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To Darkness and to Death (Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries)by J Spencer Fleming
Synopses & Reviews
The Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry and Macavity Award-winning author delivers another suspenseful tale of faith and murder featuring the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ van Alstyne
Julia Spencer-Fleming raises the stakes in the fourth entry in her best-selling series set in the quiet town of Millers Kill, New York. Taking a cue from the smash hit television series, "24," the thrilling plot of her latest plays out over a single day. An early morning missing persons report sends Chief van Alstyne scrambling to one of the last great Adirondack summer estates. One of the heirs to a fortune is missing amidst evidence of foul play. As Clare and Russ race against time to solve the mystery, an unseen hand seeks to foil the search, destroy key evidence, and destroy the searchers as well. As the tension ratchets up, will Russ and Clare succeed in keeping their growing bond a secret from others, or even from themselves?
It's a complex, atmospheric mystery from Julia Spencer-Fleming, a writer who's latest effort is sure to please the dedicated and growing following of this masterful series.
"Set during a single day, Agatha-winner Spencer-Fleming's explosive fourth mystery (after 2004's Out of the Deep I Cry) takes Rev. Clare Fergusson and Millers Kill, N.Y., police chief Russ Van Alstyne far from the tranquility offered by the Anglican services of morning prayer, Order for Noonday and Evensong. A phone call at 5:15 on a cold November morning leads Clare — ex-army helicopter pilot and rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church — to join the local search and rescue team to look for the missing sister of recluse Eugene van der Hoeven, head of the 250,000-acre Haudenosaunee estate. On a day when she should be at St. Alban's preparing for the bishop's annual visit, Clare finds herself involved with Russ in an investigation involving brutal beatings, kidnapping and murder. As the day unfolds, Clare and Russ are compelled to examine their own relationship when the diocesan deacon arrives early to discuss a 'serious matter' with Clare. Given her seminary training and her army background, it's not surprising that Clare deals with all that comes her way with energy, expertise, sensitivity and humor. Spencer-Fleming has brought alive the people and environs of Millers Kill in another riveting mystery. Agent, Jimmy Vines. (July 7)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alystyne make a fresh and unusual detective partnership... I always welcome Clare's impetuous but wise take on the world around her." Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski novels
"Add harrowing tension a la TV's '24' to Julia Spencer-Fleming's always lyrical prose and beautifully drawn characters, and you have one of the year's must reads! Spencer-Fleming has topped an already shining series with this fourth outing." Deborah Crombie, award-winning author of Dreaming of the Bones and In a Dark House
This is the fourth in the series featuring a female priest and the chief of police in an Upstate New York town.
Saturday, November 14, 5:00 A.M.
In the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill, an old lumberman sits in the dark with his gun across his knees. Not far away, an unemployed logger sleeps off his bender from the night before. The owner of the town's last paper mill tosses in his bed. And a young woman, one of three heirs to the 250,000-acre Great Camp, wakes alone in darkness, bound and gagged.
Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne wants nothing more than a quiet day of hunting in the mountains on his fiftieth birthday. His wife needs to have the town's new luxury resort ready for its gala opening night. The Reverend Clare Fergusson expects to spend the day getting St. Alban's Church ready for the bishop's annual visit. Her long-distance suitor from New York expects some answers about their relationship during his weekend in town.
In Millers Kill, where everyone knows everyone and all are part of an interconnected web of blood or acquaintance, one person's troubles have a way of ensnaring others. What begins as a simple case of a woman lost in the woods leads to a tangle of revenge, blackmail, assault, kidnapping, and murder. As the hours tick by, Russ and Clare struggle to make sense of their town's plunge into chaos---and their own chaotic emotions.
Something terrible waits in the ice-rimed mountains cradling Millers Kill. Something that won't be content with just one death---or two. . .
Julia Spencer-Fleming continues her moving story of the way a small town, as well as a great city, can harbor evil, and the struggle of two honest people to deal with the ever-present threat of their feelings for one another.
Millicent van der Hoeven has decided to sell her family's Adirondack estate to a nature conservancy. But on the day of the land transfer, her brother frantically calls the police. Millie has disappeared in the cold November forest…
Reverend Clare Fergusson gets an early morning phone call to join the Millers Kill search and rescue operation. As a former Army helicopter pilot trained in survival skills, she can't refuse the request—even though it's the day of the bishop's annual visit. Worse for Clare, the search operation will link her up with Russ Van Alstyne, the very married local police chief who is her greatest temptation. Now, as Clare and Russ race time to find Millie van der Hoeven, they soon discover the secrets of someone who is desperate to stop the sale...and a deadly madness waiting to destroy them all.
To Darkness and to Death is a stunning mystery from award-winning author Julia Spencer-Fleming.
About the Author
Julia Spencer-Fleming was born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base and spent most of her childhood on the move as an army brat. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in a 185-year-old farmhouse outside of Portland, Maine, with three children, two dogs, and one husband.
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