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The Dark Before Dawn Paperback – June 24, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Gabriel McRay Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Memorable characters, macabre scenes and a dazzling portrayal of reality will leave readers anxious for book two in the Gabriel McCray series." - Kirkus Review

"Readers will relate to the San Francisco and Los Angeles settings, and Stevens' allusions to "Cask of Amontillado" and Frankenstein craft a story immersed in theater, disguise and secrecy." - Kirkus Review

"Stevens sets the stage for graphic sensory details and a fast-paced, tantalizing mystery that utilizes her passion and research in forensics and psychology." - Kirkus Review

"A great twisting plot.  Crisp, true dialogue.  Bravo!" - Beverly Ovelin, author "The Good Side of Bad"

About the Author

Laurie Stevens has written numerous stories and articles for local and national publications. She has written for television and co-wrote and produced the stage play, "Follow Your Dreams." "The Dark Before Dawn" is the first novel in the Gabriel McRay detective series and has earned the Kirkus Star of Merit and was named to Kirkus Review's "Best of 2011".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456450115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456450113
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,582,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
WOW! A great read for murder-mystery fans. Loved the fast-paced and detailed plot and was hooked from the first page of the prologue. The mystery was well-developed and the sensory details were amazingly graphic. At times I felt shivers run down my spine. Can't wait to see what book two unravels for Gabriel. If you like Patricia Cornwell and Tess Garritsen, this book is a MUST READ!
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Format: Paperback
Part detective procedural, part psychological thriller, Stevens weaves a terrific story that challenges you to figure out the why. Detective Gabriel McRay is a complicated character and intriguing to see his layers peel away as the story unfolds. The LA backdrop feels like a modern version of Chandler and is fun to explore. A thoroughly satisfying read and I can't wait until the next one. Suspenseful plot, rich characters and a great LA location feel.........what's not the like?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding first novel which incorporates intense imagery, accurate psychological and medical details, in an intricately woven plot which grips you on the first page and does not let go until the final paragraph. Laurie Stevens shows a wonderful talent for taking the reader on a journey into the blackest areas of a human soul, while giving us characters we really care about. She portrays both evil and kindness in a balanced portrayal of a serial killer and the complex detective who pursues him. A wonderful read -- I could not put it down! Highly recommended. I can't wait to see the next two books in this trilogy.
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Format: Paperback
This skillfully written psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as the L.A. Sheriff's Department enlists the help of detective Gabriel McRay in solving a series of gruesome murders with an apparent connection between himself and the serial killer. What transpires will take the reader on a masterful journey of terror, intrigue and insight that transcends most other books of this genre. I could not put this novel down and highly recommend The Dark Before Dawn as a murder mystery must read!I am very eager to purchase the next in this series by Laurie Stevens; "Deep into Dusk". She is an exceptional author!
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Format: Paperback
This is the first in a series of Gabriel McCray novels from a new author whose meticulous research yields a very real, very frightening psychological thriller. I was drawn in from the start and although I am a slow reader, I found myself tearing through the book to unravel the puzzle. She takes you into a world that you hope you never see in real life! Not a bedtime read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Dark Before Dawn is a fast-paced, exciting psychological thriller. Laurie Stevens does a masterful job of developing both the characters and the plot. The twists and turns which focus on the present as well as the past, weave a very interesting story in which the main character must battle his own demons from the past while trying to solve a series of brutal murders. As a new writer, I believe Ms. Stevens has written a novel which is even more thrilling than those of most of the more well-known authors of the genre. She puts a fresh, new perspective into the mix of books which generally tell the same old story. This is definitely not your typical psychological thriller. This is a must read novel. I look forward to reading any books Ms. Stevens publishes in the future. - Sheila Rae Myers, Author
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought The Dark Before Dawn as my Goodreads book club was having a Q&A with the author, Ms. Laurie Stevens. This book was a pleasant surprise and an excellent initial offering by Ms. Stevens. I read it in 4 days, faster than my usual 7-10 days. There are numerous reasons why I enjoyed this book so much. The action began on the first couple of pages, drawing me in quickly. The characters are very well-developed, especially the protagonist, Gabriel McRay. McRay is a police sergeant who is multi-flawed and saddled with demons. I found myself really caring for and rooting hard for this guy. His psychiatrist, Dr. B., is a major player in the book. Ms. Stevens clearly did her research in describing the sessions between McRay and Dr. B. Unraveling the mystery of McRay's mental issues was every bit as intriguing as solving the case of the mass murders. In regards to the killer, his modus operandi was very interesting as well as unique. I also liked how Ms. Stevens periodically let us into the head of the perpetrator, just enough to whet the appetite without giving anything away. Relatively early on Ms. Stevens started the twists. And there were a lot of twists! Just when you think the case is wrapping up, it blows open again. Finally, there was a little sidelight of romance, which I liked. I loved this book and recommend it to all mystery/thriller readers. I have already purchased the 2nd book in the series; I believe there is a 3rd book which will be published soon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly pleasant surprise from an unknown author. Although, I suspect that she will not be unknown for long. She draws the reader in like early Lisa Gardner books and has the page turning style of Michael Connelley along with his ability to educate and entertain you simultaneously. This one engages you quickly, has an unusual twist and moves you through the suspenseful journey right until the end. I had a few late night chapters that almost made us late for school drop off in the early morning. I blame the author. I have the second one ordered and have heard that a third book is in the works. ? You will not be disappointed with this pick.
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