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River of Darkness [Paperback]

4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first Rennie Airth novel and it was an engaging read. I enjoyed the author's detailed and crafted writing and plan to pick up another of his books in the near future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Running River July 14 2010
By Dave and Joe TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I happened upon this series by accident. I enjoy historical mysteries and thrillers so the book was a good bet. I don't like reviewing plots as I hate having the story given away and won't do that for others. I will tell you that the book is well and smoothly written, a real pleasure to read. The plot is engaging and the mystery continues even after the killer is revealed. I enjoyed the book right to the last page. If you like mysteries, history and a thrill ride - I think you'll like the book. I've already moved on to the next in the series, I came to care for the characters and was please to know that I could meet them again in the pages of the next in the series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Survival takes many forms Sept. 17 2007
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The setting for this novel is a post World War I Britain: still reeling from the combined effects of war and the influenza epidemic of 1918.

A local family in Surrey has been massacred in what appears to be a robbery gone wrong. Enter Inspector John Madden, a veteran of the trenches, who has lost his wife and young daughter to in the influenza epidemic.

This is Rennie Airth's debut novel, and provides an insight into the emotional after effects of war and personal loss together with an exploration of then contemporary psychiatric theory to try to understand, explain and predict the killer's behaviour.

Well developed characters and tight plotting make this an enjoyable, albeit suspenseful, read.

Highly recommended

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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5.0 out of 5 stars River Of Darkness/A Friendly Favorite Sept. 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was captivated by John Madden of Scotland Yard, a damaged
veteran of WWI, the sinister killer and most especially Madden's
love interest, Dr. Helen Blackwell. Fine romantic descriptions
of their passion for each other amidst the sinister deceptions
of the villain. Indeed, John Madden was a lucky dog! I'm trying
to locate the author's two earlier works, Snatch, and Once a
Spy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious river of tedium May 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rennie Airth's "River of Darkness" is an ambitious book. it wants to be a good psychological thriller while also being a good post World War I novel. Well, that fails. The psychology is sound, as the hero, John Madden, learns of what could be driving the killer. Madden is a haunted widower who is also scarred mentally from war. His love interest is also scarred in her own way, and she is also unconviningly forward with Madden. It seems so out of place. The history here is the best part. Airth does get the zeitgeist of 1920s Britain right. His characters, on the other hand, are flat and boring. The killer, who we meet early, is a one-trick pony. That really isn't interesting. Predictable maiden-in-distress as climax, and very predictable ending.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fine English Crime Novel March 28 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well-plotted with romantic characters. Set after the First World War in rural England without being stodgy. Would make a great A&E Mystery mini-series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical English Mystery Aug. 17 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been reading mysteries for over 35 years and happened upon this one at Amazon.com through a book list recommendation. After finishing this book I'm looking for anything else this author has written. I want to know more about Inspector Madden's past, present and future. His setting in post WWI England is a window to a time not so long ago but forgotten in this techno-world we live in today. While I am quite comfortable living in today, I am curious about this period of time and the attitudes of a people who survived being bombed in two major wars. One has to respect the courage of a people who picked up their lives and "got on with it". So you're getting more than an English whodoneit...but you won't be disappointed in the mystery either. There is more than the usual graphic detail but in order to be truly appalled and terrified by the mind of the killer, you need to look through Madden's eyes and see the horror of a man turned monster.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Mystery - Well Done July 6 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Superb characters, excellent atmosphere, and fine writing highlight this wonderful English mystery. The shadow of WWI hangs heavy over this story of psychological suspense and the pain of the survivors is thoughtfully addressed. A sensitive, exciting, and immensely interesting novel that will not disappoint. First Rate!
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