Pressure of Darkness

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2006 Hardcover First-First edition New in New jacket 1594144702 Best-selling horror writer Peter Stryker is found in a locked suite after what the police describe as a night of ... "self-mutilation." With classical music playing softly in the background, Stryker laid out medical instruments, filleted his own flesh, and cauterized each wound unto death. Would a man commit suicide by butchering his own body? Stryker's daughter Nicole does not accept the theory. ''My father was terrified of death, '' she tells retired Black Ops agent Jack Burke. ''I want to know what happened in that hotel room. And why. '' Burke, who is working both sides of the law to pay his wife's mounting medical bills, involves the surviving members of his Delta team--Detective Scotty Bowden, who stepped over that thin blue line to go on the take, and wheelchair-bound Coroner Doc Washington, crippled during their final mission, who is losing his battle with painkillers. The bloody trail leads Burke deep into corruption and conspiracy, faci Read more Show Less

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2006 Hard cover October 2006 New in new dust jacket. Gift Quality. Pristine. Tight. Brand New. Fast Arrival. Collectors item. Carefully packed in bubble wrap. 1st Edition. Glued ... binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 439 p. Five Star First Edition Mystery. Audience: General/trade. Gift Quality. Pristine. Tight. Brand New. Fast Arrival. Collectors item. Carefully packed in bubble wrap. 1st Edition. Read more Show Less

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594144707
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Series: Five Star First Edition Mystery Ser.
  • Pages: 439
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    A journey of the human experience! Highly Recomend!

    The Pressure of Darkness by Harry Shannon is not only an awesome novel but has a completely profound affect that makes one think and "digest" the journey of the human experience! Thoroughly engrossing from the very beginning with a small Special Ops team roped down in Somalia to assassinate a cult leader. Religion, existentialism, humanistic psychology, and conflict are not only present throughout the novel but have special moments where the reader thinks, reexamines situations and is not just entertained by a book. For example, Father Bennedetto explains to Jack "Red" Burke that his flying lessons sustain his faith during those 'long Dark, nights of the soul'. Father Benny has his own inner conflicts in order to provide the best for his parish. Each character suffers a different conflict such as Doc with his drugs to the Homeless man that lies about his handicap. My favorite quote in the book is given by Father Benny when he quotes Victor Frankle (psychiatrist as well as Holocaust survivor) that three things are needed to endure the vagaries of existence: meaning, purpose and value and that special ingredient commitment. Harry Shannon has accomplished all this and more with the writing of this novel!

    Harry Shannon is well researched. I found myself saying is this true? The reference to internet killer Armin Meiwes and the religious beliefs of Mother Kali prepares the reader for the action-filled suspense and gore. This sets the stage for many twists and turns throughout the book. I was engrossed when Estaban and Beuy were watching Mr. McQueen and his struggle to shoot his Chinese friend. My heart was beating out of my chest when Bowden hears his own bloodstream "hissing, aching for his friends." Shannon carefully compares this to Judas and the pieces of silver. I was deeply touched by the tender moments between Jack and Indira's discussion of the meaning of life and Jean Paul Sartre. The coffee scene at the beginning had me laughing in chapter six and I really liked the part when Bowden quoted Mark Twain that the "greatest trick the devil has ever pulled is convincing us he doesn't exist."

    I highly recommend The Pressure of Darkness! I will definitely read more of Shannon's novels. Especially after I had the privilege to ask Harry Shannon which character was more representative of himself and he said that Mick is far more like his personality. Burke is who he would like to have been. This rather surprised me and I disagree! Truth is Mr. Harry Shannon your heart and passion are Mick but your soul is seen very clearly in the character Burke.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Solid writing with a gutsy punch

    This was my first Harry Shannon novel, and I thouroughly enjoyed the ride. The characters were well developed and flawed (read: realistic). Harry does an excellent job digging into the psyche of the characters, and all of their actions make sense and stay true to their respective mentality. The action is at a breakneck speed, and the concepts are original. This is an excellent novel to introduce you to Harry's style. I just picked up two additional short stories and his novel, Dead and Gone. You can count me as a Harry Shannon fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    Gimme Pressure...

    Do you want to talk pressure? Do you want to talk dark? Let's start with a murder victim who has apparently fricaseed, filleted, and flayed himself to death in a locked hotel room. Now let's throw in a retired bad-attitude, Black Ops operative into the mess. We're talking dark, thrilling and merciless. Pick yourself up a copy of Harry Shannon's THE PRESSURE OF DARKNESS from Five-Star Mystery. For fans of finely edged tension, I recommend it. Yours in horror, Steve Vernon

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    A hard-hitting, gutsy thriller

    Nicole Moberly has a problem. Her father, the horror writer Peter Stryker, has apparently committed suicide. According to the LAPD¿s official version, he sealed himself in a hotel room and proceeded to mutilate every square inch of his body. Nicole doesn¿t believe a man can do that to himself, and neither does police detective Scottie Bowden. Enter Jack Burke, a wonderful drawn, but horribly haunted man, whose list of careers includes mob enforcer, private detective, and black ops specialist. This is a man you do NOT want to play with. Bowden directs Nicole to Burke, and what follows is a lightning fast thriller packed with twist after maddening twist as Burke¿s investigation puts him square in the sights of a cult that will stop at nothing to bring about a biological holocaust in God¿s name. Be warned¿this is not an easy book. It will grab you where it hurts and not let go. The pages fly by, because this is a VERY fast moving book, but don¿t mistake hard-hitting action for soft content. Veteran writer Harry Shannon has put a lot of balls in the air, and watching him juggle them all is something to see. This guy is good¿really, really good. Whether you¿re in to military spec ops, hard-biting crime, or mind-bending horror, you¿re going to find a lot to love in this supreme achievement. Do yourself a big favor and read this book. You will not be disappointed. I promise. Joe McKinney, author of Dead City

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An action-packed thriller

    LAPD decided that horror writer Peter Stryker committed suicide while staying at the Universal Sheraton under the alias of Dan Ira Palski. His daughter Nicole Moberly disagrees as she insists her father feared death and defiantly would not have used a surgical knife to peel his skin. Homicide detective Scottie Bowden, a Delta team ¿Brother¿ from their Black Ops days in the 1990s, sends her to private detective Jack Burke to investigate. She hires Jack, who takes the job because he needs money to pay is ailing wife¿s medical bills.--------------- Jack obtains help from wheelchair bound coroner Doc Washington, who was crippled on their last mission together Doc provides him information from the autopsy. As Burke assisted by Scottie and Doc begins to dig, he realizes that Nicole is right that her father was brutally murdered the evidence begins pointing towards a cult wanting to bring Armageddon upon the world now.--------------- Though somewhat over the top, THE PRESSURE OF DARKNESS is an action-packed thriller starring an interesting hero who like his Brothers in Arms has not recovered from his last combat mission. The story line starts off as a femme fatale whodunit but morphs into a cult prepared to release a biological weapon of mass destruction in the name of God. Fans who appreciate non stop action and adventure will want to follow the exploits of this retired Delta team survivors as they go on one last mission of life and death.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    Outstanding thriller by Harry Shannon

    Having been familiar with Harry Shannon's work in the horror field(The Night Trilogy) and not as familiar with his other work, I was floored by how polished and accessible this new book was. Without giving away any plot spoilers, think of Black Ops agents, Indian Thuggee cults, the goddess Kali,A megalomaniac,and much more. This is a fast moving book that has big screen written all over it. With a likeable protagonist in Jack Burke hopefully this book receives the push and promotion it deserves. Highly recommended! Craig Davis

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2006

    Jack Burke is a character one looks to hear from agin.

    A really good read. The first day it drew me rignt in read over 200 pages. Jack Burke is a character that dont cut any slack. A rough vetran of many missions under cover for the government. He is still on call to do their dirty work. He gets called into a case of horrific suicide. It is his job to find out if there was any foul play involved. He has chosen to work both sides of the law. Can he manage to straddle the fence. The forces of darkness at work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2006

    GREAT, but dark and disturbing

    Wow, I don't think I'd recommend this one for young adults! It is very dark and disturbing, with lots of excitement, suspense, a passionate love affair and some gruesome violence. The author has extensive experience in writing both mysteries and horror fiction and uses every trick up his sleeve to make this cross-genre novel a sucess. Highly recommended...but not for kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    Excellent read!

    When Jack ¿Red¿ Burke was a pup he went on a very dangerous and strange covert ops mission that didn¿t go according to plan. Jack found himself facing a man rolling around laughing on a pile of corpses he had sacrificed. Burke killed the man but the effects from such a horrific incident will stay with him forever. Thirteen years later Burke is a civilian on the fringes of the law. He still does some ¿special¿ work for the government at times and also works as an enforcer for the mob. Also sometimes his old Army friend Scotty, who is now a police officer, throws something his way that he thinks Burke can handle better without having to go through proper channels. One such case is the suicide of Peter Stryker. Stryker¿s daughter Nicole wants to know if her dad really killed himself or if it was something else. Everyone seems to want the case closed but did Stryker really drug himself to the gills and cut off various body parts and gut himself or did he have some encouragement? Wow, just¿wow, this is an amazing book. A mixture of horror, thriller, spec ops and murder mystery filled with some of the most depraved human behavior wrapped up in a very tight storytelling package makes The Pressure of Darkness a must read. The synopsis above is really only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot going on in here you can¿t read this one lazily, you must pay attention. I didn¿t even mention the biological terrorist, the Mexican drug lord, the Hindu mysticism or any of the many fascinating side characters we get to know and love (or hate.) At 438 pages you¿ll definitely be getting your moneys worth. The first half starts out a little slow but once the second half kicks in the action doesn¿t stop. The ending also takes us very neatly back to the beginning and wraps up the story very nicely. This isn¿t a book for the squeamish. There is a lot of gore and brutality and its real in the sense as it could really happen. There isn¿t anything cheesy or supernatural to cling to in order for you to feel safe. Author Harry Shannon doesn¿t go overboard with the red stuff either. There¿s plenty here but it¿s not so much that it becomes brutal for brutalities sake. Everything is very well balanced. There is a lot of suspense but Harry gives you breathing room so it never becomes too much. Of course I read and watch a lot of this type of thing so my tolerance of intensity is probably higher than most people. I still had to read something light and funny after this, so don¿t think I wasn¿t affected. If you like any of the genres I mentioned above I recommend you give The Pressure of Darkness a try. This book would make a great movie even though about half of the story would have to be cut for time. I¿ve noticed Hollywood trying to bring back the 80¿s action style movies, this one has that feel. I¿d love to read more about Jack Burke. I don¿t know if a sequel would work but a prequel would be fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    Harry Shannon did it again!

    Another couldn't-put-it-down thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat! Excellent, well defined characters and a fast-paced plot. I won't give it away, but it's a must-read.

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