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Act of Darkness by Jane Haddam

Act of Darkness (1991)

by Jane Haddam

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Third in the Gregor Demarkian series by Jane Haddam. This one has a complex plot. A U.S. Senator who has been made by his campaign manager is son-in-law of a former Hollywood movie star. These characters and others gather for a weekend at the movie star's house. Gregor and Bennis Hannaford are there because of possible threats to the Senator's life.

Did not enjoy this one as much as some of the others. Some parts are beginning to be a bit formulaic. Still, Haddam writes good plots and good characters. I'm going to continue to read the series. ( )
  reannon | Oct 12, 2009 |
Couldn't get into it. Halfway through the second chapter and I still hadn't encountered a single character I liked - they were all nasty or wimpy or both. Sorry, I've got better things to do. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 24, 2009 |
The third in the Gregor Demarkian series. Out of Philadelphia once more and in Oyster Bay, NY, Demarkian is asked to investigate why potential Presidential candidate Senator Stephen Fox is suddenly experiencing paralytic episodes; both his political manager and Fox himself are concerned about dirty tricks from the opposition. Demarkian starts his investigation at a political seminar held during the long 4th of July weekend at the bizarre, ostentatious home of a former actress, Victoria Harte, mother of Janet who is Fox's wife; he brings along Bennis Hannaford as his "cover".

Right at the beginning of the weekend, a close friend of Fox--an obstetrician who specializes in Down syndrome babies--dies in a bafffling way. Demarkian is sure it's murder but is unable to pinpoint the means or have a clue about motive.

The plot revolves around the world of political wheeling and dealing. Haddam has made disparaging references to that world in earlier books; in this one, she has very little that is good to say about it. Her political characters are amoral at best, sleazebags at worst who will stop at nothing to achieve their ambitions. Lobbying comes in for a few good solid hits as well.

All this is woven into the context of the plot, which is well done (although there are a few loose ends, in my opinion, at the conclusion). There is very little of the humor that marked Haddam's first two books in the series. One of the characters, however, does carry the comic side as Haddam pokes fun at Political Correctness.

The writing is good, the characters are well drawn. Bennis Hannaford, along with members of the Armenian-American community living on Cavanaugh St. In Philadelphia, are welcome recurring characters. Father Tibor, one of the best of that supporting cast, has a relatively small, but as usual, interesting, role to play.

Well-written and entertaining. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Joycepa | Sep 24, 2007 |
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Stephen Whistler Fox could not remember when he had first realized he was going to run for president.
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At a Fourth of July charity fundraiser, politics turns deadly Stephen Fox may be a moron, but he may also be America’s next president. The dimwitted legislator is just smart enough to know when to smile for the camera. But two women stand in the way of his campaign: his mistress and his wife, who has never recovered from the death of their daughter, a pain she manages by devoting herself to fundraising for children with Down syndrome. During a weekend-long charity extravaganza on Long Island Sound, Fox’s candidacy goes off the rails in a spectacularly bloody fashion. Ex-FBI investigator Gregor Demarkian is the first on the scene. Fox’s entourage of political handlers may lie for a living, but Demarkian has a way of ferreting out the truth, and he will nab the killer before the last firework sounds.… (more)

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