In a Dark House Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of In a Dark House

Morrow, Oct 2004, 23.95, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0060525258

A fire in the southwest reveals the body of a dead woman, but instead of letting the local police handle the case, Scotland Yard sends Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid to investigate because the warehouse that burned down belonged to MP Michael Harwood. The Victorian warehouse was being renovated by converting it into park flats, but rumors has it that was not succeeding so the fire department is looking for signs of arson.
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Two people entering the building before the blaze were caught on video; one was Harwood's missing daughter Chloe. Also absent is Laura Novak and her child Harriet; however, Harriet's father Tony had left her with someone named Beth, an obvious alias. Duncan concentrates on the fire because he thinks a serial arsonist caused the deadly blaze.

Duncan's live-in lover Inspector Gemma James is also in town investigating the disappearance of the roommate of a friend of a friend. Gemma searches for Harriet before time runs out on the child. Neither realizes these two cases connect in a dramatic fashion.

In addition to all the pressure in their private lives, Duncan and Gemma are also in a custody battle over his son with the lad's maternal grandmother who blames the cop for her daughter's death and believe the couple is unfit to raise her grandson.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of In a Dark House

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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?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   searching for missing person Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Deborah Crombie Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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