Until Dark Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Until Dark

This is a story about Kendra Smith, a skilled compositor for the FBI. She is called in to sketch the face of a man the press is calling the "Soccer Mom Killer." As the number of victims continues to grow, similarities arise which are connected to Kendra herself! It's is a far fetched story that gets side tracked with conversations about remodeling, weddings and even spaghetti. The story finally picks up for a fast paced conclusion.
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The review of this Book prepared by Greg Bryant

Ballantine, Dec 2003, 6.99, 400 pp.
ISBN: 0345447409

In remote Smith's Forge, New Jersey, FBI compositor Kendra Smith has her rest and relaxation interrupted. Agent Adam Stark delivers to her a package containing information on a serial killer. A strangler had just murdered his third victim, the young mother of two children in nearby Deal, Pennsylvania. Adam wants Kendra to interview witnesses to obtain a drawing of a stranger seen talking with the latest victim in town.

Kendra interviews the witnesses, who are not coping well with the murder of a Little League mom. Kendra understands, as her brother was the victim of such an atrocity. However, Kendra will soon find herself as the target of a deranged but clever murderer. Only her intelligence and experience and the protection of Adam, who loves Kendra, keeps her safe, but her opponent is very clever and plans to isolate her as soon as possible.

Fans of police procedural romances will appreciate this exciting serial killer tale that starts innocently at a little league game. The story line moves forward fast once the storm that rocks Smith's Forge leaves the area. Though there is an abundant of serial killer tales and the identity of the culprit is out of leftfield, readers will enjoy this solid thriller.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Until Dark

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 35%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 35%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues    -   Moderately Challenging Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   50%    -   70% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Big focus on forensic evidence    -   Killer purposely leaves clues Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards lover Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   government investigator    -   artist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   rape (yeech!) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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