cover image The Darkest Time of Night

The Darkest Time of Night

Jeremy Finley. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-14730-1

Lynn Roseworth, the protagonist of investigative reporter Finley’s outstanding debut, is faced with a crisis after her seven-year-old grandson, William Chance, disappears in the woods behind her Nashville home shortly before the official announcement that her husband, Sen. Tom Roseworth, is the Democratic vice-presidential candidate. Memories of her father’s warnings about the terrors of the woods haunt Lynn, especially when the only witness—William’s severely traumatized older brother, Brian—tells her that the “lights took him.” Decades earlier, Lynn worked for an astronomer at the University of Illinois who studied disappearances across the country, including one in which a similar phrase was used. She doggedly pursues explanations for what happened to William that stray from law enforcement’s theory that political enemies of Tom’s abducted the boy. Finley’s complex portrayal of his heroic lead will carry readers through plot developments that would come across as unconvincing in the hands of a lesser writer. X-Files fans will be enthralled. Agent: Paul Stevens, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (June)