Eighteen years ago a murder case shattered not only the victims family but that of Police Chief Nalen Storrow. Fourteen-year-old Melissa DAgostino was found murdered, and while there were some suspects, no one was ever arrested. What no one knew at the time was that Chief Storrow had found evidence, pointing in the direction of his own houseand his teenage son Billy. Despondent and emotionally tortured, Chief Storrow committed suicide.

When Melissas father dies, Chief Storrows daughter, Rachel, now a detective on the Flowering Dogwood, Maine police force reopens the haunting murder case. Looking over the investigation started by her father, Rachel discovers that her brother Billy was questioned. Did Billy know more than he said at the time?

Murder from the past is suddenly supplanted by a vicious new murder. Teacher Claire Castillo disappears from her home only to be discovered later horribly disfigured and on the verge of death. Who would do such a sadistic thing and why Claire? When Claire's teenage sister Nicole and her boyfriend Dinger disappear as well, Rachel fears more death may be on the horizon. In order to find the motive for murder, Rachel will have to look to the past.

DARKNESS PEERING is a spectacularly chilling debut by a hot new voice in dark suspense. Ms. Blanchard weaves an unrelentingly twisted and haunted tale of treachery and murder. (Sept. 352pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith