Dark Room

Dark Room

3.7 14
by Andrea Kane

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On Christmas Eve seventeen years ago, Morgan Winter was traumatized by the discovery of her parents' brutally murdered bodies in a Brooklyn basement. When shocking new evidence overturns the killer's conviction, Morgan is forced to face the horrifying realization that the real killer is still out there.

Trapped between past nightmares and present danger, she

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On Christmas Eve seventeen years ago, Morgan Winter was traumatized by the discovery of her parents' brutally murdered bodies in a Brooklyn basement. When shocking new evidence overturns the killer's conviction, Morgan is forced to face the horrifying realization that the real killer is still out there.

Trapped between past nightmares and present danger, she hires Pete Montgomery, the former NYPD detective who once promised the helpless young Morgan that he'd find her parents' killer. With nothing more than an old case file and crime scene photos, Monty enlists the specialized skills of his son, Lane, a photojournalist who performs covert image analysis for the CIA. In a cruel twist of fate, they expose the devastating secrets of the dark past, only to discover that while the dead may be buried, danger lives on . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Thriller readers who prefer a heavy dose of romance will most appreciate this contemporary whodunit from bestseller Kane (Run for Your Life). Morgan Winter, after the trauma of discovering her parents' corpses as a child, has rebuilt her life and established a high-class matchmaking service in Manhattan. Winter's world is rocked when the man who confessed to the murders is exonerated, and the inquiry is reopened. Fortunately, Pete Montgomery, who was the lead NYPD detective on the case and is now a PI, accepts the assignment of solving the decades-old crimes. Lending assistance is Montgomery's photojournalist son, Lane, whose contacts in the intelligence community prove useful. Predictably, the emotionally fragile Winter falls for the hunky photographer, and the two begin a torrid romance. The identity of the figure behind the murders will surprise few. Those looking for the sort of insider details about law-enforcement that mark the work of a Linda Fairstein will be disappointed. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Hot bodies and glamorous careers can't protect fabulous New Yorkers from tragedy, but affairs are set right 17 years later. Morgan Winter is a scarred woman. Never mind her fragile beauty, startling light-green eyes or business acumen, the high-powered matchmaker is still reeling from her parents' murder nearly two decades before. So the news that the man convicted of that double homicide is not the real culprit is almost enough to shatter this young Manhattanite's equilibrium. Only justice, Morgan realizes, will free her from the past. Assisting in her quest are an attractive DA who's also a matchmaking client and PI Pete "Monty" Montgomery (Wrong Place, Wrong Time, 2006). Whatever problems they face in opening such a stale case should be smoothed over by Morgan's guardian, powerful Congressman Arthur Shore, but he has a campaign and a magazine feature to worry about. Meanwhile, Monty's handsome photographer son Lane also takes an interest . . . and not just because of his experience with covert federal investigations. The resulting fast-paced romantic adventure unfolds with a series of twists that will keep readers guessing whodunit and why. Whether they will care is a different matter. Far-fetched coincidences-an adopted child turns up working for his unrecognized grandparent-stretch credibility to the breaking point. The acrobatic and clinically related sex is strictly par for the genre, and for a supposedly sensual writer, Kane is surprisingly light on detail. (Food from a renowned deli, for example, is described simply as "delicious.")Fans may go for the author's formulaic second novel, but newcomers will have little reason.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Pete Montgomery , #2
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Read an Excerpt

Dark Room

Chapter One

The nightmare crept through her like a slow-acting toxin, paralyzing her as it insinuated itself into the darkest recesses of her memory. There was no escaping the devastating finale, no looking away from the horror.

She couldn't bear to see them. Not their broken bodies. Not their vacant stares. And not the pools of crimson blood that kept oozing beneath them as their lives drained away.

With a low moan, Morgan forced herself awake, jerking upright. Her muscles were rigid. She pressed back against the solid oak headboard, letting it cool her perspiration-drenched skin. Her heart was slamming against her ribs, her breathing fast and shallow.

This was a bad one.

She squeezed her eyes shut, concentrating on the muted sounds of predawn Manhattan. The intermittent thump-thump of cars making their way down pothole-ridden streets. A distant siren. The hum of 24/7 just outside her brownstone window. It connected her to life, to the comfort of what was real and familiar. She drank it in, fighting to drown out the images of her nightmare before they engulfed her.

It was an exercise in futility. The nightmares might be sporadic, but the vivid memories had been seared inside her head for the past seventeen years.

She shoved back the covers and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her nightshirt was damp and clinging to her body. Her hair was plastered to the back of her neck. She gathered it up, twisting its shoulder-length strands into a loose knot and pinning them to the top of her head with the clip she kept on her night table. A winter draft blew past her, and she shivered.

She'd half expected tonight's episode. It was that time of year. The nightmares always came fast and furious around the holidays. But exacerbating the situation had been her own damned fault.

Morgan glanced at the clock on her night table: 5:10. No point in trying to go back to sleep. Not that she could if she tried. But it wasn't even worth the effort; not with only fifty minutes until her alarm went off.

She pulled on a robe and padded into the dimly lit hall, crossing over to the spare bedroom. The contents of the box she'd been going through were on the ottoman just as she'd left them—memorabilia in one pile, photos in another, and the working journals she'd only recently discovered off to a side.

Still haunted by her dream, she flipped on the light and went straight for the photos, kneeling down beside the ottoman to peel back a layer of history.

The top snapshot meant the most and hurt the most. It was the last photo of the three of them together. Wistfully, Morgan studied it. Her mother, gentle and elegant. Her father, intense and dynamic, one arm wrapped protectively around his wife's shoulders, the other hand gripping the shoulder of the skinny little girl in front of him—a girl who had her mother's huge green eyes and fine features and her father's sharp, probing expression.

Morgan turned the photo over. The handwriting at the bottom was her mother's. It read: Jack, Lara, and Morgan, November 16, 1989.

She'd penned those words a month before the murders.

With a hard swallow, Morgan put down the snapshot and sifted through the others. Her mother in college, posing with her best friend and roommate, Elyse Shore—then Elyse Kellerman. Law school graduation day for Morgan's father, both her parents standing in front of Columbia University, brandishing Jack's diploma. Their wedding day. The day Morgan was born. Family photos of happy occasions, from Morgan's first birthday to summers at the beach with all the Shores—Elyse, Arthur, and Jill. Last were the photos Elyse had developed for Morgan months after the funeral—photos taken at Daniel and Rita Kellerman's lavish Park Avenue penthouse on Christmas Eve, where Morgan's parents had dropped by for the holiday party being hosted by Elyse's parents in honor of Arthur and those who'd contributed generously to his political campaign.

Those were the final photos taken of Lara and Jack Winter alive. The next ones were snapped in a Brooklyn basement later that night by the crime-scene unit.

With a shiver, Morgan put down the stack of photographs and rose, tightening the belt of her robe. Enough. She was allowing herself to be sucked into that emotional vortex all over again. Her mental health couldn't withstand it. Dr. Bloom had cautioned her about this very thing.

Time to listen to his advice. Be proactive. Focus on the present.

She'd get a jump start on the day; brew a pot of coffee, shower and dress. Then she'd head downstairs to the office. She had a slew of early morning phone calls to make in the hopes of catching her clients before they left for work, and a mountain of paperwork to attack. At eight-thirty, it would be time for her therapy session—which worked out well since Dr. Bloom's office was just a block away from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where she had an eleven o'clock new-client interview. After that, it was back to the office for a one o'clock follow-up appointment with Charlie Denton—attractive, forty-four, married to his job in the Manhattan D.A.'s office. With very specific criteria and a crazy-busy life, he was still looking for Ms. Right. And it was Morgan's job to find her.

She turned off the light and left the room—and her past—sprawled out on the ottoman behind her.

The deal was cut.

No one in the Brooklyn D.A.'s office was happy about it. Another scumbag who'd turned on a fellow inmate to save his own neck. Another case where the rule of law converged withcut Darwin's survival of the fittest.

Having to go easy on that drug-dealing punk, Kirk Lando, was a rotten break. But they had no choice. He'd given them a cop killer in exchange for a lighter sentence. The NYPD was happy; Nate Schiller would pay for killing one of their own.

Dark Room. Copyright © by Andrea Kane. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Meet the Author

Andrea Kane's groundbreaking romantic thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller, paving the way for a series of smash hits featuring NYPD detective-turned-private investigator Pete "Monty" Montgomery, and now her current series features the dynamic FBI team of Special Agents Sloane Burbank and Derek Parker. With a worldwide following and novels published in sixteen countries, Kane is also the bestselling author of fourteen historical romances. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she is learning new ways to sharpen her firearms and investigative skills like a true FBI special agent. Between target practices, she is researching and writing her next supercharged romantic thriller.

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