Darkness on the Edge of Town Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Darkness on the Edge of Town

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, a police procedural, centers around a case involving the death of a fourteen-year-old girl. The location of the body, the way it is dressed and posed, suggests she just might be the victim of a serial killer -- an internet sexual predator.
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Laura Cardinal is a criminal investigator and a lead detective in the case. In the rustic town of Bisbee, Arizona, Laura finds herself pitted against an envious female law enforcement officer and this woman's boss, a man who conducts his own investigation. After consulting with a wealthy quadriplegic super-hacker regarding internet sexual predators, Laura follows a lead across the country to a sleepy town on the Florida panhandle.

The review of this Book prepared by Carol Davis Luce

Signet, Jan 2005, 6.99, 368 pp.
ISBN 0451213912

In Bisbee, Arizona, teenager Jessica Parker was abducted near her home and killed. Needing help, the police chief asks the Arizona Department of Public Safety to send an investigator. When Laura Cardinal starts investigating, she is shocked that the girl looks like her childhood friend who was also abducted and killed. Laura finds a matchbook cover with the name Crazygirl12 is on it.

Laura thinks that Jessica met her killer over the internet even though local officer Buddy Hudson believes it was a local man. Two twelve years old girls are raped and killed by a perpetrator using the sane MO as Jessica's murderer. A tip sends Laura to a small Florida town where she finds out the identity of the sexual killer. When Buddy's daughter is abducted, Laura rushes back to Bisbee; he thinks the same perpetrator took his child. Besides the kidnapper, a sexual sadist who tortures, rapes, and kills young girls has plans for the girl.

The author uses the first person to hone in on the perpetrator's thoughts and feelings so that readers will feel a great antipathy towards him.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Darkness on the Edge of Town

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   rapes Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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J. Carson Black Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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