Good Morning, Darkness [Hardcover] Review

Good Morning, Darkness [Hardcover]The fundamental theme of this novel is obsession and the price it extracts on all of the characters. The obsession takes human form in the attractive body and movements of Laura Finnegan. Everyone who comes into contact with her, even at a distance, becomes attracted to her like moths to a flame. Her boyfriend, Scott Goodsell, loves her so much he wants to marry her. A nameless Mexican fisherman changes his daily routine so that he can stand outside her home and watch her as she moves around her kitchen. Laura's boss, Mr. Johnson, wants her to the point of committing sexual harassment, something he has done and gotten away with before. Then there is Reggie Brooks, a local police detective but also her martial arts instructor. Laura Finnegan has that rare ability to inspire love and devotion in every man and all are prepared to give up everything they each have for her. Then she vanishes.

The Mexican fisherman finds an arm on a local beach and a few miles away, the matching arm washes ashore in Malibu. Since he hasn't seen Laura in days, he begins to wonder if the arms are hers. He also realizes that he hasn't seen her boyfriend, Scott Goodsell, a man he knows only by the car he drives, a white BMW. Assigned to the case of the found arms, Reggie Brooks begins to wonder as well as Laura hasn't made it to class lately. Mr. Johnson also wonders about her even though he got a letter from her stating that she was quitting her job. While there is no reason to suspect that the found arms and Laura's disappearance are in any way related, the detective and the fisherman believe, for different reasons, they are linked.

Shifting between the boyfriend Scott, to detective Brooks, to the Mexican fisherman, and others, the novel gradually reveals a tale of murder and deceit. A weak storyline of a gangland execution is introduced to provide some complexity to the work and as character development, but is not used to any real effectiveness. Additional story elements of classicism and accounting fraud are used much more effectively used and do enhance the tale, but the primary focus is obsession. Obsession in each character drives the work forward and it is only because of obsession that every single thing happens. The result is a good read that engages the reader from start to finish.
This entire review previously appeared online at OnceWritten.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2005

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