Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hello, Darkness - Sandra Brown

Summary: A person who lives and works in darkness and seclusion. Someone who is reluctant to interact with other people except by telephone. A life so contained that even daylight is shunned.

For reasons that come to light — pun intended — in the book, Paris Gibson works alone each night in a remote radio station. Although her late night show has high ratings and a loyal audience, she is known to her listeners only by her smoky, provocative voice. They confide to her their most private thoughts, their triumphs and failures, but Paris carefully guards her own personal life.

When a listener who goes by the coy name of Valentino calls her one night and tells her about the violent act he’s about to commit, she is thrust into a high-profile police investigation. It’s commandeered by Dean Malloy — the one person who knows the secret behind Paris’s fiercely protected privacy. (summary from sandrabrown.com - image from ebookstore.sony.com)

My review: Paris Gibson is half a woman. She comes to life every night when she goes on-air for a local radio station. Playing smooth hits and loves songs seems to allow her to escape the realities of her existence. For seven years she has been paying a debt to a man she was planning to marry. Staying by his bed after a horrible accident, one that leaves him deep in a coma, she does her penance, day after day...

Seven years later he dies and, as she begins taking baby steps to heal, a late night phone call from a madman turns her life upside down. He says, not only is he holding a young woman captive but that he intends to kill her in 72 hours and then come after Paris. After a call to her local men in blue, Paris finds herself face to face with her past. Police psychologist and former friend of Paris' fiance, Dean Malloy delves into the case with intensity, turning up evidence of teenage sex circles and internet pornography along the way.

As in so many of Browns novels there is tentative romance and ugly secrets that begin to emerge. I did enjoy this novel, it was kind of a comfort book for me. I have read almost all of Brown's books and knew with some certainty that she would give me a good scare, but put me back in place with a happy ending.

I cannot say that this is any where near my favorite book of hers. I was extremely weirded out by the "sex club" stuff , as well as the extreme profanity used throughout the book. I am very open to using those words when and if they are necessary, but this seemed fairly excessive.

For anyone who likes a good mystery, pick it up and give it a try. But, if you are looking for something original or with twists and surprises....this is not it. It is predictable, and yet, I found myself wondering if maybe by some chance she was going to throw me off and stir the pot on my happy ending. I guess any author that can make you wonder, even after SO many books, is worthy of praise.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Sum it up: Another on the list of my "chicken soup books", familiar feelings of suspense and romance that doesn't disappoint.

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