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Light Before Day Hardcover – Unabridged, March 16, 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A 20-something magazine reporter becomes embroiled in a Hollywood murder mystery in Rice's (The Snow Garden) third, richly developed thriller. It's a blessing in disguise when Adam Murphy is fired from racy fluff rag Glitz, since he'd been chasing a real story involving a closeted Marine helicopter pilot, Daniel Brady, whose association with a pedophilic pimp produced a sordid videotape that led to Daniel's suicide plane crash. But Adam's still reeling from the demise of a heated, three-week affair with hunky but secretive Corey, who'd outgrown Adam's blackout-inducing drunkenness. Adam soon becomes the assistant to sharp, sarcastic straight mystery novelist James Wilton, who instructs Adam to continue researching Daniel Brady. One of Rice's most spirited characters, James consistently counteracts Adam's hyperactive enthusiasm with candor and a sensible "working theory," and when Corey disappears, Adam discovers that three other gay men have inexplicably vanished over the past few years, supposed victims of the West Hollywood Slasher. Armed with a dossier from a trustworthy Hollywood reporter, Adam sets out to solve the crime that swells into blackmail, murder, a child porn ring and a subplot involving a "rogue assassin" who blows up methamphetamine labs. Though this is a step up from the author's previous efforts, Rice has yet to leave behind the sometimes awkward prose and dialogue (which veers between frivolous and woodenly expository) that dampens the narrative tension he cultivates. Agent, Lynn Nesbit. 12-city author tour. (Mar. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Rice's third novel is a departure from the eerie gothic atmosphere of his first two novels, A Density of Souls (2000) and The Snow Garden (2002). Like the previous ones, this is a mystery--a pure West Coast mystery, set in West Hollywood, where 26-year-old Adam Murphy toils for the fluffy gay men's magazine, Glitz. Adam is desperately in search of a real story that will launch his career, and he thinks he has found his ticket when he learns that Daniel Brady, a marine who died in a helicopter crash, was cruising around with Scott Koffler, a sleazy man who procures teen boys for older gay men, just days before his death. Adam is immediately suspicious--Brady was piloting the helicopter when it crashed, and Adam thinks it may have been suicide. When his investigations into Scott's business cost him his job at Glitz, Adam takes a job as an assistant to thriller- and true-crime-writer James Wilton, who is intrigued by the Brady case as well. But when Adam's ex-boyfriend, Corey, goes missing, Adam begins to learn that both he and Corey are more involved in the case than he first thought. Rice's latest is a complex mystery that should please his many fans. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Light before Day
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; 1st edition (March 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401300391
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401300395
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have to confess that Christopher Rice's latest book left me a little bit disappointed. It seems that in this book, Rice was striving to write something more complex - perhaps a bit too complex for his own good. While it seemed in his first two novels that he dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's, this novel left me with significant questions throughout.

It was rather difficult to keep track of all the characters and how they were related to each other. Not only that: it seems that Rice declined to fully explain certain plotlines that were essential to the the story, or refused to follow them to a logical conclusion. Characters seemed to be appearing and disappearing at all the wrong points, and it was slightly anti-climactic that the reader neglects to even meet more than one character who seemed essential to the plot. There was too much of the main character and so much wild speculation that the end left me wondering which one of the characters' ever-changing theories was correct; too much was given in bits and pieces over numerous chapters that it was difficult to realize the big picture. Too many things seemed to only be added in as an afterthought and were not, in my opinion, addressed or explained aqequately at the end. While the story was full of intrigue and action, it seemed that the end of each subplot was too abrupt and lacked the impact that his previous books provided. The ending, overall, didn't pack as much of a punch as either of his previous books, or as the action in the rest of the novel would have suggested.

This is not to say that I didn't enjoy the novel. It was a very enjoyable read overall, though a work that was by no means flawless.
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Format: Hardcover
First off I want to say I consider myself a Christopher Rice fan. One of my all time favorite books ever was A Density of Souls. I got many of my friends to read it and they loved it as well - great characters, great story, great ending, and just great writing. I enjoyed The Snow Garden as well (other than the unrealistic "sex cult" part).

I was so excited for Light Before Day to come out and I was first in line at the bookstore on the day of it's release. What a disappointment. It ended up being one of those books that you force yourself to get though just to say you finished it. I found it hard to follow, too complex, and way too many characters. I am a college educated professional, yet I found myself confused and not following. I had to keep going back and rereading stuff to figure out who was who and who said what. Maybe the genre just wasn't for me, but the story and the mystery was so involved and complex (and again a bit unrealistic) that I found myself losing interest. By the end of the book I didn't care anymore what happened to the characters or how each of the pieces fit together. I was just reading to get through it and I was relieved when it was over, whereas with A Density of Souls I was sad when it was over. A Density of Souls left me wanting more and wanting to find out what happened next with the characters. It just surprised me how I could go from a book that I loved, to a book that I had to force myself to get through - both from the same author. Sorry Chris.

Keep bringing us more emotional, realistic stories with great characters like in A Density of Souls and we will stick by you forever.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third time I have read Light Before Day by Christopher Rice and I enjoy it more each time I have read it. This novel happens to be the very first novel I read by Mr. Rice and I am glad I didn't listen to the bookstore clerk who told me not to buy it. I loved it from the moment I began reading and this book has made me a fan of his work.

Light Before Day is an intriguing tale of mystery and murder. The young journalist, Adam Murphy, has not only uncovered the story of a life time but discovers he is involved in it as well.

The imagery is so vividly described that I dreamed of walking through the lushly described landscapes on the first night of reading it again. The story itself is a thrill ride guaranteed to make your heart race as you wonder what twist lies beyond the next page. The characters are delightfully rendered and unique as well as being vividly described. It is easy to love them and hate them at the same time, and some characters you can't help but love to hate them. I can see where these topics of homosexuality, child rape, child porn and ephebophiles are disturbing to many but the book does not deserve the criticism it has received.

When I first read the novel I did not know much about the meth industry and the effect the drug has on people and their families. Now I have family members succumbing to its deadly pitfalls and this novel effected me more this time because of their addiction. Mr. Rice has captured (rather eloquently) what they have gone through and the family victimization they have inflicted.

I would not consider this a book written solely for a gay audience but I feel the reader needs to be open minded about homosexuality. I would recommend Light Before Day to any open minded adult who enjoys a thrilling murder mystery.
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