Darkroom

Darkroom

4.7 17
by Joshua Graham
     
 

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YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE . . .

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences, in her darkroom, supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds

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Overview

YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE . . .

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences, in her darkroom, supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, she confronts him about a dark secret he has kept—a secret that has devastated their family.

Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tells of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism, and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the cover off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Graham’s tepid supernatural thriller pits Vietnamese-American photographer Xandra Carrick against a powerful array of interests determined to keep a long-held secret of the Vietnam War from affecting current U.S. political interests. Xandra’s father, photojournalist Peter Carrick, rescued, then married Grace Th’am Ai Le before returning to America after Saigon’s fall in 1975. In 2008, after Grace’s death, Peter and Xandra transport Grace’s ashes to her Vietnamese village, where Xandra takes photos with her dad’s old Graflex. When Xandra develops the film, she begins having visions—seeing things in the photos that can’t be there. Her visions are enough to threaten the discovery of the horrific secrets her father has hidden and unleash not only governmental forces but also an assassin determined to assure those secrets remain buried. Graham (Beyond Justice) telegraphs too much of the plot, and Xandra finds all too timely help of both a spiritual and temporal nature as her fate becomes entwined with that of the U.S. presidency. (May)
Suspense Magazine
“Bravo! Graham takes characters and puts them inside each other’s lives in such a way that it’s impossible to put his book down until the last word is read. . . . [His] power with words is absolutely incredible and paints one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever seen, anywhere.” —Suspense Magazine
Author Magazine
“Mixing the end of the Vietnam War with a young woman’s paranormal visions of a murder in today’s New York, Graham has created a modern political thriller wrapped in a historical puzzle inside a tale of redemption. The short chapters, told from the point of view of the various characters, give it a cinematic feel and a breakneck pace.” —Author Magazine
PsychoticState.net Book Reviews
Darkroom is a twisted tale of conspiracies [that] moves at a frantic and suspenseful pace. . . . Mr. Graham immediately grabs hold of the reader with the tenacity of a pit bull and will not let go until you have read every last page and emerge exhausted and happily satiated from this astonishing ride. . . . I would not hesitate to recommend Darkroom . . . You won’t be disappointed.”
East County Magazine
“A spellbinding and riveting tale of suspense with international flavor . . . Wrapped in authentic history, but woven into a tale of mystery and intrigue . . . full of twists and turns . . . this riveting tale will keep readers on edge. A book that I highly recommend.” —East County Magazine
Rhodes Review
“A vivid retelling of historic events [that] bring the Vietnam War to life in alarming detail. If you like thrillers . . . then grab this book when it’s released. You’ll enjoy every minute of it.” —Rhodes Review
Steve Berry
“Darkroom comes complete with a great mystery, unearthed secrets, and beguiling adventure. Joshua Graham mines an emotional landscape through an entourage of fascinating characters. Read this one—and take a walk on the perilous side.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key
Douglas Preston
"Darkroom is a fascinating, fast-paced, beautifully written story of love and war, murder, terrorism, and a dark conspiracy.” —Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Cold Vengeance and The Monster of Florence
Associated Press Staff
"This gripping novel has it all: faith, hope, conspiracy, legal thrills, heart-pounding scenes of action, political intrigue and well-rounded characters. Graham has created a novel that thriller fans will devour." —Associated Press
The Top Shelf Book Reviews
"Graham takes us on a ride full of twists and turns in this emotionally charged quest to find the truth. . . . I actually found myself holding my breath at times and sympathizing with the characters, feeling outrage when they were wronged, hating the villains or even forgiving them. When it was all said and done, I didn’t feel like I had finished a book; I felt like I had been on a journey." —The Top Shelf Book Reviews
Partners in Crime Book Reviews
“The intensity and heart pounding thrills you'll feel as you read each page [of Darkroom] will leave you breathless. Blending history with current events, Mr. Graham is a talented author who can wrap the reader in a cocoon of emotions, from bitterness to redemption, and leave the reader feeling as if they were in the story, as if they were the ones plotted against. A fantastic job!” —Partners in Crime Book Reviews
Christian Retailing (top pick)
"Crossing time and continents, this thrillers puts one of the most divisive eras in recent American history—the Vietnam War—into the public eye via a 40-year-old conspiracy that can no longer remain buried. Xandra must discern between truth and lies, love and hate, protection and danger in this taut tale sure to engage readers and challenge their understanding of God's truth and love." —Christian Retailing (top pick)
From the Publisher
Darkroom comes complete with a great mystery, unearthed secrets, and beguiling adventure. Joshua Graham mines an emotional landscape through an entourage of fascinating characters. Read this one—and take a walk on the perilous side.”

"Darkroom is a fascinating, fast-paced, beautifully written story of love and war, murder, terrorism, and a dark conspiracy.”

"Crossing time and continents, this thrillers puts one of the most divisive eras in recent American history—the Vietnam War—into the public eye via a 40-year-old conspiracy that can no longer remain buried. Xandra must discern between truth and lies, love and hate, protection and danger in this taut tale sure to engage readers and challenge their understanding of God's truth and love."

"This gripping novel has it all: faith, hope, conspiracy, legal thrills, heart-pounding scenes of action, political intrigue and well-rounded characters. Graham has created a novel that thriller fans will devour."

“Mixing the end of the Vietnam War with a young woman’s paranormal visions of a murder in today’s New York, Graham has created a modern political thriller wrapped in a historical puzzle inside a tale of redemption. The short chapters, told from the point of view of the various characters, give it a cinematic feel and a breakneck pace.”

“Bravo! Graham takes characters and puts them inside each other’s lives in such a way that it’s impossible to put his book down until the last word is read. . . . [His] power with words is absolutely incredible and paints one of the most powerful pictures I’ve ever seen, anywhere.”

“A vivid retelling of historic events [that] bring the Vietnam War to life in alarming detail. If you like thrillers . . . then grab this book when it’s released. You’ll enjoy every minute of it.”

“A spellbinding and riveting tale of suspense with international flavor . . . Wrapped in authentic history, but woven into a tale of mystery and intrigue . . . full of twists and turns . . . this riveting tale will keep readers on edge. A book that I highly recommend.”

"Graham takes us on a ride full of twists and turns in this emotionally charged quest to find the truth. . . . I actually found myself holding my breath at times and sympathizing with the characters, feeling outrage when they were wronged, hating the villains or even forgiving them. When it was all said and done, I didn’t feel like I had finished a book; I felt like I had been on a journey."

“The intensity and heart pounding thrills you'll feel as you read each page [of Darkroom] will leave you breathless. Blending history with current events, Mr. Graham is a talented author who can wrap the reader in a cocoon of emotions, from bitterness to redemption, and leave the reader feeling as if they were in the story, as if they were the ones plotted against. A fantastic job!”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451654691
Publisher:
Howard Books
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
943,108
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.94(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

2

GRACE TH’AM AI LE

Thirty-Five Years Ago
Binh Son, Vietnam: January 7, 1973

I always knew the war would come to the South. Before the Communists sent the Vietcong back down the Ho Chi Minh trail, before the Spring Festival attacks during T?t Nguyên Ðán, I knew. I had seen it all in my dreams. I even foresaw my parents’ deaths, which left me and my brother orphans, forcing us to flee to the village of my aunt and uncle.

Some of the boys in Bình Son, on this side of the Mekong Delta, had expressed interest in joining the Vietcong, my brother included. Everyone else feared this would eventually draw a confrontation to our otherwise untouched hamlets.

And so it had.

The trip back from Saigon was only 120 kilometers, but it was like going from one world to another. At first glance, you would not imagine a war was taking place. Abundant green mountains, flowing waters of the Mekong, all resting under cotton clouds and sunlit skies.

Amongst the countless generations of farming families, I was the first girl, if not the first person, to leave and go to university. Now, upon my return, my entire life had changed.

At the bottom of the dusty road, where the foot of Bình Son touches the water, all that remained of the huts in the neighboring village were charred embers. Not a soul stirred. I could only hope that everyone had escaped.

Higher up, I looked to the hills where once I lived. Where Huynh Tho still lived. Perhaps, because it was hidden behind bamboo and palms, it had been spared. So quiet were the mountains. But for the whispering wind, nothing stirred. Not even a bird.

Off the road’s side, I walked under the shade of the trees. I had to find my brother and quietly bring him back to Saigon before it was too late.

Quietly. How do you take an angry young idealist who espouses the goals of the Vietcong away from his village quietly? The thought of an argument with Huynh Tho made me as anxious as did the war itself.

I stepped toward the path leading to our village. Each snap of a twig jolted me, as if it were a gunshot. But there was no one in sight. The utter quiet unsettled me.

Without warning, less than ten meters from the path, a terrifying explosion threw me to the ground. Through the ringing in my ears and the clouds of dust and smoke, I could tell. A battle had just erupted all around me.

“Huynh Tho!” Disembodied and hollow, my voice sounded as though I were underwater. Flashes of light, thumping explosions reverberating in my chest, the tat-tat-tat-tat of gunfire. Too frightened was I to lift my face from the dirt.

But that is what I had to do. For if I remained, I would surely die. And Huynh Tho, who was only sixteen, would be left alone with nowhere to go. Disregarding the fear that clutched my heart, I crawled to the most remote part of the woods.

This proved a terrible mistake.

In hopes of hiding behind the trunk of a tree, I got up to run. Someone began shouting. My English was not so good at the time, but the little I had learned at university sufficed.

“Get down!” cried the American, from somewhere I could not see. “Lady, get down!”

I spun around, seeking the direction from which the desperate voice called. In that instant, a whisking sound rushed toward me. A sharp twinge knocked me back, as if struck by a stone.

Then came the searing sensation below my collarbone, which I shall never forget. A spot of blood spread on my shirt. My head grew faint. My body became too heavy for my legs. Down I went.

The world around me blurred.

I began to shake.

So cold …

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What People are saying about this

Douglas Preston
Darkroom is a fascinating, fast-paced, beautifully written story of love and war, murder, terrorism, and a dark conspiracy. (Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Cold Vengeance and The Monster of Florence)
Steve Berry
Darkroom comes complete with a great mystery, unearthed secrets, and beguiling adventure. Joshua Graham mines an emotional landscape through an entourage of fascinating characters. Read this one—and take a walk on the perilous side. (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key)

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