Synopses & Reviews
In California's Central Valley, an explosion of white-hot methamphetamine rips through a trailer, its blinding flash killing a dedicated schoolteacher in search of a student whose life is in danger...
In West Hollywood, a young reporter discovers that a Marine helicopter pilot visited the gay ghetto just days before he sent his chopper spiraling into the Pacific Ocean...
And in the wilds of California's Coast Ranges, a mercilessly angry young woman pursues the mythic killer she believes has murdered her mother...
So begins Light Before Day, a dark new thriller of revenge and sexual obsession from New York Times best-selling author Christopher Rice.
Twenty-six-year-old journalist Adam Murphy is chasing a career-making story when he is suspiciously fired by the magazine that employs him. Scarred by the failure of a recent relationship, and haunted by the violent death of his alcoholic mother, Adam finds himself cut adrift in the city of West Hollywood. Determined to expose the facts behind the suicide of the Marine pilot, he discovers that his estranged lover has vanished without a trace, and that his disappearance matches several other recent missing persons cases. Working with his new boss, James Wilton a famously curmudgeonly mystery novelist with his own battle scars, who is eager for a new case to write about Adam begins to suspect a serial killer is preying on the city's young gay men.
Meanwhile, Caroline Hughes, an intense young surgical resident, scours central California, also seeking a serial killer: an avenger of such legendary violence he seems more demon than man.
The truth that Adam, Caroline, and James Wilton discover is far more diabolical than they could ever have imagined.
From the mansion-strung Hollywood Hills to the drug-ravaged hamlets of the Central Valley, they enter a labyrinth that leads to the darkest core of the human heart uncovering a conspiracy so extraordinary that it threatens both their sanity and their lives.
Light Before Day is a riveting and complex mystery set within a gothic twenty-first-century landscape that Rice makes his own.
"A 20-something magazine reporter becomes embroiled in a Hollywood murder mystery in Rice's (The Snow Garden
) third, richly developed thriller. It's a blessing in disguise when Adam Murphy is fired from racy fluff rag Glitz,
since he'd been chasing a real story involving a closeted Marine helicopter pilot, Daniel Brady, whose association with a pedophilic pimp produced a sordid videotape that led to Daniel's suicide plane crash. But Adam's still reeling from the demise of a heated, three-week affair with hunky but secretive Corey, who'd outgrown Adam's blackout-inducing drunkenness. Adam soon becomes the assistant to sharp, sarcastic straight mystery novelist James Wilton, who instructs Adam to continue researching Daniel Brady. One of Rice's most spirited characters, James consistently counteracts Adam's hyperactive enthusiasm with candor and a sensible 'working theory,' and when Corey disappears, Adam discovers that three other gay men have inexplicably vanished over the past few years, supposed victims of the West Hollywood Slasher. Armed with a dossier from a trustworthy Hollywood reporter, Adam sets out to solve the crime that swells into blackmail, murder, a child porn ring and a subplot involving a 'rogue assassin' who blows up methamphetamine labs. Though this is a step up from the author's previous efforts, Rice has yet to leave behind the sometimes awkward prose and dialogue (which veers between frivolous and woodenly expository) that dampens the narrative tension he cultivates. Agent, Lynn Nesbit. 12-city author tour. (Mar. 16)
" Publishers Weekly
(Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Rice's latest is a complex mystery that should please his many fans." Kristine Huntley, Booklist
"Rice's third and best still bears the flaws of A Density of Souls
(2000) and The Snow Garden
(2002). The young author concocts a gay mystery in West Hollywood that has echoes of Chandler
but none of Chandler's grip or stylish metaphor." Kirkus Reviews
"Rice's prose is strong, with a steady, unassuming economy that sets him apart from his frequently flowery mom
....[A] rather exciting innovation on a classic formula: a genuinely hardboiled thriller that also happens to be gay." The Portland Mercury
"Unlikely to win Rice many new readers, this disturbing story should still be popular with his established fans." Library Journal
"Fabulous. Stealthy as a desert wind and deadly as a knife a book of the year." Lee
Child, New York Times best-selling author of The Enemy
"A richly painted, viciously paced tale...Light Before Day
is at once a compelling piece of crime fiction and a cultural take on gay West Hollywood and its dark undercurrents. In his most assured novel to date, Christopher Rice skillfully reveals a labyrinth of deadly secrets and horrifying surprises, each more shocking than the last." Gregg Hurwitz, best-selling author of The Kill Clause and The Program
In his most powerful and compelling novel to date, the New York Times bestselling author pens a riveting and complex story of an elusive serial killer and a labyrinth of revenge and sexual obsession.
About the Author
Christopher Rice is the author of the New York Times best-sellers A Density of Souls and The Snow Garden and writes a regular column for the Advocate. He lives in Los Angeles.