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111 Reviews
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST BOOK I've read in YEARS!
I'm in a book reading club with ten other people and we just read this one. EVERYONE IN THE GROUP LOVED IT! We all agreed this qualifies as a novel much more than "just" a mystery/thriller. It rises high above that predictable and formulaic genre. It is smart, disturbing and beautifully written. What I most loved about this book is how it weaves its way...
Published on December 15, 1999 by Billy Rainey

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
Pretty good effort but didn't hang together too well. The author tries to make us think that there is only one murder and one murderer but, in fact, there are two. Seems like cheating to me. Lots of detail about the son who is messed up (which then makes him a nice suspect) but not too much about the daughter who experienced the same tragedy. The final scene in the...
Published 23 days ago by Mark


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST BOOK I've read in YEARS!, December 15, 1999
By 
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
I'm in a book reading club with ten other people and we just read this one. EVERYONE IN THE GROUP LOVED IT! We all agreed this qualifies as a novel much more than "just" a mystery/thriller. It rises high above that predictable and formulaic genre. It is smart, disturbing and beautifully written. What I most loved about this book is how it weaves its way through the dark little worlds of many troubled souls in a small New England town in such a way that their tragic, mundane lives stay with you long after you put it down. I haven't read a novel this good in years. For those looking for your standard mystery novel, go read any one of the thousands of forgettable ones out there. For those looking for something truly remarkable, go buy this one immediately. Color me impressed, Ms. Blanchard, and count me as one of your lifelong fans. And hurry up with your next masterpiece. You have a hungry book-reading club tapping their feet most impatiently.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book, December 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
This is the best psychological thriller I've read in a long, long time. I would recommed it for the intelligent reader. I suspect it's not for the average mystery buff, though I may be wrong. It's dark, complicated and challengingly difficult. At a very high level of prose. The characters are brutally real. As someone else mentioned, it reminded me of Thomas Harris. This is a great book and I think it does an impressive balancing act between literary fiction and page-turner. I'm looking forward to what else Alice Blanchard has to offer the world.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great debut, if a bit dark...., June 21, 2000
By 
Terry Mathews (a small town in east Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
I know all fiction cannot have happy, neatly tied-up endings, but this one blew me away.
I found myself challenged by this story, and really didn't figure out who the killer was until it was almost upon me.
The author does a good job in developing her characters and making her reader CARE about them. Nalen Storrow is one of the most desperate humans I've found in recent fiction. I rooted for him to find the retarded girl's killer and I despaired with him as he fought ugly, black moods that he could not control.
I liked his daughter, Rachel, too. I wished happiness for her, but it was not to be.
This book kept me in suspense until the final page...and I do mean the final page....it's a stunner.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was I felt there were way too many red herrings offered to the reader before the true evil -- and its motivation -- were revealed.
Enjoy!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two for two, January 21, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Mass Market Paperback)
Also inspired to read Blanchard's first book after burning through "The Breathtaker." I think this one is nearly as good, though slower-paced. I was impressed by the descriptions of New England countryside and the conflict in all of her characters, especially her heroine, Rachel. I suppose you could call this the grandmother of all dysfunctional family stories. I was surprised by the killer reveal, though it was a bit of a cheat and I thought there could've been a little more to chew on where he was concerned leading up to the ending. But that's a minor quibble. I definitely recommend this.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. Not your run-of-the-mill mystery., November 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
This was something different than I expected-- a literary mystery/thriller. A few horror scenarios (I won't give them away) are incredibly scary, gripping and believable. The heroine is quite conflicted on several levels-- haunted, actually. This book left me disturbed yet strangely satisfied. It's much more thought-provoking than your average mystery. I'm definitely looking forward to her next one.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS A GREAT BOOK. DEEPLY SCARY AND BRILLIANT., December 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
I agree with The New York Times Book Review that this is one of the best books of the year. Blanchard has pushed the envelope in the police procedural genre, creating a complex tapestry of emotional characters with haunted lives. This book is not only sumptuous, atmospheric and literary, but also a shocking page-turner with jarring, unexpected twists. Read it. This is a high recommend.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fine and complex writing, October 29, 1999
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
Not the least of Blanchard's accomplishments in this thriller is the fine and complex writing of the story itself. Darkness does indeed "peer" in various fashions over the town of Flowering Dogwood, as scary a place as Poe might have invented. The foggy vistas, the school for the blind, the early, New England evenings, as well as the metaphorical darkness of family violence and the tinge of incest; the charged and complicated relationships of lovers, spouses, parents and children--all are haunted by shadows of secrecy and dread. Blanchard brings to the genre a sure-footed sense of literary resonance. This is both a true page-turner and a work with the kind of staying power we more often associate with mainstream fiction. The quirks and kinks and gothic twists of Darkness Peering, its evocation of primitive chills beyond the mere bonetingling murder, will remain with the reader long after the covers are closed.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REALLY GREAT BOOK!, February 5, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed this. It is both a terrifying suspense novel and a journey into the complex life of a woman striving to live up to her father's memory and flawed honor. It's a battle of loyalty vs. reality. This story will give you a most thrilling, unpredictable ride from the first chapter until the last.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The breath-taking continues!, January 20, 2004
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this after reading and loving Blanchard's sophomore effort, "the Breathtaker." How did I miss this one? It's excellent and disturbing. Very scary. Rachel Storrow is a top-shelf leading lady and if the first 60 pages don't get your pulse pounding, go to the doctor, you might be dead. Well-written, intricately-plotted, amazingly researched (there's a surgery scene that is one of the best pieces of fiction writing I've ever read)... Okay, Alice, where's the next one?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DARKNESS PEERING, GENIUS STARING, December 8, 1999
By 
This review is from: Darkness Peering (Hardcover)
Blanchard's deftly plotted, muscular thriller is equal parts pathos and page-turning action. She writes with a measured and nuanced hand, skillfully unraveling the plot while developing rich character work. A suprisingly polished debut novel with an utterly convincing voice, announcing not only the gripping tale of Flowering Dogwood, Maine, but also her own authorial brilliance. A great author, a great book.
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Darkness Peering
Darkness Peering by Alice Blanchard (Mass Market Paperback - August 1, 2000)
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