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ACT OF DARKNESS (Holiday Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Holiday Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline (June 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055329086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553290868
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This agreeable puzzle in the Agatha Christie mold is set in the corrupt realm of modern politics. Haddam ( Precious Blood ) isolates a group of manipulative, influential characters--at least one of whom is a murderer--at a Long Island Sound estate for a seminar about a much-publicized p. 143 proposed bill to benefit children with Down's syndrome. Among the power-mongers in attendance are doltish presidential candidate Stephen Whistler Fox, who has been having strange blackouts at fundraisers; his meek wife, Janet, grieving for a deceased child with Down's; his possessive, witchy mistress, Patchen Rawls; his shifty right-hand man, Dan Chester; and a specialist in the treatment of retarded children, Dr. Kevin Debrett. Debrett is found dead in his guest room with nary a wound nor a sign of struggle, and a second victim is soon to follow. Alert ex-FBI man Gregor Demarkian examines both crimes and drops hints about the murderer(s) in their midst. Juicy gossip abounds, tension builds and all present are suitably suspect as Demarkian expertly wraps up loose ends in this entertaining, satisfying mystery.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on December 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
L: What hast thou been?
E: A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap; served the lust of my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven.
- Lear and Edgar, _King Lear_, act III, scene iv
Gregor Demarkian retired from the FBI as one of its highest-ranking administrators: chief of Behavioral Sciences, in charge of tracking down serial killers. A working lifetime spent in Washington merely honed his near-superstitious distrust of politicians. Nevertheless, a former colleague has asked Gregor to attend Senator Stephen Fox's Independence Day weekend 'seminar' in Oyster Bay, New York. Worrying things have been happening to the senator lately - but why?
No Washington insider takes Fox seriously; his political manager Dan Chester does things while Fox concentrates on his television performance, the one providing substance and the other image. They have a symbiotic relationship - Chester knows that he lacks the right image for media celebrity, and Fox knows that Chester has the brains. Fox isn't even smart enough to cheat on his wife discreetly; he met his current mistress, Patchen Rawls, through his wife's *mother*, Victoria Harte. (Janet Fox, for her part, never recovered from the death of her only child. Her only real interest is working with Down's Syndrome kids at the Emiliani school, a charity that doesn't fit in with Chester's grand schemes - it's too real and too religious.)
As a springboard to the Presidency, Fox is proposing the Act in Aid of Exceptional Children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on April 7, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Act of Darkness falls near the top of the second tier of Gregor Demarkian stories. As usual, the solution is found in the history we are given. Bennis's debutante youth and her status as a celebrity author are the perfect cover for inviting Gregor to investigate a murder before it happens. The mental chaos of celebrity and politics breaks the mirror of the characters' thoughts into a jumbled mosaic that masks the real story (and reflects the author's personal views, if her website is any indication). The principle corpse-to-be is Senator Stephen Whistler Fox, a flesh-and-bones marionette on the strings of a very skilled political manager whose ambition is to be the President behind the President. Readers can decide for themselves whether Fox represents anyone in the American political scene, but please remember that this book was written several administrations ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am a big fan of Jan Haddam and was happy to read this earlier novel. I will definitely borrow more of them.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
All I can say is to remit the reader to my second-hand review of Flowering Judas, one of the ex-FBI agent turned private investigator Gregor Demarkian, born and raised in the Armenian community in West Philadelphia. From what my wife, the fan and owner of the Demarkian series says, the characters are as charming as William Saroyan's (with crime included, that is)
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By Lyle on January 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wait impatiently for every new Gregor Demarkian book. This one does not disappoint. Jane Haddam just keeps getting better.
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