Instruments of Night

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Instruments of Night

Format:  Paperback,

336 pages

Publisher: Random House

Publish Date: Oct 1999

ISBN-13: 9780553578201

ISBN-10: 0553578200

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Summer, 1963: twelve-year-old Paul Graves is forced to watch as his older sister is slowly tortured and killed. Now, thirty years later, Graves is a marginally successful writer who has lost himself in the haunted world of his crime fiction. But when Graves gets an invitation to help solve the old murder of a teenage girl, it becomes an invitation to face the atrocity that lies smoldering within himself -- an invitation he will not be able to refuse.


Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: Oct 1999
ISBN-13: 9780553578201
ISBN-10: 0553578200
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.35
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 4.25 x 7.0 x 1.0


Review by Library Journal (1998-10-01)

Paul Graves, a writer of dark, historical mysteries, is hired to research the 50-year-old murder of an innocent girl and write a story that might explain it. His own tortured past as childhood witness to his sister's murder colors his every thought and action. Using shifting points of view, Paul presents his investigation as a series of leads that turn false, forcing him to revise his view of the case.

In a multiple-twist ending, he and his fictional character seem to merge, even as a female acquaintance appears destined to become a character in a future story. Cook has previously used the premise of a troubled narrator looking back at a tragedy that has shaped many lives, most recently in Breakheart Hill (LJ 7/95) and the Edgar Award-winning The Chatham School Affair (LJ 7/96). Here, his Gothic, even melodramatic, prose style emphasizes mood and setting but will often seem repetitious and jarring to contemporary readers. This may appeal to mystery fans wanting something closer to Poe than to Chandler; those wanting more action than angst should pass.

- Roland C. Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (1998-08)

Last year's Edgar Award winner for best novel cooks up another sizz ler. When he's called on to solve a 50-year-old murder, second-rate mystery writer Paul Graves confronts not only a terrible event in his pastis sister's murder but his own potential for evil.

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