripping thrillers I have ever read' - "Country Life".

Review:

The main protagonist of River of Darkness is a Scotland Yard detective so damaged by his experiences during the First World War that his superiors worry about his ability to do his job. This may sound like Charles Todd's excellent series about Ian Rutledge, a shell-shocked cop from the same era. But Rennie Airth, a South African journalist who lives in Italy, has made his hero--Inspector John Madden--a somewhat different version of one of England's walking wounded. Madden is both gloomier (he lost his wife and young daughter to an influenza epidemic) and more pragmatic than the poetic, indecisive Rutledge.

Madden is sent to a town in Surrey where a local family has been massacred in what looks like a robbery gone wrong. He finds enough echoes of his recent battlefield experiences to conclude that the killer was just one man--most likely a former soldier using a bayonet. As for motive, it could well be perverse sexual passion, that "river of darkness" to which a psychologist introduces him. We meet the killer early on, watch him as he maintains a rigid control over every aspect of his life, then stare in horror as he periodically explodes into mad violence. Unlike Madden, this man has not been severely damaged or changed by the war; he has simply used it to channel and redirect his dark river. Airth's point--that survival comes in many shapes and sizes--gives a solid foundation to an impressive leap of imagination. --Dick Adler

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This is a sole proprietorship, Daniel C. Pope, 35 Avondale Road, West Hartford Conn. 06117, USA. Email: dan.pope@comcast.net. Phone: (860) 232-9930.


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