Mx3 Review: Darkness All Around by Doug Magee

October 21, 2011 Murders, Monsters, & Mayhem, Mystery/Suspense, Review, Simon & Schuster, Thriller, Touchstone Books 5

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 18, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1439154023
  • Source: Author

Eleven years ago, Risa’s alcoholic husband, Sean disappears. Shortly after, her best friend Carol is found brutally murdered.  She was able to move on despite these life-altering events.  Another man was found guilty of Carol’s murder.Sean was eventually declared dead and Risa remarried. She remained in the small-football obsessed town in which she and Sean grew up

Risa’s known her new husband, Alan, since her teens.  He swept in and helped Risa raise her young son, Kevin. Now Alan is running for Congress, obsessed with the election and his families public image. Imagine his reaction when Sean, Risa’s presumed-deceased husband, comes back in to town.

Sean has been in New York City for the majority of the past ten years. A severe alcoholic, he’s now recovering, able to get by thanks to a prescription drug trial he is a part of.  He woke up in a hospital those many years ago, with no memory of his past or identity.  Eventually he begins to recall some of his memories. One such memory is ghastly and horrid; he sees himself standing over Carol’s body with a machete in his hand.

Sean is desperate to turn himself in to the authorities.  No one seems to be interested in hearing the true account of what happened; they would prefer to continue to believe the man behind bars is the one responsible for Carol’s death.  Alan would prefer that Sean just leave town; news of Risa’s husband returning would soon be the talk of the small town and a risk to Alan’s campaign.

Risa, still jolted by Sean’s return, steps up to support him in his quest to find the truth about Carol’s murder. She’s willing to risk her life to protect Sean when individuals use force to prevent the truth from being discovered.

I was introduced to Magee’s writing when I read and reviewed his book Never Wave Goodbye last year. It completely terrified me, mostly because of the similarity in ages between the child in the book and my own son.  While I didn’t have that same connection with Darkness All Around, it still definitely was a book that grabbed and held on to my attention.  The main characters are strongly developed; the reader is familiar with their backgrounds and motivation. While the majority of the characters felt genuine, there were a few whose actions seemed a bit unbelievable. That said, Darkness All Around is still a chilling novel about secrets, redemption, and the intensity and power of the human heart.   Recommended.

Check back later today for a guest post by the author, Doug Magee, and a giveaway of Darkness All Around!


5 Responses to “Mx3 Review: Darkness All Around by Doug Magee”

  1. Kay

    I read NEVER WAVE GOODBYE last year and was completely drawn in to the story. Though I don’t have small children anymore, the premise was terrifying. I’m excited to read this new effort. The storyline sounds good to me and I have this downloaded on my Kindle. Now to get to the reading. LOL

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    This has an amazing premise! Stories like this is brain candy for me. I’m going to nose around and see if our library has it on audio.

  1. Darkness All Around by Doug Magee – Book Review | Linus's Blanket

    […] Darkness All Around  is a psychological suspense novel with lots of moving parts – all of which were well-integrated into a thoughtful plot. It is a fast-moving read and more complex than I would have imagined, but I never felt overwhelmed , or as if there were too much going on. Magee fleshed out what could have been a typical murder mystery with explorations into experimental treatments for alcoholism, links between suicidal parents and their children, the effect of violent sports on American teenagers and their families. While Risa’s reactions to Sean’s return were hardly surprising, the mystery of Carol’s death did have me juggling a few scenarios, with mixed results in my getting to the bottom of the crime. Recommended. Read More Reviews At: S. Krishna’s Books – Jenn’s Bookshelves […]