Synopses & Reviews
In rural England, slowly emerging from the sorrow of World War I, the peace of a small Surrey village is shattered by a murderous attack on a household that leaves five butchered bodies and no explanation for the killings. Sent by Scotland Yard to investigate is Inspector John Madden, a grave and good man who bears the emotional and physical scars from his own harrowing war experiences and from the tragic loss of his wife and child. The local police dismiss the slaughter as a robbery gone awry, but Madden and his chief inspctor detect the signs of a madman at work. With the help of Dr. Helen Blackwell, who introduces Madden to the latest developments in criminal psychology and who opens his heart again to the possibility of love, Madden sets out to identify and capture the killer, even as the murderer sets his sights on his next innocent victims.
"A smart and suspenseful period thriller from 'a major talent.'" Chicago Tribune
"It's the tactics and terrain, the morale and the characters that make the difference between an average thriller and one as good as this. Airth has balanced savagery and civilization neatly, and given civilization just the barest edge." New York Times Book Review
"[E]xcruciatingly suspenseful plot. In addition, his deft handling of the emotional aftereffects of war gives the work an added sense of purpose." Library Journal
"[N]ail-biting narrative that generates terrific suspense....A fine, frightening piece of work." Kirkus Reviews
"An edge-of-the-seat serial-killer thriller set against a skillfully evoked backdrop of war-wounded England. Compelling stuff." Robert Goddard, author of the Edgar nominee Beyond Recall
Airth offers a powerful debut novel set in rural England just after World War I. Sent by Scotland Yard to investigate a murderous attack in a small Surrey village, Inspector John Madden's job is to identify and capture the killer a demented former soldier with a bloody past.
About the Author
Rennie Airth was born in South Africa and worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters for many years. River of Darkness was inspired by a scrapbook about his uncle, a soldier killed in World War I.