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Into the Dark: A Novel of Suspense (Brenna Spector Novel) Mass Market Paperback – January 29, 2013
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“Label me a big fan.” (Harlan Coben)
“A fresh new talent.” (Perri O’Shaughnessy)
“A deftly plotted, completely involving novel with one of the most memorable protagonists to come along in years. Brenna Spector is tough, loyal, and canny -- and that’s just in her day-to-day life as the mother of an adolescent.” (Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author)
“Wow. Book jacket blurbs by Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman and Lee Child! I had to see what had three such heavy hitters more or less gushing about Alison Gaylin. Lesson: You should always trust the heavy hitters.” (Charlotte Observer)
“Best new suspense series” (Lisa Gardner)
‘Spector is a very real character with very real problems.” (Charlaine Harris)
About the Author
Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York.
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And the condition is not the blessing it seems to be at first: it can be a curse, as Brenna sometimes finds herself trapped in the past as she recalls memories, even though that ability helps her solve cases. (Those recollections, which are printed in italics, advance the plot, so those readers who see yet another of the intrusive italicized sequences and moan “there she goes again” are nevertheless advised not to skip them.)
This book’s case is very personal, as the quest to find performance artist “Lula Belle” (seen only in silhouette in videos) may lead to solving the mystery of Brenna’s vanished sister Clea, which was the B story in the first book. And Brenna is obsessed with this vanishment to a fault—so much so that the book seems to violate all the rules of the “flawed detective” genre. Jeffery Deaver’s quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme’s gradual ability to regain some use of his limbs drifts through those tales; Nero Wolfe’s agoraphobia is a theme in the Rex Stout novels, not the be all, end all. But here, in only the second Brenna book, the sister-hunt becomes nearly all consuming.
And that renders Brenda unlikeable more than somewhat. She’s a horrible mother to her 13-year-old daughter Maya (so much so that in real life her ex-husband, who she refuses to see, would no doubt have sued for primary custody), she throws caution to the wind, and she acts on impulse. Still, the book once again has plenty of smart dialogue, her writing style (third-person omniscient) is way above average, and the complicated plot is artful.
I gobbled it up.
Notes and asides: Travelers from the west coast to New York land either at Newark Liberty or JFK. LGA does not accommodate the large planes used in transcontinental flights. Brenna is not based on the lead character on the CBS TV show “Unforgettable.”
This text was not my most favorite, simply because everything wrapped up in the epilogue. Too many loose ends to tie up in a couple of paragraphs on the last page. There were two characters that didn’t have a conclusion to their story, and either I missed the clues or we never do find out their end or whom they are connected to.
I didn’t even get the last clue in the epilogue to Lula Belle...and I’ve already read the third novel.
At first, Brenna Spector rejects a job offered to her by her former employer Errol Ludlow the man that almost got her killed and can be held partially responsible for ending her first marriage.
Performance artist Lula Belle is missing; this shadowy figure reaches out to her web-based followers in silhouette and tells intimate stories. They are not just any stories, they are recounting Brenna's life - a life that she is desperate to put back together. A life that involves her missing sister Clea. As Brenna is further drawn into Lula Belle she cannot turn away, she must find her and discover the truth. Could this really be her missing sister? How else could she know so much about Brenna and Clea's life? How does she know the words that Brenna's horrible mother used?
As we found out in book one, Brenna has hyperthymestic syndrome, the ability to remember every moment and every word spoken since shortly after the disappearance of her sister. She is on an endless journey to find Clea no matter how much her life, and the lives of her loved ones, hangs in the balance.
The storyline is twisted, but I would not say horribly convoluted, there are a couple of places that you wonder how far this can be stretched, but by the end, all the pieces are put back in place.
As the bodies pile up and the deception deepens, you cannot turn away from the very flawed Brenna. She will never win mother of the year, but she tries, tries as hard as she can, but she will fall short. That is just the way she is wired. She is in a constant struggle between the present and the past and at any given time, you the reader, will not truly know what part of her is winning
Into the Dark grabbed me in the beginning with intrigue, and had me turning the pages quickly to see the next clue in the story.
Twenty-five years ago, Brenna's sister Clea got into a blue car and never returned. Now a PI, Brenna is hired to find " internet performance artist" Lula Bell, who tells stories straight out of Brenna's childhood, stories only Clea would know. Could Lula be Clea? The closer Brenna gets, the more bodies that accumulate.
I hope to see another Brenna Spector book in the future. A worthy read.
Top international reviews
Brenna has been on one heck of a rollercoaster in this one, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. More and more information piled on top of her and she still wasn't close to finding out the truth... and I don't think she really got the WHOLE truth after all that tail chasing.
We again meet Nick Morasco, which I'm glad of, I really like him and Brenna and he work well together in a way. Brenna is definitely a tough cookie to crack and I'm so glad for the flashbacks to the previous book!!
Another amazing book from an phenomenal author.