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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Daniel Judson's crime fiction thriller -- appropriately titled The Darkest Place -- examines loss, grief, and self-destruction in the Hamptons during the dead of winter.
Throughout a stretch of record cold weather, numerous bodies of teenage boys are found floating fully clothed and evidently uninjured in nearby bays and canals. In public, the police are calling the deaths accidents and possible suicides; but secretly they've started calling the killer John the Baptist -- because all of his victims are found submerged in water. One of the victims (Larry Foster) was a student at Southampton College, and when detectives question the young man's creative writing instructor -- a burned-out writer named Deacon Kane -- they immediately peg him as a person of interest. Kane, still trying to come to grips with the tragic drowning death of his own son four years earlier, is a mess: Addicted to alcohol and involved in a love affair with a married woman, Kane has missed more classes than he has actually taught, and his job is tenuous at best. But private investigator Reggie Clay, hired by Foster's Catholic parents to rule out suicide, begins to uncover a bizarre murder plot that involves an enigmatic seductress named Collette, a mysterious giant of a man, and a criminal mastermind known only as the Professor. Is Kane the brains behind the murders or just a perfect scapegoat?
As haunting as it is heartrending, The Darkest Place -- equal parts murder mystery and bittersweet journey of salvation -- will stay with readers for a long, long time. Paul Goat Allen