The Dark Room

Jonathan Moore. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-0-544-78467-3
At the start of this intricate thriller from Moore (The Poison Artist), Insp. Gavin Cain of the San Francisco PD is in a Monterey County cemetery, watching the exhumation of a coffin connected to a cold case dating to the mid-1980s, when he’s abruptly reassigned. Back in San Francisco, Mayor Harry Castelli has received an anonymous letter with four photographs showing a young woman recoiling in terror, cause unknown. The letter writer suggests the mayor kill himself, or four more photos will go to the media. The exhumation, which finds two bodies in the same coffin, turns out to be linked to the blackmailing of the mayor. Later, Castelli’s art student daughter gives Cain a different photograph from the same series, which she found at age 10 in her father’s study. Moore, a terrific stylist, provides telling procedural details (a computer-expert friend helps identify the clothing and jewelry in the decades-old photos) and makes good use of the Bay Area setting. The elaborate plot, though, at times strains the reader’s ability to suspend disbelief. Agent: Alice Martell, Martell Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2016
Release date: 01/10/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-544-78419-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-455-0
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