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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2007
A number of gay men are going missing in West Hollywood. A young journalist called Adam Murphy begins to investigate the cases assuming that there could be a serial killer on the loose. Events are taken out of his control when his ex-boyfriend goes missing and he is sacked from the magazine where he works. Adam then hooks up with a true-crime author and tries to find out what is going on.

As most of the book is written in the first person, we follow Adam down a number of blind-alleys and false trails, which can be incredibly frustrating and makes the plot (at times) impossibly convoluted!

I was really looking forward to 'Light Before Day' having loved Rice's other two novels. This book had a similar tone and atmosphere but, for me, it never engaged me quite as much. Please set the next one back in New Orleans!

Still worth a look, but if you haven't read it I'd buy 'Density Of Souls' instead.
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on 29 February 2012
I would have given it a three and a half if I had that option. I found it a little bit confusing if I'm honest with you. It all made sense in the end but I didn't find the threads coming together as satisfying as I normally do with mystery/thriller type books. I thought the subject matter was really dark - although I wasn't especially bothered by that - and I liked the main character, even though he was clearly flawed. There was just something a little off about the writing but I can't quite put my finger on what it was.
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on 5 February 2015
amazing book,
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on 6 December 2007
This is my third Christoper Rice novel and they are all on a par with each other. Fast paced, many twists and lots of suprises, this is a thrilling read. As with the other Rice novels I have read they are perhaps too dramatic to make them totally believable but when the story is as good as this I can again forgive the author. I loved the main charachter Adam Murphy and as per usual many of the other characters are very interesting and you feel like you want to know more about them, but that helps add to the mystery.
I don't want to give anything away about the story so won't comment. I will say that like his other books once you're into it there is no way out until you have finished it and with his thrilling writing that is all too soon as I couldn't put it down!
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on 27 December 2007
I discovered Christopher Rice because, having read all Anne Rice's books as soon as they came out, I couldn't ignore his birth and existence and I did read his first book out of curiosity and I have not regretted it at all. I just got this third book when I checked the section of new crime stories in W.H. Smith in Paris, and I do not regret getting it and reading it. I guess from now on I am going to read his books for himself and I will probably call him Christopher to separate him from his mother. This book is in many ways a page turner, but I don't think that's its main characteristic nor quality. For me the main character is that it is entirely contained in one world, West Hollywood centered on the gay community there. After a few chapters you are surprised by the fact that it sounds natural, normal, banal, in other words just plain simple. The psychology, the behavior, the culture, in one word the personalities of Christopher's characters are welcoming you with a wink and a smile. You feel loved, wanted in this world, trusted as a friend. That feeling of being the friendly and nonchalant voyeur in this neighborhood puts you at ease and you just let yourself relax and enter the slit in the fabric that enables you to witness the events of this world. And what events! What fascinating events! It is a thriller, so there are crimes, but instead of feeling or even thinking that it is no surprise that these "fags" could commit such horrible crimes, you feel and think they are committing these crimes either because they are pedophiles which has nothing to do with being gay, or because they have suffered unbearable violence in their youth and gotten no help to negotiate a proper answer to it that could lead them to some peace with themselves, distance with the monster that exploited them, or because they are sick in a way or another, sick with drugs, sick with alcohol, sick with greed, and probably sick with psychological distortion, dismemberment, warping or other disturbances. You project yourself totally into the characters that are running after the criminals, be they men or women, gay or straight. It does not matter anymore. Christopher has erased the problem. Yet we must say that he takes us so deep into horror that it could be classified as some kind of horror literature though he does not want to lead us down that road and is very careful to avoid the gritty details that would make him jump over the limit. The other characteristic that is interesting is the way he follows the trail of the criminals as a journalist and not as a cop. And Christopher adds one element that even makes it more effective: the hunter or tracker if your prefer is the hunted or tracked animal too. Right to the end of the novel, the crime-hunter Adam will be the prey or at least the tracked prey and all his reasoning to determine which way to go is in fact systematically the best way to keep the criminal bird of prey on his tracks. It is not that Adam is dumb. It is because when you only know part of the truth and you try to reconstruct the whole truth in order to be ahead of the criminal you are tracking, you cannot get to the right conclusion, you may but there is never any necessity that it be true because there are always several points of view to take into account and when you are following a trail you have to choose between the low road or the high road or the middle road since you can't follow more than one at a time. So the end is also the result of some luck in a way. But it can't be avoided because Adam, due to his name, cannot be God, hence cannot be true all the time. When you close the book, you think it over and try to sum it up in one sentence and you find it very difficult. The American society, Los Angeles or California if you prefer, is leading crime to some extreme points that always amaze me and the answer to this violence and crime is too often in the hands of simple citizens either because civil society does not trust the police or because the police is far from answering at the proper level of efficiency, motivation and means. Not enough cops, conflicting police bodies and institutions, lack of interest and even at times plain bigotry against some types of victims. Is gay bashing still a legitimate sport or not? We definitely have this question in the back of our minds when we close the book. And nothing would have been possible if at least three women had not helped very effectively, and that's maybe why the book seems to be balanced and full of sanity. It is not sexually segregative.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
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on 6 April 2007
I enjoyed reading both of Rice's previous books but somehow they didn't prepare me for this one! The pace of the story was so fast that I just couldn't put it down. There are a lot of characters in the story which did lead to a little bit of confusion (and occasionally re-reading sections) but for some reason that didn't matter. The main character was very interesting and made me want to learn more about him. Once again Rice paints a vivid picture of the characters surroundings that allows you to almost fall into the plot. As for the outcome, well I didn't see it coming! A must buy, even if you haven't read his other books.
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on 18 May 2005
I have read Christopher Rice's last two novels and was eager get my hands on his latest offering. I can assure everyone that this is just as good, if not better, than them. The plot is supremely well crafted, the characters are well detailed. A story that you can completely lose yourself in. It is a taut well paced novel with a superb ending. Christopher Rice improves novel by novel - an exceptional read!
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on 29 January 2007
I eagerly anticapted the release of Christopher Rice's third book as I really enjoyed the first two but this novel was like attempting to walk through treacle. I just couldn't get into it and the fact that I felt that there were really too many characters, none of them really likeable, and the plot got a bit too complicated at times, conspired against me.
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on 8 April 2005
I got this book 4 days ago, and couldn't put it down. Great (albeit a bit disturbing) storyline, twists and turns just when you least expect them, wonderful prose, intriguing characters. I am depressed now, as it's back to waiting for his next book... If you liked his previous books, by all means get this one.
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