Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Darkroom by Joshua Graham


Graham has crafted a novel with intense action from start to finish.
Xandra Carrick is following in her father's footsteps. He was a photographer embedded with the army in Viet Nam. What he saw there he has kept hidden for 35 years. Xandra is a well known photojournalist for a national newspaper. She has traveled the world, photographing the anguish of humanity in turmoil.
The novel opens as Xandra and her father go back to Viet Nam to spread the ashes of her mother. She has taken with her the old film camera her father used all those years ago. Back in New York, she begins to develop the film. As each print of the Viet Nam landscape emerges, she sees momentary images. Death.
She is stunned, overwhelmed by what she is sure her father saw and photographed. She experiments with the camera, taking photos of the park near her apartment. When she develops the photos of the park pond, she momentarily sees a body.
Then the nightmare begins. When she attempts to anonymously report the possibility of a body in the pond, the police come to her and shortly arrest her for the murder.
The situation only gets worse. A senator, running as an independent, will stop at nothing to assure he is elected president. That includes keeping hidden the slaughter he condoned in Viet Nam. Xandra quickly rises to the top of his list of those needing to be silenced – permanently.

This novel has intense action, nearly continuous. At times I had to tell my self to breath – it's only a novel. This fast paced novel has political intrigue, strained family dynamics, and romance. It explores the horrors of war along side that of a warped man bent on political power. It touches on the supernatural, the move of the Spirit revealing truth through visions. Will the truth somehow be brought out to the open before evil quenches it entirely?

If you like political intrigue and high suspense, this novel is for you. It will capture you early on and not let you go until the last page.

There is a discussion guide included.

Joshua Graham has written other novels, some under a pseudonym. He was winner of the 2011 International Book Awards. Read more about him and his works at http://joshua-graham.com/. I will certainly be watching for his next one.

Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), 368 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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