Hello, Darkness

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Overview

Bestselling author Sandra Brown is the master of the knife-edge thriller. Her most powerful novel to date, Hello, Darkness, is the gripping story of a woman haunted by her past and caught in a nightmare that threatens to destroy her future.

For Paris Gibson, her popular late night radio show is both an escape and her one real contact with the outside world. Her world of isolation is brutally threatened when one listener -- a man who identifies himself only as "Valentino" -- ...

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MASS MARKET PAPERBACK New 0743466756 Cover has very little shelf wear. No spine seams. No remainder mark. Pages are clean and have no markings, no creases and no dog-ears. ... Paperback. Read more Show Less

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2004 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 496 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.

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Hello, Darkness

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Overview

Bestselling author Sandra Brown is the master of the knife-edge thriller. Her most powerful novel to date, Hello, Darkness, is the gripping story of a woman haunted by her past and caught in a nightmare that threatens to destroy her future.

For Paris Gibson, her popular late night radio show is both an escape and her one real contact with the outside world. Her world of isolation is brutally threatened when one listener -- a man who identifies himself only as "Valentino" -- tells her that her on-air advice to the girl he loves has caused her to jilt him, and that he intends to exact his revenge. First he plans to kill the girl, then he will come after Paris.

Joined by the Austin police department, Paris plunges into a race against time in an effort to find Valentino before he can carry out his threat to kill. To her dismay, she finds that one of the people she must work with is crime psychologist Dean Malloy, a man with whom she shares a history that had a catastrophic effect on both their lives.

As the clock ticks down, and Valentino's threats come closer to becoming a reality, Paris suddenly finds herself forced to deal with a killer who may not be a stranger at all.

Tense and compelling, Hello, Darkness is suspense at its very best, by the author USA Today has called, "A masterful storyteller, carefully crafting tales that keep readers on the edge of their seats."

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Editorial Reviews

Early Show
A gripping story of abduction, betrayal, and murder that could have been ripped straight from the headlines.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fascinating....Will keep you up past your bedtime.
Publishers Weekly
Cue another run up the charts for bestselling Brown (The Crush), who knows just the right mix to spin: a second-chance-at-love theme rocked by the rhythms of families-in-jeopardy and the hip-hop beat of an at-risk teen subplot sure to alarm the most jaded of parents. Her latest thriller, set during a steamy Austin, Tex., summer, revolves around Paris Gibson, host of a late night radio show that dispenses classic love songs along with advice for the lovelorn that turns deadly after a caller takes Paris's on-air advice to dump a possessive boyfriend who turns out to be another regular caller, "Valentino." Refusing to be dumped, "Valentino" makes the girl his captive, phones Paris that he will kill her in 72 hours ("...her death will be on your conscience") and implies Paris may die next. Paris contacts the Austin police and reunites with one-time lover, Dean Malloy, a police psychologist who was also her dead fiance's best friend. "Valentino" 's victim, Janey Kemp, is the missing 17-year-old daughter of a prominent judge and a founder of a Sex Club Web site that arranges illicit parties that Dean's son, Gavin, also frequents, connecting him to Janey's disappearance. Paris and Dean's romance is almost trivial beside Janey's dehumanizing captivity, although Brown's shallow characterizations of Janey and other Sex Club teens registers the only off note in this fast-reading thriller. The adult suspects are better developed: Lancy, an ex-con/janitor/former porn star trying to make good; Stan, a radio employee whose family connections are the only reason he has a job; John, a cop who sees nothing wrong with "hands on" undercover work; and Brad, a sex-addicted dentist. The unmasking of the killer comes with a riveting finale that will leave fans begging for an encore. Agent, Maria Carvainis. Major ad/promo; 5-city author tour. (Oct. 7) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Paris Gibson is a popular late-night radio talk-show host who specializes in sensual music and on-air telephone chat with her viewers. One night she receives a call from Valentino, one of her regular participants. Because Paris has advised his girlfriend to break up with him, Valentino has kidnapped the girl and will kill her in 72 hours. Paris joins forces with the Austin, TX, police, teaming with Dean Malloy, a criminologist, to find the girl and her abductor before it's too late. Unfortunately, Paris and Dean have a long, tragic history, which complicates their partnership. As time races by, the danger draws nearer to Paris, with the identity of the villain well camouflaged by the author. The adult characters are well drawn and believable; the teenage girls, however, appear to be almost caricatures. The boys are much more realistic, especially Dean's son. Victor Slezak is an excellent reader; his Valentino is threatening and unbalanced from the very first. Slezak does not, as many men do, try to raise his voice to falsetto for the women; rather, he uses a slightly lighter tone for the female voice, which works well. Essential for mystery collections. Nancy Reed, McCracken Cty. P.L., Paducah, KY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
With her latest, Brown (The Crush, 2002) passes fifty-some bongs on the New York Times bestseller list, though her score probably includes paperback reprints as well as hardcovers. Here, she adapts the plot of Clint Eastwood's Play Misty for Me, about a late-night California disc jockey whose life is threatened by a listener. Brown bows to Eastwood by having her DJ play the Johnny Mathis classic, "Misty," but where Clint's jock was menaced by a murderess, in this version Paris Gibson, a woman who has perfected a late-night voice for her callers and romantic disc-spinning in Austin, Texas, has to deal with a man who calls himself Valentino. He blames Paris's rotten advice for all of his failures with the ladies, especially his latest, Janey. He's already made Janey prisoner, raped her bloody (mercifully not described in detail), and plans to murder her in three days, then kill Paris herself for misleading him. The terrified DJ calls for help from her old lover, police psychologist Dean Malloy, but Valentino doesn't even wait three days to kill Janey. Ready for a remake? Play it again, Clint. Agent: Maria Carvainis
From the Publisher
The Early Show, CBS A gripping story of abduction, betrayal, and murder that could have been ripped straight from the headlines.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fascinating....Will keep you up past your bedtime.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743466752
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 7/20/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of fifty-seven New York Times bestsellers, including Smoke Screen. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, most of which remain in print. As of 1990, when Mirror Image made the New York Times bestseller list, each subsequent novel, including reprints of earlier books, have become Times bestsellers. Sandra and her husband, Michael Brown, live in Arlington, Texas.

Biography

In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter One

    Dean Malloy eased himself off the bed. Groping in darkness, he located his underwear on the floor and took it with him into the bathroom. As quietly as he could, he closed the door before switching on the light.

    Liz woke up anyway.

    "Dean?"

    He braced his arms on the edge of the basin and looked at his reflection in the mirror. "Be right out." His image gazed back at him, whether with despair or disgust, he couldn't quite tell. Reproach, at the very least.

    He continued staring at himself for another few seconds before turning on the faucet and splashing cold water over his face. He used the toilet, pulled on his boxers, and opened the door.

    Liz had turned on the nightstand lamp and was propped up on one elbow. Her pale hair was tangled. There was a smudge of mascara beneath her eye. But somehow she made deshabille look fetching. "Are you going to shower?"

    He shook his head. "Not now."

    "I'll wash your back."

    "Thanks, but — "

    "Your front?"

    He shot her a smile. "I'll take a rain check."

    His trousers were draped over the armchair. When he reached for them, Liz flopped back against the heaped pillows. "You're leaving."

    "Much as I'd like to stay, Liz."

    "You haven't spent a full night in weeks."

    "I don't like it any better than you do, but for the time being that's the way it's got to be."

    "Good grief, Dean. He's sixteen."

    "Right. Sixteen. If he were a baby, I'd know where he was at all times. I'd know what he was doing and who he was with. But Gavin is sixteen and licensed to drive. For a parent, that's a twenty-four-hour living nightmare."

    "He probably won't even be there when you get home."

    "He'd better be there," he muttered as he tucked in his shirttail. "He broke curfew last night, so I grounded him this morning. Restricted him to the house."

    "For how long?"

    "Until he cleans up his act."

    "What if he doesn't?"

    "Stay in the house?"

    "Clean up his act."

    That was a much weightier question. It required a more complicated answer, which he didn't have time for tonight. He pushed his feet into his shoes, then sat down on the edge of the bed and reached for her hand. "It's unfair that Gavin's behavior is dictating your future."

    "Our future."

    "Our future," he corrected softly. "It's unfair as hell. Because of him our plans have been put on indefinite hold, and that stinks."

    She kissed the back of his hand as she looked up at him through her lashes. "I can't even persuade you to spend the night with me, and here I was hoping that by Christmas we'd be married."

    "It could happen. The situation could improve sooner than we think."

    She didn't share his optimism, and her frown said as much. "I've been patient, Dean. Haven't I?"

    "You have."

    "In the two years we've been together, I think I've been more than accommodating. I relocated here without a quibble. And even though it would have made more sense for us to live together, I agreed to lease this place."

    She had a selective and incorrect memory. Their living together had never been an option. He wouldn't even have considered it as long as Gavin was living with him. Nor had there been any reason to quibble over her relocation to Austin. He had never suggested that she should. In fact, he would have preferred for her to remain in Houston.

    Independently, Liz had made the decision to relocate when he did. When she sprang the surprise on him, he'd had to fake his happiness and conceal a vague irritation. She had imposed herself on him when the last thing he needed was an additional imposition.

    But rather than opening a giant can of worms for discussion now, he conceded that she had been exceptionally patient with him and his present circumstances.

    "I'm well aware of how much my situation has changed since we started dating. You didn't sign on to become involved with a single parent of a teenager. You've been more patient than I had any right to expect."

    "Thank you," she said, mollified. "But my body doesn't know patience, Dean. Each month that passes means one less egg in the basket."

    He smiled at the gentle reminder of her biological clock. "I acknowledge the sacrifices you've made for me. And continue to make."

    "I'm willing to make more." She stroked his cheek. "Because, Dean Malloy, the hell of it is, you're worth those sacrifices."

    He knew she meant it, but her sincerity did nothing to elevate his mood, and instead only increased his despondency. "Be patient a little longer, Liz. Please? Gavin is being impossible, but there are reasons for his bad behavior. Give it a little more time. Hopefully, we'll soon find a comfort zone the three of us can live within."

    She made a face. "'Comfort zone'? Keep using phrases like that and, next thing you know, you'll have your own daytime TV talk show."

    He grinned, glad they could conclude the serious conversation on a lighter note. "Still headed to Chicago tomorrow?"

    "For three days. Closed-door meetings with folk from Copenhagen. All male. Robust, blond Viking types. Jealous?"

    "Pea green."

    "Will you miss me?"

    "What do you think?"

    "How about I leave you with something to remember me by?"

    She pushed the sheet away. Naked and all but purring, lying on the rumpled bedding on which they'd already made love, Elizabeth Douglas looked more like a pampered courtesan than a vice-president of marketing for an international luxury-hotel chain.

    Her figure was voluptuous, and she actually liked it. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she didn't obsess over every calorie. She considered it a workout when she had to carry her own luggage, and she never denied herself dessert. On her the curves looked good. Actually, they looked damn great.

    "Tempting," he sighed. "Very. But a kiss will have to do."

    She kissed him deeply, sucking his tongue into her mouth in a manner that probably would have made the Viking types snarl with envy. He was the one to end the kiss. "I've really got to go, Liz," he whispered against her lips before pulling back. "Have a safe trip."

    She pulled up the sheet to cover her nudity and pasted on a smile to cover her disappointment. "I'll call you when I get there."

    "You'd better."

    He left, trying to make it look as if he wasn't fleeing. The air outside settled over him like a damp blanket. It even seemed to have the texture of wet wool when he inhaled it. His shirt was sticking to his back by the time he'd made the short walk to his car. He started the motor and set the air conditioner on high. The radio came on automatically. Elvis's "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"

    At this hour there was virtually no traffic on the streets. Dean slowed for a yellow light and came to a full stop as the song ended.

    "It's a steamy night in the hill country. Thank you for spending your time with me here on 101.3."

    The smoky female voice reverberated through the interior of the car. The sound waves pressed against his chest and belly. Her voice was perfectly modulated by eight speakers that had been strategically placed by German engineers. The superior sound environment made her seem closer than if she'd been sitting in the passenger seat beside him.

    "I'm going to leave you tonight with a trio of my favorites. I hope you're listening to them with someone you love. Hold each other close."

    Dean gripped the steering wheel and rested his forehead on the back of his hands while the Fab Four yearned for yesterday.

    As soon as Judge Baird Kemp retrieved his car from the Four Seasons Hotel parking valet and got in, he wrestled loose his necktie and shrugged off his jacket. "God, I'm glad that's over."

    "You're the one who insisted we attend." Marian Kemp slipped off her Bruno Magli sling-backs and pulled off the diamond clip earrings, wincing as blood circulation was painfully restored to her numb earlobes. "But did you have to include us in the after party?"

    "Well, it looked good for us to be among the last to leave. Very influential people were in that group."

    Being a typical awards dinner, the event had run insufferably long. Following it, a cocktail party had been held in a hospitality suite, and the judge never passed up an opportunity to campaign for his reelection, even informally. For the remainder of their drive home, the Kemps discussed others who had been in attendance, or, as the judge derisively referred to them, "the good, the bad, and the ugly."

    When they arrived home, he headed for his den, where Marian saw to it that the bar was kept well stocked with his favorite brands. "I'm going to have a nightcap. Should I pour two?"

    "No thank you, dear. I'm going up."

    "Cool the bedroom down. This heat is unbearable."

    Marian climbed the curved staircase that had recently been featured in a home-design magazine. For the photo, she'd worn a designer ball gown and her canary-diamond necklace. The portrait had turned out quite well, if she did say so herself. The judge had been pleased with the accompanying article, which had praised her for making their home into the showplace it was.

    The upstairs hallway was dark, but she was relieved to see light beneath the door of Janey's room. Even though it was summer vacation, the judge had imposed a curfew on their seventeen-year-old. Last night, she had flouted the curfew and hadn't come in until almost dawn. It was obvious that she'd been drinking, and, unless Marian was mistaken, the stench that clung to her clothing was that of marijuana. Worse, she'd driven herself home in that condition.

    "I've bailed you out for the last time," the judge had bellowed. "If you get another DWI, you're on your own, young lady. I won't pull a single string. I'll let it go straight on your record."

    Janey had replied with a bored, "So fucking what?"

    The scene had grown so loud and vituperative that Marian feared the neighbors might overhear despite the acre of manicured greenbelt between their property and the next. The quarrel had ended with Janey stomping into her room and slamming the door, then locking it behind her. She hadn't spoken to either of them all day.

    But apparently the judge's most recent threat had made an impression. Janey was at home, and by her standards, it was early. Marian paused outside Janey's door and raised her fist, about to knock. But through the door she could hear the voice of that woman deejay Janey listened to when she was in one of her mellow moods. She was a welcome change from the obnoxious deejays on the acid rock and rap stations.

    Janey tended to throw a tantrum whenever she felt her privacy was being violated. Her mother was disinclined to disturb this tenuous peace, so, without knocking, she lowered her hand and continued down the hallway to the master suite.

    Toni Armstrong awoke with a start.

    She lay unmoving, listening for a noise that might have awakened her. Had one of the children called out for her? Was Brad snoring?

    No, the house was silent except for the low whir of the air-conditioning vents in the ceiling. A sound hadn't awakened her. Not even the soughing of her husband's breath. Because the pillow beside hers was undisturbed.

    Toni got up and pulled on a lightweight robe. She glanced at the clock: 1:42. And Brad still hadn't come home.

    Before going downstairs, she checked the children's rooms. Although the girls got tucked into their separate beds each night, they invariably wound up sleeping together in one. Only sixteen months apart, they were often mistaken for twins. They looked virtually identical now, their sturdy little bodies curled up together, tousled heads sharing the pillow. Toni pulled a sheet up over them, then took a moment to admire their innocent beauty before tiptoeing from the room.

    Toy spaceships and action figures littered the floor of her son's bedroom. She carefully avoided stepping on them as she made her way to the bed. He slept on his stomach, legs splayed, one arm hanging down the side of the bed.

    She took the opportunity to stroke his cheek. He'd reached the age where her demonstrations of affection made him grimace and squirm away. As the firstborn, he thought he had to act the little man.

    But thinking of him becoming a man filled her with a desperation that was close to panic.

    As she descended the staircase, several of the treads creaked, but Toni liked a house with the quirks and imperfections that gave it character. They had been lucky to acquire this house. It was in a good neighborhood with an elementary school nearby. The price had been reduced by owners anxious to sell. Parts of it had needed attention, but she had volunteered to make most of the repairs herself in order to fit the purchase into their budget.

    Working on the house had kept her busy while Brad was getting settled into his new practice. She'd taken the time and effort to do necessary repairs before finishing with the cosmetic work. Her patience and diligence had paid off. The house wasn't only prettier in appearance, but sound from the inside out. Its flaws hadn't been glossed over with a fresh coat of paint without first being fixed.

    Unfortunately, not everything was as easily fixable as houses.

    As she had feared, all the rooms downstairs were dark and empty. In the kitchen, she turned on the radio to ward off the ominous pressure of the silence. She poured herself a glass of milk she didn't want and forced herself to sip it calmly.

    Maybe she was doing her husband a disservice. He might very well be attending a seminar on taxes and financial planning. He had announced over dinner that he would be out for most of the evening.

    "Remember, hon," he'd said when she expressed her surprise, "I told you about it earlier this week."

    "No you didn't."

    "I'm sorry. I thought I did. I intended to. Pass the potato salad, please. It's great, by the way. What's that spice?"

    "Dill. This is the first I've heard of a seminar tonight, Brad."

    "The partners recommended it. What they learned at the last one saved them a bundle in taxes."

    "Then maybe I should go, too. I could stand to learn more about all that."

    "Good idea. We'll watch for the next one. You're required to enroll in advance."

    He'd told her the time and location of the seminar, told her not to wait up for him because there was an informal discussion session following the formal presentation and he didn't know how long it would last. He had kissed her and the kids before he left. He walked to his car with a gait that was awfully jaunty for someone going to a seminar on taxes and financial planning.

    Toni finished her glass of milk.

    She called her husband's cell phone for the third time, and as with the previous two calls, got his voice mail. She didn't leave a message. She thought about calling the auditorium where the seminar had taken place, but that would be a waste of time. No one would be there at this hour.

    After seeing Brad off tonight, she had cleaned up the dinner dishes and given the children their baths. Once they were in bed, she had tried to go into Brad's den, but discovered that the door to it was locked. To her shame, she'd torn through the house like a woman crazed, looking for a hairpin, a nail file, something with which she could pick the lock.

    She had resorted to a screwdriver, probably damaging the lock irreparably, but not caring. To her chagrin, there had been nothing in the room to validate her frenzy or her suspicion. A newspaper ad for the seminar was lying on his desk. He'd made a notation about the seminar on his personal calendar. Obviously he had been planning to attend.

    But he was also very good at creating plausible smoke screens.

    She had sat down at the desk and stared into his blank computer screen. She even fingered the power button on the tower, tempted to turn it on and engage in some exploration that only thieves, spies, and suspicious wives would engage in.

    She hadn't touched this computer since he had bought one exclusively for her. When she saw the labeled boxes he'd carried in and placed on the kitchen table, she had exclaimed, "You bought another computer?"

    "It's time you had your own. Merry Christmas!"

    "This is June."

    "So I'm early. Or late." He shrugged in his disarming way. "Now that you have your own, when you want to exchange email with your folks, or do some Internet shopping, or whatever, you won't have to work around me."

    "I use your computer during the day when you're at the clinic."

    "That's my point. Now you can go online anytime."

    And so can you.

    Apparently he had read her thought because he'd said, "It's not what you're thinking, Toni." Here he had propped his hands on his hips, looking defensive. "I was browsing in the computer store this morning. I see this bright pink number that's small, compact, and can do just about everything, and I think, 'Feminine and efficient. Just like my darling wife.' So I bought it for you on impulse. I thought you'd be pleased. Obviously I was wrong."

    "I am pleased," she said, instantly contrite. "It was a very thoughtful gesture, Brad. Thank you." She looked askance at the boxes. "Did you say pink?"

    Then they'd laughed. He'd enfolded her in a bear hug. He'd smelled like sunshine, soap, and wholesomeness. His body had felt comfortable, familiar, and good against hers. Her fears had been assuaged.

    But only temporarily. Recently they had resurfaced.

    She hadn't booted up his computer tonight. She'd been too afraid of what she might find. If a password had been required for access, her suspicions would have been confirmed, and she hadn't wanted that. God, no, she hadn't.

    So she had done her best to restore the busted doorknob, then had gone to bed and eventually to sleep, in the hope that Brad would awaken her soon, brimming with knowledge about financial stratagems for families in their income bracket. It had been a desperate hope.

    "I've certainly enjoyed your company tonight," the sexy voice on the radio was saying. "This is your host for classic love songs, Paris Gibson."

    No seminar lasted until two o'clock in the morning. No therapy-group meeting lasted until the wee hours either. That had been Brad's excuse last week when he had stayed out most of the night.

    His explanation had been that one of the men in his group was having a difficult time coping. "After the meeting, he asked me to go get a beer with him, said he needed an understanding shoulder to cry on. This dude has a real problem, Toni. Whew! You wouldn't believe some of the stuff he told me. I'm talking sick. Anyhow, I knew you would understand. You know what it's like."

    She knew all too well. The lying. The denials. The time unaccounted for. Locked doors. She knew what it was like, all right. It was like this.

    Copyright © 2003 by Sandra Brown Management Ltd.

    Read More Show Less

    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 151 )
    Rating Distribution

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    (80)

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    (28)

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    (24)

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    (14)

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 151 Customer Reviews
    • Posted January 29, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Radio Nonsense SPOILERS,

      CD/Romantic Thriller/Abridged: First a disclaimer; I used to work in radio in the 90s. That being said, you better get the technology and protocol correctly. The book had it wrong. The hardback to this book came out in 2003 and the radio station is in a large Texas market. I worked in three different stations in a small market and we had better technology. Paris is chooses her own music log and it's hand written? Really? Radio stations went to CD in the 80s, but Paris is using cassettes? Four hour air shift and she plays no commercials, and her show isn't syndicated? How does she get paid? She happens not to play Valentino's calls live, but she usually plays calls live, unheard of. As for the criminal profiler, Dean? He's not too bright because his profile fits the main suspect, but not the murderer. (Just in case you miss it, the police get it all wrong and technically do not catch the murderer). The Romance is nonsense too. I couldn't stand the hero or the heroine, so I guess they deserve each other.

      11 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted March 27, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      What a great book!

      Kept me guessing til the very end- Good til the last page! Litterally a "Who done it"
      My first time to read Mrs Brown as I found my copy on the plane but she has just become my new favorite author=) Grab a copy of this book and enjoy!

      6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 4, 2005

      NOT ONE OF HER BEST

      I USUALLY LIKE SANDRA BROWN STORIES, BUT THIS WASN'T ONE OF THEM. IT STARTS OUT AS A GOOD MYSTERY, BUT NOT MUCH OF A SURPRISE WHEN THE CULPRIT IS DISCOVERED.

      5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 3, 2013

      Enjoyable read.

      This book is good entertainment. Holds your interest. Good to take along on vacation. Would read this Author's work again

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted September 30, 2012

      Kits and cub rps!

      Blackkit is a black tom. Go to fireflower first result to rp. Moonkit is his sister. She is black with a silver chest. Parents r moonshine and blackclaw. Same place. Claw and dream r male panther cubs with blue eyes and there sister is ice. Go to growl to rp them. Firekit is a tom who is a orangish white. Go to wide fields to rp him. Squirrelkit is brown with green eyes and her brother flamekit is a firey orange. Go to glacier to rp them. Txs!

      3 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted December 23, 2011

      Last Minute

      Well this one was quite an interesting story. I enjoyed the characters very much and I did enjoy the book. Sandra Brown gives you different versions of who the bad person could be up to the end. This is worth reading.

      3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 28, 2010

      My jaw is still on the floor...... WOW!

      I just finished Hello Darkness and I started it this morning! I seriously could not put it down! Fair warning it is a little graphic (not in a sexy, hot way) and hard to stomach at times. A big part of the story is about this "Sex Club" where high school kids meet with people of all ages and do sexual things - at times it was hard to read (the parts with older men and the teenagers), but if you can stomach it, it is an AMAZING book! I loved the history between Paris and Dean - love Dean! The ending.... my jaw is still on the floor! Just when you think you know who the bad guy is, there are turns and then you think it's someone else. By the last chapter I was so confused, I had no idea what was going on. I was racing through the last few chapters because I was dying to know. I gave it 4 stars because of the parts that were hard to stomach and I like a little more romance than what was in this book but overall it's a GREAT book!

      3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 10, 2013

      Sandra Brown never disappoints

      Once again, Sandra Brown has written a great mystery. Highly recommend it.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 8, 2013

      Highly recommended

      this book was hard to put down...not sure who the "villain" is until the end...very very good

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 3, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Recommend

      Exciting adventure, well written

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 27, 2012

      Go to

      Foreverclan at hello third result!

      2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 22, 2012

      i listened to this as a book on tape while working on my art pro

      i listened to this as a book on tape while working on my art projects late at night and alone in the art building. Needless to say, the story had me jumping.
      Its a great read and worthy of a second go around

      2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 9, 2011

      Reads a lot

      I read a lot and like Sandra Brown novels. I loved the mystery and romance but not one of my favorites. I didn't care for the twist involving young kids and adults.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 8, 2007

      High suspense with a touch of romance!

      I thought this was just a wonderfully written book. Very suspenseful, great characters outstanding story. Go for it!

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 5, 2007

      COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!

      I have always been a fan of Sandra Brown's romance novels, but I love all her lastest novels!!!!!!! This novel is right up there with Chill Factor, which is my favorite by Ms. Brown. I have recommended her to everyone I know who enjoys suspense!!! Keep writing Ms. Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 14, 2014

      HOLA

      GUUUUURL

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted June 11, 2014

      Catherine

      Hi olivia

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 7, 2013

      Great fast paced read. A great blend of plot lines that all me

      Great fast paced read. A great blend of plot lines that all mesh together. Fantastic ending.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 18, 2012

      Anonymous on July 18, 2012

      Don't know how I missed Hello, Darkness when it first came out! Glad I found it and loved it as much as Sandra Brown's other books!

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 30, 2011

      Wow!

      Read this book a while back! Very good and keeps you guessing until the end

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 151 Customer Reviews

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