River of Darkness Paperback – 30 Jun 2009
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"It's the tactics and the terrain, the morale and the characters that make the difference between an average thriller and one as good as this." Christopher Dickey, The New York Times Book Review
"One of the best mysteries I have read in years." The Boston Globe
"Airth writes with arresting authority and compassion...a major talent." Chicago Tribune
"All the familiar elements of suspense writing are given an unusual and satisfying twist in this grim and fascinating thriller the initial volume of a promised series...A fine, frightening piece of work." Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Readers who are looking for smart, well-plotted psychological mysteries will be delighted." Booklist" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The classic thriller from Rennie Airth now available on CD --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I've decided to give the book four stars on account of it being enjoyable enough. I've deducted one star for the use of clichés.
River Of Darkness is a well researched novel which deals sensitively with what we now call PTSD and then called nightmares. The horrors of trench warfare and its aftermath obviously play a large part in any serious novel set in the earlies 20s and whilst the descriptions are graphic they are not gratuitous or sensationalist. Both John Madden and the killer, Amos Pike, have come through the war alive but not unscathed. This is not a spoiler as Mr Airth gives us glimpses of his thought processes and actions from early on in the novel.
On the whole I enjoyed River Of Darkness which has an interesting premise, a good plot and likeable characters. There is no hint of the pastiche I was semi-expecting, just a straightforward police procedural. It is interesting to see the detectives dabbling with the new science of psychoanalysis but having to hide it from the hidebound hierarchy of Scotland Yard and the paucity of their technical resources. I also enjoyed their skirmishes with "Sampson Of The Yard" who tries to undermine their investigation and new fangled methods in an attempt to step in and claim the glory. Fictional police politics never change. I wasn't particularly convinced by John and Helen's romance which seems a bit modern.Read more ›
The writing is great, the puzzles are great, the detection is great, and the detective himself - first world war veteran john madden, a haunted and thoughtful man - is a wonderful lead characer to read about (even if his very quick-to-form relationship with someone connected to the case seems a little forced and unreal). The secondary officers are also a pleasure to spend time with. The plot moves smoothly, has some nice twists and misdirections, and also has some very shocking, tragic moments. There are superb tensions created, and Airth doesn't spare his readers much at all throughout the course of the book. Really, I can't recommend it enough. It's a satisfying, involving read, and a very good crime novel indeed. I will be very happy to buy and read the second and - imminent - third in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to enjoy
A good holiday read. Liked the individual characters, a great hero a nasty violin, what more do you need!
Careful build-up of plot leading the denouement- but with a twist. It was the characterization that caught my attention, though. Read morePublished 3 months ago by maureenhsa
Fabulous book. I read a lot of crime fiction and this is a book so good it deserves six stars. Heartily recommended for all fans of the genre.Published 10 months ago by D. J. CROZIER
To describe this book as a thriller is a massive understatement ! I could not put it down, well rounded characters and a truly riveting plot. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mo Taylor
One of my favourite seriesof recent years. Vintage detective drama (not a whodunnit) mixed with modern a degree of modern violence. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2014 by Dkane