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The Birth of a New Moon [Paperback]

Laurie R. King
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Sep 1999

‘Brilliantly written, intriguing and wholly absorbing’ T. J. Binyon, Evening Standard

Anne Waverly, university lecturer and sometime FBI consultant, lives with the curse of a tragic past – the horrific deaths of her husband and beloved daughter Abby in a mass suicide pact. No one knows what she has suffered better than Glen McCarthy, an FBI expert in cult behaviour.

As a professor of new religious movements, Anne is called on by McCarthy over the years to help solve certain FBI cases, and Anne, in an attempt to atone for the long-ago tragedy, has never refused him. Until now.

But Anne finds she can’t say no to this particular case: a religious community out in the desert that looks as though it has the seeds of dangerous fervour. Slowly Anne works her way into the life of the community, and there meets two children, one of whom reminds her strongly of Abby, her dead daughter, and suddenly she finds herself involved at a level that could be fatal…



Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (20 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006510795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006510796
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,161,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Award-winning author of A Grave Talent, Laurie King is fast establishing herself as one of the most gifted contemporary crime writers. The Birth of a New Moon is her sixth novel, and signals something of a departure from her two popular series: the "Kate Martinelli" and the "Mary Russell" novels. This book introduces Anne Waverly, Professor of Religious Movements and sometime consultant to the FBI, who takes on the task of infiltrating the "Change" community--a religious cult which may, or may not, be about to degenerate into a bloodbath. The tension of this strange, often compelling book derives from that uncertainty, and the gradual characterisation of Waverly's complex involvement--past and present--with new religions. For a thriller, the pace of the novel is remarkably restrained, even slow. King is keen to dwell on the mundane detail of the everyday, to compile her story as if she were building a profile, weaving a set of connections between the form of her novel (its seven sections correspond to seven stages of alchemical reaction) and its themes: the crucible of personal and collective change, the lure of cult religion and, above all, the multiple "characters" of Anne Waverly--Professor, infiltrator, heroine. --Vicky Lebeau --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘Intelligent and disturbing… As thoughtful as it is tense, this is a thriller to bring a chill to the heart’
Val McDermid

‘If there is a new P. D. James… I would put my money on Laurie King’
Boston Globe

‘Pacy, skilfully layered narrative, notable for its wit, affection and unflashy know-how’
Literary Review (of With Child)

‘Original, and subtle’
Evening Standard (of To Play the Fool)


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written 29 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Picked up this book by chance in my local library. I was totally hooked from the first page. You felt like you were right there beside Anne during the book. It was tense, emotional and full of suspense through out. Eagerly awaiting Laurie King's next book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTER OF PROSE AND SUSPENSE! 8 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first book by Laurie King I've read - her prose is amazing - as a writer (Helen Santos Mysteries - JB Book), I had to stop, catch my breath, and say out loud 'wow!'. Laurie King's prose is detailed, but amazingly sharp. The strenght of her novel is also due to the fact that she has chosen an unsual protagonist, a woman in her late forties, early fifties with an amazing physical, philosophical and intellectual stemina! This book is a must for anyone who gets turned on by fantastic prose and the intriguing world of cults. Fascinating and page-turning.
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1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 9 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
The book is fairly entertaining up until Anne goes to England... after that everything just falls apart and the ending is really disappointing. I was expecting much more.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plan to do Nothing Else That Day... 7 Mar 2000
By Amy Steinberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was one of Laurie King's best written works...and she's no slug to begin with. Her heroine is so very human, full of inconsistencies and faults, but so brave and ready to sacrifice herself for innocents that you find yourself admiring her even if you wish you didn't. I was mesmerized by the book. I wanted so very badly for all to end well - my idea of "well", which would be for Anne to survive and adopt both children and live happpily ever after. This is, of course, not exactly Laurie King's style. So I began to experience a sense of forboding, that went something like this - ohmygod, don't tell me she's going to die, that would be so unfair, that would be so awful, ohmygod, don't let those kids die, that would be so unfair...well, you get the picture. And I read faster and faster, hoping for the best, because I certainly wasn't going to get to sleep until I KNEW.
And after all that agony and suspense, the ending was NOT GRATIFYING. It didn't fulfill my worst fears, nor my fondest hopes. It was, in fact, a bit on the lukewarm side, which was quite surprising since the book absolutely sizzled until the very last paragraph! Laurie, wherever you are, I would have given a lot for an "afterword" telling us what happened to Anne and the kids! (And I'd love to read a sequel!)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Published in the US as "A Darker Place" 22 April 2011
By BlueWillowDishes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In looking at Amazon's catalog of Laurie R. King's published works, I got very excited when I saw this new title. I loved the Anne Waverly character in "A Darker Place" and hoped for another book featuring her. However, after some research, I found that "A Darker Place" was published in the UK as "The Birth of a New Moon" in 1999. SIGH -- Oh well! I'll just have to wait until "The Pirate's Curse" with Mary Russell is published later this year.

Mary
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the "cultist's" point of view 17 July 2000
By K. Salmon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading the reviews, I realized that this is a book of hers I have read. I don't do titles on the memory chache... I was interested in seeing that other people found flaws where I found gratifying realities in the book.
Anne Waverly is a very believable character to me, at 43, and a long time member of one of those "odd" cults. (I am of the Wicca.) I found her outsider's view very consistent with that of many others I have known that have tried to understand WHY I am what I am.
It has to do with emotions, the physical alchemy is supposed to be allegorical, but I know many hollow people who cannot handle the multi-tiered reality we work with and therefore desperately try to find a physical manifestation that will fill the need they have.
The criticism of the ending of the book surprised me. Whether Anne survives or not is not germane to the needs that drove her there and the resolution she obtained. The end is implicit in the beginning. I won't spoil it, but that IS the ending of that part of her story. Anything else that may happen will be another woman, another story.
Honestly, I hope Laurie revisits her. How she changes and does would be a very interesting story.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Laurie King 24 Aug 2009
By Jan L. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read all of Laurie's Mary Russell books, and all of her Kate Martinelli books and Folly....Folly went with me on last years vacation and I chose Birth of A New Moon for this years vacation...because I knew it would be something I could sink my teeth into....I trust Laurie R. King's writing to keep me interested and keep me guessing. I wasn't disapointed. Having become so familiar with Russell and Martinelli, their ins and outs, it was different and exciting to delve into Anne Waveryly. I found her very complex. I think it's interesting to read a character who isn't young, who isn't particularly beautiful, but has courage in spades, who has something to give even if you have to drag it out of her. I found her relationship with the FBI guy really intriguing. I admired her for holding together to come out the far side of the tradgedy she endured. I found her thoughts about the boy were kind of right on the money. Being a mother of boys, I thought King's character development of Jason, the way he opened up slowly was enriching. Alchemy isn't a subject I'd go out of my way to find out about, but, I can see somebody like the character's in the book believing that they can in fact do what no one else has been able to do, and covering up the fact that they can't...and who doesn't know that people who are at loose ends would grab at something like living in that compoud of people...or that they could live within a cult/religion and not necessesarily know what the leaders true or ulterior motives are. Anyway. I loved the book, couldn't put it down in fact. I was happy with the ending and didn't think that Laurie needed to take it a step futher than she did.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A realization 13 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Laurie R. King's books always weaves an interesting view of religion with her protagonist. Again with Ann, she has created a view of a religion (and yes to the reviewer who thought it was fake and no intelligent person would remain a member of this group, it is a religion). Her background in Religious Studies is a huge factor in the amplification of the credibility in her writing and enchants the reader to the end of the novel. Her book keeps the reader of the edge of their seat and has so many strengths in the way she details scenes to paint a picture in your mind. This novel is a must read and I encourage all to partake in it.
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