A Field of Darkness (Madeline Dare, Bk 1)
A Field of Darkness - Madeline Dare, Bk 1 Author:Cornelia Read Madeline Dare would be the first to tell you her money is so old there's none left. A former socialite from an aristocratic family in decline, Maddie is a tough-talking, would-be journalist exiled to the rust belt of upstate New York. Her prospects for changing her dreary lifestyle seem dim -- until a set of dog tags found at a decades-old m... more »urder site is linked to her family. Shocked into action, Maddie embarks on a search that takes her from the derelict smokestacks of Syracuse to the posh mansions of Long Island's Gold Coast. But instead of the warm refuge of home, this prodigal daughter soon uncovers dark, sinister secrets that will violently challenge everything she believes in and holds dear.« less
The title suggests a dark nature, however, the story has humor and likable characters, along with a serious mystery. It was nominated for the Edgar Aware for Best First Novel, and rightly so. Highly recommended.
Ellen H. (eeeee) reviewed A Field of Darkness (Madeline Dare, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I wasn't all that excited about the somewhat cartoony resolution of the mystery in this book, but I still thought it was an excellent read. The author does a great job creating a few very likeable characters. She manages to make a waspy debutante relatable and sympathetic to a degree that I would not have thought possible. I've already added the second book with this character to my WL.
Interesting characters pull you into the book. Enjoyed look into the life of "Old Money" families. Knew pretty much how it was gonna turn out, but enjoyed the the journey with quirky twists & turns. Great effort for first novel. Well deserving of nomination for "EDGAR" award.
#1 Madeline Dare mystery set in 1980's Syracuse, NY. Madeline is a reporter--well, she writes mostly filler pieces for the local newspaper in Syracuse, NY where she moved with her husband Dean who is an engineer, a designer, mostly roughing it working on railroads while on the side working on a device that will save a lot of time and money.
Madeline comes from old money, as in Mayflower old money--but her parents fell out of the money loop--her mother having divorced and remarried several times and her father a paranoid aging hippie living in a trailer in California. Madeline longs to be part of that inner circle again, but she's not a whiner--she just does what she has to do to get by, including living in butt-ugly Syracuse in a dismal apartment.
Then one day Dean's uncle--his family are farmers in the area near Syracuse--brings up an old unsolved mystery in which two girls who were never identified were brutally murdered, their bodies posed--and hands Madeline a set of dog tags that just happen to belong to her cousin Lapthorne--one of the moneyed set. They were found by a local farmer not far from where the girls were found but never reported to the police--and Madeline is instantly intrigued and sets out to clear her cousin's name--even though she hasn't seen him in more than ten years, he's always been one of the good guys in her eyes and she doesn't want to go to the police yet.
Her searches lead her down some dark and scary paths, with suspects suddenly falling out of the trees, and when it's obvious the killer realizes she's investigating, she begins to fear for her own safety--but is her fear misplaced? Someone close to her is leaking information, but who?
Great read! I am not a big fan of frou-frou books about people with money, but I really like Madeline, and this story was a doozie! The author also is a very dynamic writer, with certain phrases and descriptions that leap out at you and give such a sense of place and...I don't know...feeling, I guess.
This is definitely not a cozy, with lots of graphic violence and descriptions, and probably not the best choice for a "bedtime" read, but a great read just the same, especially if you like a darker type of mystery.