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2 Stars Out Of 5
January 28, 2013
To say I was disappointed in this book is an understatement. While the story line setting dating back to Vietnam and the consequences of what happened by our soldiers in one town was an interesting idea, Mr. Graham seemed to feel the need to lace his book liberally with profanity. The hero dies, unsaved, the heroine goes off into the sunset, still not committed to Christ, the references to God were token and the saving work of Christ nil. I was also disturbed by the fact that of all those publishers/authors who gave commendations of this book in the beginning, none of them were Christian, just secular. Perhaps Mr. Graham would be better served by marketing his media to such and not to the Christian market. Would not recommend.
Dare I say that this is one of the best suspense books I've read so far this year?
Joshua Graham has a masterful grasp of the English language, using it to execute a sizzling tale that grabbed me from the first chapter and catapulted me through to the fantastic conclusion. His descriptions are so vivid that the scenes played like a movie in my mind, and he expertly moved from the different viewpoints of the characters to unveil the plot at a rapid pace. Darkroom is absolutely action-packed, drawing upon my favourite plot elements of supernatural occurrences, haunting secrets, political maneuvering, murder, conspiracies, and spirituality, all tangled up in one explosive ride. Although I have read other novels where I found the flashing between different character's first-person narratives to be utterly confusing, Graham uses such a technique to expert effect here, and I didn't find this at all detracted from the story.
As I was devouring the story, I kept asking myself why this is the first time I've read a Joshua Graham book? Well, I will certainly be changing that in the future, because the author has earned a place on my "must read" list. The story is entertaining, the characters are complex and intriguing, and I turned the last page looking forward to seeing more of Xandra Carrick in the coming books from this talented author.
Well done, Joshua Graham! Darkroom is a highly recommended read, and receives 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been freely provided courtesy of the publisher, Howard Books, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
Graham has crafted a novel with intense action from start to finish.
Xandra Carrick is following in her father's footsteps. He was a photographer embedded with the army in Viet Nam. What he saw there he has kept hidden for 35 years. Xandra is a well known photojournalist for a national newspaper. She has traveled the world, photographing the anguish of humanity in turmoil.
The novel opens as Xandra and her father go back to Viet Nam to spread the ashes of her mother. She has taken with her the old film camera her father used all those years ago. Back in New York, she begins to develop the film. As each print of the Viet Nam landscape emerges, she sees momentary images. Death.
She is stunned, overwhelmed by what she is sure her father saw and photographed. She experiments with the camera, taking photos of the park near her apartment. When she develops the photos of the park pond, she momentarily sees a body.
Then the nightmare begins. When she attempts to anonymously report the possibility of a body in the pond, the police come to her and shortly arrest her for the murder.
The situation only gets worse. A senator, running as an independent, will stop at nothing to assure he is elected president. That includes keeping hidden the slaughter he condoned in Viet Nam. Xandra quickly rises to the top of his list of those needing to be silenced - permanently.
This novel has intense action, nearly continuous. At times I had to tell my self to breath - it's only a novel. This fast paced novel has political intrigue, strained family dynamics, and romance. It explores the horrors of war along side that of a warped man bent on political power. It touches on the supernatural, the move of the Spirit revealing truth through visions. Will the truth somehow be brought out to the open before evil quenches it entirely?
If you like political intrigue and high suspense, this novel is for you. It will capture you early on and not let you go until the last page.
There is a discussion guide included.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.