Into the Dark (Echo Falls Series #3)

Into the Dark (Echo Falls Series #3)

by Peter Abrahams


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060737108
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Series: Echo Falls Series , #3
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 369,781
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Peter Abrahams is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five books, including the Edgar Award-winning Reality Check, Bullet Point, and the Echo Falls series for middle graders. Writing as Spencer Quinn, he is also the author of the Chet and Bernie series—Dog on It, Thereby Hangs a Tail, and To Fetch a Thief. He and his wife live in Massachusetts with their dog, Audrey.

Read an Excerpt

Into the Dark

Chapter One

"Brucie?" said Jill Monteiro, director of the Prescott Players. "Could we have that line again?"

"'Do not vorry, my little Gretel,'" Brucie said. "'All vill be vell.'"

Jill gazed at him for a moment, her dark eyes thoughtful. "Ah," she said. "That would be a German accent?"

"Jawohl, Kommandant," said Brucie.

"Hansel being German," Jill said.

Brucie clicked his heels.

"Interesting," said Jill.

"Oh, dear," said Sylvia Breen, cast as the witch but in real life assistant head teller at Central State Savings and Loan. "I'm no good at accents. No good at all."

"You see the problem, Brucie," Jill said.

"Nein," said Brucie.

"Either everybody does a German accent or nobody," she said.

"Completely hopeless," said Mrs. Breen.

"So we're gonna take a vote?" Brucie said.

Ingrid Levin-Hill, sitting on a stool beside Mrs. Breen, script in her hand and all Gretel's lines underlined in red, saw that Brucie's right leg was doing that twitchy thing. Ingrid loved being in the Prescott Players, loved this beautiful little theater in Prescott Hall, loved everything about putting on plays—especially working with Jill. Jill was a real actress: She'd been in a Hollywood movie, Tongue and Groove, where she'd said, "Make it a double," to the Eugene Levy character with this wicked look in her eye, best moment in the movie, in Ingrid's opinion. She'd watched the video many times—the only way anyone had ever seen the movie, since there'd been no actual theatrical release. Working with Jill was a privilege.

But working with Brucie? Ingrid had known Brucie most of her life. They had the very same birthday, a disturbing fact. She remembered Brucie on the playground, one of those kids—the only one, in her experience—who never tired of making himself dizzy. Now Brucie was the eighth-grade class clown at Ferrand Middle, taken seriously by no one. Until recently: about a month before, in fact, when his Xmas Revue performance of the wizard, in the scene where Oz is revealed to be a fraud, brought down the house—even though it wasn't supposed to be funny, and in rehearsal Brucie had missed every cue and botched his lines. But something had happened in the live performance, something that had prompted Mr. Samuels, editor and publisher of the Echo Falls Echo, to write in his "Arts, Entertainment, and Things to Do" column: "Do not miss the hilarious youngster Bruce Berman as the wizard like you've never seen him." Brucie carried the clipping in his pocket.

"I make a motion," he said, "zat ve do German accents."

The cast—Ingrid; Mrs. Breen; Meredith O'Malley (playing the woodcutter's wife), who looked a bit like Marilyn Monroe if Marilyn had reached middle age and let herself go; and the woodcutter, Mr. Santos, of Santos Texaco, who did a great wiseguy voice—all waited for Jill's reaction.

"Who vill second ze motion?" said Brucie.

Jill turned to him. "Know what I'm afraid of, Brucie?" she said.

"Grizzly bears?" said Brucie.

Jill blinked, a single blink, long and slow. Ingrid had never seen her do that before; for just a second, Jill didn't seem to be enjoying herself. "I'm afraid," she said, "of any additional little touch that might tip us into parody."

"Huh?" said Brucie.

"Parody," said Jill. "Like Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

"Monty Python?" said Brucie. "Three thumbs up." He got off his stool, pranced around the stage, making clip-clop sounds and banging imaginary coconuts to-gether. "Python rules." Ingrid's best friend, Stacy, would have smacked him; Ingrid herself came close.

"Siddown," said Mr. Santos.

Brucie skidded to a stop and sat.

"Decisions like this always come back to understanding what the story is about," said Jill.


"These two kids get kicked out of the house," said Mr. Santos.

"And meet up with a witch who lures them with a gingerbread house," said Meredith O'Malley.

"Don't forget the bread crumbs," said Mrs. Breen.

"You're giving me the plot," Jill said. "But what's it about? That's the root of everything we're going to do with this play." Jill was back to normal. She had a lovely, expressive face; even under the dim houselights it was shining.

"Kids on their own," Ingrid said.

Jill nodded. "Kids on their own," she said. "Yes—and deep in a dark and dangerous place."

"Ooo," said Meredith, in her breathy voice. "I just got a shiver."

"So—vote or no vote?" said Brucie.

Ingrid stood alone outside Prescott Hall—a huge old mansion with lots of towers and gargoyles, now mostly hidden by scaffolding. She waited for her ride. Nothing unusual about that: Mom and Dad had busy lives, were often late. Meanwhile a gray squirrel was running through the snow, a fast squirrel that kicked up tiny white puffs. Hey—it didn't really run, more like bounded along, the hind paws landing first. How come she'd never noticed that before? Like Sherlock Holmes, her favorite fictional character by far, Ingrid made a habit of observing small details. She took a close look at its tracks. Most were blurred because of how fast it had been going, but she found one clear set—the hind paws, landing first, had five toes; the front paws, actually landing behind, only four. People had the same number of fingers and toes, so why would—


She turned, saw Dad's TT parked in the circular drive behind her. The window slid down. "Ingrid," Dad called, "I honked three times."

Ingrid got in the car. It smelled of Dad's aftershave—a nice smell. "You really didn't hear me?" he said.

"Sorry, Dad."

"Got your head in the clouds these days," he said.

And you've been crabby for months. But Ingrid didn't say it. Dad worked hard—he was vice president at the Ferrand Group, and Ingrid was starting to understand that Mr. Ferrand was a pretty demanding boss. In good light now, on days like this, for example, she could see tiny lines at the corners of Dad's eyes; but still the handsomest dad in Echo Falls.

"How was rehearsal?" he said.

Into the Dark. Copyright (c) by Peter Abrahams . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Into the Dark 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book of exciting and fascinating adventures. Young readers will be swallowed by this wonderful book. I read the whole thing in just 1 day because i dare not to put it down! i reccomened to all!
KarenBall on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Ingrid Levin-Hill is back, and she's playing Gretel in the local theater's production of Hansel and Gretel. The play's not the only place where danger lurks in the woods, though. One of the more obnoxious local conservation agents is found murdered on Grampy's farm, and Grampy gets arrested and charged with the crime. Grampy absolutely refuses to give an alibi, and refuses to cooperate with the sheriff, so it's up to Ingrid to try to piece together where Grampy was, and what happened to the conservation agent before Grampy is forced to cut a deal or go to trial -- both of which would lead to prison for him. Ingrid discovers along the way that Grampy was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in World War II on the island of Corregidor, and that he was part of the Bataan Death March -- neither of which he is willing to talk about, but some of his old comrades fill in enough of the details for Ingrid. How could this courageous, honorable, stubborn old man be guilty of shooting an unarmed man in the back? Ingrid's determined to find out the truth, but it's more dangerous than she knows. Great mystery! Grade 6 and up.
MissReadsALot on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I thought this book was as good as all the others. I loved the plot of this story and the firey ending. I hoope this isn't the end of the series and that Peter Abrahams writes another Echo Falls mystery.
SunnySD on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Fresh from her success solving the mystery of Down the Rabbit Hole, Ingrid has the role of Gretel in the new Echo Falls play. But learning her lines and getting lost in fictitious woods is the least of her worries. Grampy's farm is threatened, and when a local conservation officer is shot, the gruff old man is arrested - and he's not doing a thing to defend himself. With her parents marriage on shaky ground, her dog missing, her best friend moving away, and only herself to rely on, Ingrid turns to her idol, Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But can even he get her out of this one alive?An even more sinister follow-up, although who-dun-it wasn't a huge mystery. Can't wait to see what Ingrid gets into next.
virginiahomeschooler on LibraryThing 11 months ago
I love the Echo Falls books by Peter Abrahams. LOVE them. Into the Dark is the third installment in this series that started with Down the Rabbit Hole and was followed by Behind the Curtain. These novels, written presumably with teen and young adult readers in mind, center around Ingrid Levin-Hill, an intelligent young girl who is a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast. When faced with a mystery, she asks herself how Holmes would handle the situation. In this newest book, Ingrid finds herself dealing with seemingly insurmountable family problems - not the least of which is that her beloved grandfather has been accused of murder. Abrahams, who's written several well-known popular fiction titles, seems to have a talent for writing for younger people. His characters are believable and well-written. Ingrid is a fantastic heroine. She's smart and funny, compassionate and brave - everything a heroine should be. While I won't say I was totally shocked by the ending, the plot was well-conceived and there was enough action and suspense to keep me reading late into the night. We also see a lot of growth in not only Ingrid but in her family's situation as well in this book. There are numerous issues amongst her parents and brother that make her situation all the more realistic. All I can say is that I hope there's a fourth book on the horizon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The leader jumps up on High Branch. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey gather benith High Branch to hear what I have to say." She waits. "All newcommers are welcome to stay. We are a thriving clan, but to ensure we stay strong we should go on more border patrols (avertise). Whiteflower will be in charge in that. Also we have made an allience with Snowclan at 'snowflake' res three." She smiles. "Lastly, since our medicine cat Tigerstrike has been missing Navypaw will train with me. I do have some experince with medicine. Untill further notice." She jumps down. "Clan dismised."
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This book keeps you on the edge try it,not nowing what would cone next left you hanging for a while
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Cailin McCaffrey More than 1 year ago
how many times have i read this good a book???0
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Xinyu Huang More than 1 year ago
this one could have used a little more work, it was better then the last one though. When i first read this series, i thought it would be pretty decent, but i guess i was wrong... It's really obvious who the bad guy is. Its like the reader is yelling to Ingrid 'The murderer is right in front of you!!!!'. Mysterys are supposed to be suspenseful and suprising. But i think that Ingrid is a rather likeable character, curious, passionate, funny, and nice.
Katie Lafont More than 1 year ago
i have read this series four times and have loved it each time i would recogmend it to anyone who likes a good mystery with a lot of action and suspence
Danielle Phillips More than 1 year ago
i love this book and series
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