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‘Some Choose Darkness’ offers mix of fun, education

“Some Choose Darkness”

By Charlie Donlea

In the summer of 1979, five women went missing in Charlie Donlea’s absorbing new suspense novel, “Some Choose Darkness.”

Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionist, sheds light on a cold case involving the last days of one of the victim. Donlea creates Rory’s charming personality and backstory wonderfully, and the character’s profession in reconstruction generates enough interest for the reader that it is not only entertaining but also educational and enlightening.

After thorough research on the notorious 1979 serial killer nicknamed The Thief, Angela Mitchell has identified the man who she thinks is responsible for the abduction and murder of five other women.

She confides in her close friend Catherine about what she has discovered about the missing women in local newspaper clippings and newscast reports. But the alarming information she provides to her friend is met with confusion and shock.

Catherine is stunned to read the startling homicide statistics of the missing women. Concerned for Angela’s safety, Catherine urges her friend to be careful in her investigation.

A full-throttle thriller, “Some Choose Darkness” is unapologetic and relentless, a harrowing ride full of twists and turns, a real joy between the pages of a book.

The novel’s time frame is told in different periods and points of view, which add depth and tension to the already wicked good read. Donlea is an expert at building doubt in the reader’s mind, and the rising tension on every page reaches a taut conclusion, which leaves the reader anticipating his next novel.


“An Unwanted Guest”

By Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena’s third novel, “An Unwanted Guest,” is a fun spin on an Agatha Christie lock room mystery.

Guests at the magnificent Mitchell’s Inn in the Catskills Mountains have planned a weekend of romance and relaxation. It is the perfect two-night getaway, but when a blizzard kills the electricity, nobody is safe and everybody becomes a suspect.

A body is discovered the next morning at the bottom of the master staircase. What looks like an accident — one of the guests appears to have fallen down the stairs and hit her head on the bottom step — becomes a murder investigation when another body is discovered — the victim was strangled to death with her own scarf.

Trapped with a killer on the loose, the other guests start to panic and cast blame on each other, wondering who among them is a cold-blooded murderer.

Think of the movie “Clue” and Agatha Christie’s “Then There Were None” and you have the recipe for an atmospheric and entertaining whodunit.

The trail of small clues Lapena leaves for the reader to find is cleverly plotted, and the mind-blowing ending will leave you speechless. “An Unwanted Guest” will have you finishing the book in one sitting. You won’t be able to put it down.


“Murder in Red”

By John Land

Suspicious situations are transpiring in Cabot Cove, Maine, in Jon Land’s ingeniously crafted 49th Murder She Wrote Mystery, “Murder in Red.”

Jessica Fletcher’s gin rummy partner and good friend Mimi Van Dorn dies unexpectedly from unusual complications at a local hospital on the outskirts of Cabot Cove.

Mimi had a lifelong struggle with diabetes, but when Jessica hears that she has died the following day at the Clifton Care Partners Clinic, the amateur sleuth goes in search for answers. What she discovers will change the landscape of future medicine and the Cabot Cove community forever.

Fighting to keep his patients from the new private business, Jessica’s friend, and the town’s leading physician, Dr. Seth Hazlitt, finds Dr. Charles Clifton specializing in a groundbreaking clinical trial for people with multiple sclerosis, diabetes and cancer.

Things don’t bode well for Jessica when she learns that her good friend Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland has arrived in Cabot Cove and checked into the Clifton Care Partners Clinic with mysterious health concerns.

It is only the private business that can help him.

With Dr. Hazlitt and Sheriff Mort Metzger at her side, Jessica wades through the dark underbelly and shady business dealings of the new private practice. But she must hurry before another innocent life is lost.

The narrative is compulsively readable and engrossing, and Land is a consummate professional when writing suspense scenes. “Murder in Red” is a highlight in the Murder She Wrote canon.


April, 2019 Press Republican

The hometown newspaper of Clinton, Essex

and Franklin Counties

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