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Darkness, My Old Friend: A Novel Hardcover – August 9, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (August 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464996
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Darkness, My Old Friend is deeply plotted and complex and carries an undeniable momentum. Lisa Unger's enthralling cast of characters pulled me right in and locked me down tight. This is one book that will have you racing to the last page, only to have you wishing the ride wasn't over.”—Michael Connelly

"Lisa Unger is one of my favorite authors.  She gets better and better with each book."—Karin Slaughter, New York Times Bestselling author of Fallen

“A satisfying story with an eclectic and interesting cast of characters and believable dialogue. Unger shows her usual deftness at intricate plotting and explores the mother-child relationship from multiple angles…Sure to be another hit with Unger fans.”—Kirkus Reviews

"The beauty of this unconventional crime novel is that focus is not on whodunit but the darkness that drives us."—Family Circle

"Verdict...one of Unger's best thrillers yet."—Library Journal, starred review

“Good reading, canny characterizations.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Unger skillfully pulls together various stories in an exciting and logical way. Darkness, My Old Friend" moves at a brisk pace as Unger makes us desperately want to know what drives these various characters."—South Florida Sun Sentinel

About the Author

Lisa Unger is an award-winning New York Times and internationally bestselling author.  Her novels have sold over 1.5 million copies and have been translated into 26 different languages.

More About the Author

New York Times and international bestselling author LISA UNGER's accolades include selections as an International Thriller Writers "Best Novel" finalist, a Silver Medal winner in the Florida Book Awards, a Prix Polar International Award finalist, and a Target "Emerging Author." Her writing has been hailed as "stellar" (USA Today), "sophisticated" (New York Daily News) and "meaningful" (Washington Post) with "gripping narrative and evocative, muscular prose" (Associated Press). Her novels have been named Indie Next, Walmart Book Club, Today, Good Morning America, Harper's Bazaar, Washington Life, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Publishers Weekly Best Book, International Book of the Month, and Amazon Top Ten Thriller picks. More than 1.8 million copies of her books have been sold in 26 languages.

Customer Reviews

Lisa Unger is some writer!
I'm not saying that all technology is good and that I don't agree with some of her arguments against it, I just feel like she really, really belabored the point.
Lisa Unger is always great at three dimensional character development and also producing believable plots and story lines.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Susan Johnson VINE VOICE on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a wonderful book about people changing their lives. It talks about how hard it is to make difficult changes in our lives-either good or bad. The story revolves about several people in flux:
*Jones Cooper- a retired cop who has to figure out what to do next with his life
*Willow Graves-a young teen-ager forced to move from New York City to the small town of Hollows after her parents divorce and quite unhappy about it
*Paula Carr-a mistreated housewife who must decide if living with her controlling husband is a good situation for her two young children and stepson
*Eloise- the town psychic who must decide if she should continue using her powers to help others or make a life for herself
*Michael Holt-wants to find out if his mother ran off and left him and his sister or if something evil has happened to her

When these characters meet and interact, all hell breaks loose. Willow sees Michael digging a grave, Eloise warns Jones about an alarming situation, Paula calls Jones for help and all of them discover moving forward, no matter how difficult, is a worthwhile goal.
The story is well written and told from the various characters viewpoints. This must be the new "in" thing as the last two books I've read, "Dreams of Joy" by Lisa See and "Innocent" by Scott Turow, have been written in this manner. It can be quite effective but it is starting to be overdone.
This is a quite a page turner and an entertaining read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Baker VINE VOICE on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This rich and wonderfully written story begins with three very disfunctional families in a town called "The Hollows".
It opens with Kevin and Paula Carr. Kevin is a controlling, lying, psychopath and Paula his apathetic wife are each living a lie.
Jones a retired police detective at 47, who is obsessed with his own death, and his wife Maggie Cooper a psychologist.
A recently divorced Bethany Graves and her troubled teenager Willow. Lastly, Eloise (a psychic?) who strangely brings all the story lines together.

This book isn't a mystery or thriller, per say, but an edgy juxtaposition on relationships. It is tense in some places and "whew" good in others. There are a few surprises, but one ending that is glaringly obvious. (Which was fine with me) It's the kind of book that when you're done, you have to read all the acknowledgements and re-read the first chapter or two.

This author has a great talent for telling a story that you are sure is going to go one way and it doesn't, and in a very short time having the reader completely relate to the characters, so much, that you are cringing thinking of what may happen to "XXX". It's fast paced and original, and if you like Lisa Unger you will love this book. If you haven't read any of her work this is a stand alone and a great place to start. Its not just a scary mystery/thriller novel, its somehow almost cathartic when finished.

I would love to see any of these characters especially Jones Cooper pop up again in another book, they were great.

I hope this review was helpful to you as it was difficult to give too much information without spoilers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Mulhern VINE VOICE on August 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I liked this book very much. I was surprised to learn that it is a sequel of sorts to her previous book, "Fragile." If you can't remember what exactly happens in that book it might be helpful to reread it before starting this one. While this is a stand alone novel, there are some references to plotlines from "Fragile" and it just bugged me that I didn't remember things very clearly.

The main mystery, what happened to a young mother 20+ years ago is very interesting. I was definitely hooked on finding out what had happened, and also found the secondary plotlines compelling as well. Characters are well developed and sympathetic.

Everything is wrapped up pretty neatly at the end...maybe a couple of loose threads. Overall a great book!
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Format: Hardcover
Unger reintroduces familiar characters from The Hollows as they face the unresolved issues of the past and attempt to move forward. Most familiar is ex-detective Jones Cooper and his psychologist wife, Maggie. At loose ends since retirement, Jones hasn't yet made peace with his tangled emotional history with his mother, but he has thrown himself into a new role as the neighborhood go-to guy, recently hired by a woman to locate her husband's ex-wife, the woman unavailable since her son came for a visit with his dad. A simple computer search becomes instead a race against time and a violent man with a hidden agenda. Concurrently, psychic Elise Montgomery is compelled to reveal a troubling presentiment to Jones; the long-unresolved abandonment of a husband and son by a mother still haunts Michael Holt after his father's death, the family home filled with the memories and detritus of years; and an unhappy teenager, Willow Graves, provides the catalyst in a drama that marries the secrets of the past to the threat of the present, two women at grace risk as a heartbreaking truth is about to be revealed.

Unger handles the disparate plot threads with her usual dexterity, although the psychological burdens of some previously-met characters become a bit overwhelming. The Hollows is a reservoir of generational memories, families burdened by past mistakes and a population skewed to an older demographic. Often predictable, ungovernable passions rend the fabric of troubled marriages, sowing the seeds of discontent and, sometimes, violence. I found the psychic touch a bit overwrought, but Unger is solid in her writing, if not always riveting. Luan Gaines/2011.
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