Touchstone / Simon & Schuster 2011


Netherlands:  Ambo|Anthos

Norway: Allers Forlag

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Other Books by Doug Magee

Darkness All Around

Author: Doug Magee

Within the span of one harrowing week, Risa’s alcoholic husband Sean disappears, and her best friend, Carol, is brutally murdered. Ten years later, Risa has seemingly put her life back together again, comforted by the love of her new husband, a local politician, and the knowledge that Carol’s killer has been convicted. But then just as suddenly as he disappeared, Sean resurfaces — sober, plagued by horrific recollections of the murder, and convinced he was the real killer.

Sean’s startling claim buzzes through the small, football-crazy Pennsylvania town and Risa is left to wonder if the man she still loves actually committed the grisly murder. Her growing belief in his innocence sends her on a treacherous search for the truth: a search that reveals ugly secrets that her new husband and the town’s law enforcement are hiding.

Emboldened by her discoveries, Risa convinces Sean to flee as the town’s violent forces move in to keep the truth from coming to light. But Risa doesn’t realize that her attempts at vindication for Sean may come at a very high price.

Part murder mystery, part love story, Darkness All Around is a gripping exploration of the depths of the criminal mind, the fine line between the truth and a lie, and the bravery of the human heart.

Darkness All Around

R.L. Stine:

Magee's book is a tantalizing puzzle that plays with your mind. Killer suspense with twists and turns and surprises until the last piece is in place. Wow. I loved it.


Crime Fiction Lover:

With so many writers seemingly content to meet genre expectations, it's nice to come across an author not so easily satisfied. Magee isn't just trying to write a suspenseful thriller here, but write about small town life and how claustrophobic that can be. That's not all either. Darkness All Around is about love -- a mother's love for her son, a wife's love for her husband, and what she will do for both when they're threatened. All good stuff of course, but it takes serious chops to pull that off and still meet those genre expectations.

Writing about ordinary people who find themselves and their loved ones in peril is fertile ground for crime authors like Harlan Coben. And like Coben, Magee manages to create central characters that are easy to empathise with, thus compounding the tension for the reader when these characters are in peril. Magee manages this with ease, and far from feeling frustrated with the domestic scenes, I found myself drawn in.

And what about the things we expect from a crime novel? They are met too. There is plenty of tension and atmosphere, and the pace is leisurely when appropriate and speeds up nicely toward the climax. This is a hugely enjoyable read.


Peter Blauner, author of Slow Motion Riot and Slipping into Darkness:

Doug Magee's Darkness All Around is a rarity: a real mystery by a real writer. If you're looking for a page-turner with characters who live and breathe and a setting that's as authentic as your hometown, you'll be very happy you picked it up.


S. Krishna's Books:

Darkness All Around is a startling look at the line between truth and lies. Darkness All Around is a novel worth reading if you’re looking for a thriller that will really keep you guessing. It was engaging and I consumed it in one sitting.  If you're looking for a thriller that might also be a solid book club pick, Darkness All Around would be a great choice.


Linus's Blanket:

Darkness All Around is a psychological suspense novel with lots of moving parts -- all of which were well-integrated into a thoughtful plot. It is a fast-moving read and more complex than I would have imagined, but I never felt overwhelmed , or as if there were too much going on. Magee fleshed out what could have been a typical murder mystery with explorations into experimental treatments for alcoholism, links between suicidal parents and their children, the effect of violent sports on American teenagers and their families. Recommended. 


Life in Review:

Darkness All Around by Doug Magee is an absolutely fantastic mystery and suspense thriller that will hook you and lead you on a wild thrill ride until the very end.

I very highly recommend this book! The writing is exquisite with a brilliant story that will absolutely mess with your mind! For the record, that happens to be my favorite kind of story; one that twists me all up and has me second guessing everything. I actually had dreams about this one while I was reading it. I was completely consumed by this story. Not only is the writing amazing, and the story is complex, but the characters are so vivid and real. This is a story about a small town community where everyone knows everyone and hears everything that goes on, and it's a story about love and relationships. It's full of mystery, suspense, secrets, twists and surprises. I loved Risa and I was pulling so hard for her. There were other characters that I wanted to like but at the same time I was never quite sure I could trust them until the end. If you like mystery and suspense, then this is a phenomenal book that won’t want to miss! 


Bewitched Bookworms:

Darkness All Around tells the story of how claustrophobic and suffocating small town life can be, and especially how at least one person always knows every little move you make. Growing up in a small town myself, I could totally relate, so I enjoyed this aspect of the book very much. But this book was so much more than the mystery of "Who killed Carol?" It's the story of how far will you go to protect the ones you love, and can you really trust the people that you see everyday? It also explores how memory loss and alcoholism can affect more than the person afflicted with it, and the struggles that arise for everyone.

This book was one that I didn't want to put down, and I certainly didn't guess the bad guy with this one. It kept me guessing all the way until the big reveal. I definitely recommend this one to thriller/mystery lovers who love a getting inside the heads of most of the main characters.


The House of Crime and Mystery:

Never Wave Goodbye, Doug Magee's first novel, was highly praised. Magee was even compared to the likes of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay. With his new book, Darkness All Around, being published in paperback format, Magee proves that he's not a flash-in-the-pan thriller writer and that he needs to be taken seriously.

While seriously raising questions on subjects like flaws in the justice system, mental illness, alcoholism, and violence, Doug Magee keeps the tension at full speed right until the surprising end. He convincingly takes the reader into the frenzy that hits the small town of Braden like an unpredictable tornado that turns everything upside down and leaves nothing and no one unchanged, reader included. This is a book that works as much on your brain as it does on your nerves.


Mockingbird Hill Cottage:

DARKNESS ALL AROUND is an extremely compelling book. The characters are written with wonderful detail and an ear for honest, real dialogue -- there is never a false note. The small town where this novel takes place is described in such detail that I felt I was there. I could visualize the stores, the high school, the topography.

This is a mystery that is character-driven. I read a lot of mysteries and my favorites are those where the characters are so fully realized that I immediately become a part of their world. That's the kind of mystery DARKNESS ALL AROUND is. You come to know these people. You become a part of their lives. Deftly plotted, with lots of twists and turns, it will draw you in. You won't want to put it down. I sure didn't. Isn't that the highest praise that can be given to a mystery? Doug Magee is a wonderful writer and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. 


Inside of a Dog:

This was a compelling story with lots of twists and turns. There were lots of surprises along the way. No one was who they seemed. I recommend this one for those who like dark, complex mysteries. It was a very engaging and compelling read. I couldn't put it down until I found out the truth.


Man of la Book:

DARKNESS ALL AROUND by Doug Magee  is a different kind of thriller which will keep you guessing until the end. The book would make a great selection for a book club because of all that's happening, not only in the mystery arena, but also the psychology of the characters, their relationships and how they handle the challenges which constantly come up. 


Drey's Library:

This is a fabulous study of character, conviction, and desire; where greed doesn't apply to material things, and psyches obscure the difference between wants and needs. The story is human, the plot well-formulated, and the villain unexpected. You’ll not regret picking this one up.