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Darkness All Around: A Novel

3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  93 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Now in paperback: a gripping novel of psychological suspense in which a man’s startling claims about a long-ago murder compel his ex-wife to risk all in search of the truth.

When there’s DARKNESS ALL AROUND . . . some memories are best forgotten

Within the span of one harrowing week, Risa’s alcoholic husband, Sean, disappears, and her best friend, Carol, is brutally m
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Touchstone (first published 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 446)
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
For a moment, I despaired ever really getting into this novel: the book opens with two brief chapters that were sort of vague, kind of flash back-y, and I felt my interest drifting before I could even figure out the story's hook. Then, thankfully, Magee zeroed in on his heroine and for me, the book got interesting.

While there's not a lot that's new in this book, what is offered is solid: the mystery is dark and twisted, the characters compellingly messed up, the tension creepy, and the setting c
Apr 28, 2012 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was a quick, fun read. A good story with a surprise twist ending i honestly did not see coming!

There was some awkward phrasing throughout and the female lead character was not very deep or well-developed so it was hard to root for her even though her situation was awful. She just sort of filled in a role. The politician husband was appropriately sleezy and well-written. Overall I enjoyed this book. I received it for free from Goodreads First Reads.
Mary Ann
If you can make it thru the first few chapters, the story is worth reading. Interesting story line which helped me finish the book. However I feel I must note that in my opinion the use of a particular four-letter word was overdone, and was distracting. This was my 1st free book from Goodreads & I appreciate the opportunity to read & review it.
Jan 18, 2012 Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Blech....a poor poor poor man's version of Harlan Coben (who is far from being a genius writer!) I just wanted to find out who done it, and in the end the cliched characters and stinky red herrings just made me sad I wasted time on this book.
Andrea Guy
Darkness All Around is a different kind of mystery. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but the read was definitely a pleasant surprise. What was different in this story is the relationship aspect. Most of the books in this genre that I've read seldom focus on the people involved. This isn't the case here, and that really almost takes away the whodunit from the story, especially as the whodunit is a case that's been closed for years.

I was drawn to the story because it is set in Pennsylvani
Luanne Ollivier

I read and reviewed Doug Magee's debut novel Never Wave Goodbye last year. He's back with his newly released second novel Darkness All Around.

Risa's husband Sean disappeared eleven years ago, leaving her to raise their son Kevin alone. Risa moved on, after having Sean declared dead, marrying Alan, a friend they both knew. Except.... Sean's not dead. He's returned to town, determined to turn himself in - for murder. Risa's best friend Carol was killed eleven years ago and Sean believes he did it.
Ryan G
Aug 21, 2012 Ryan G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was offered this book for review, I almost passed on it. I had read and reviewed the author's last book, Never Wave Goodbye, and I wasn't in love with it. I enjoyed it, but wasn't sure I liked it enough to give the author another look. To make the decision even harder was the fact that I had just given up on a book from an author I had given a second chance too. I wasn't really open to the idea of doing it again. For whatever reason, I ignored my doubts and jumped right in.

Every issue I h
Zohar -
Jul 14, 2012 Zohar - rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Darkness All Around by Doug Magee is a mystery novel taking place in a small town. Besides the mystery which the story centers around, the book also captures the neurosis feel of small town politics.

Eleven years after Risa’s best friend was murdered, her husband Sean comes back to town claiming he is the murderer. He was considered dead and the murderer has been caught, but such small details don’t stop Sean from trying to prove his guilt.

The small Pennsylvania town is set ablaze when violent fo
Darkness All Around

By Doug Magee

This book grips the reader right from the first page and keeps that grip tight until the last page. The plot is stronger than the character which feel a bit stereotyped. This is not a police procedural or an amateur detective mystery, just a woman trying to understand what happened to her life and her love. She lost her true love to drink and disappearance, but she married her second-best friend and has had a good marriage. He is good to her and good to her son.

Jul 04, 2012 Caitlin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Darkness All Around is a thriller with a literary bent, although in all honesty it reads more like a family drama to me than a crime thriller. Yes, there's plenty of violence and twists and turns, but at the end of the day this is really the story of one woman's journey back to a life she thought she had truly lost and it is this story that kept me hooked.

The premise is pretty typical for crime fiction: There was a murder. The wrong man was sent to prison. The initial reporter on the scene of th
Oct 15, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From grade school through high school, classmates Sean, Risa, and Alan are best friends who do everything together. But aspirations beyond college separate the threesome, and Sean and Risa pair off on their own. Soon Risa becomes pregnant, and Sean and Risa move back to their small hometown in Pennsylvania right after college graduation to await the birth of their son Kevin. When Sean’s widowed father does the unthinkable–committing suicide and leaving everything he owns to the couple to give th ...more
Doug Magee’s Darkness All Around is an engrossing story about a small town whose inhabitants get more than they could ever imagine – and not in a good way – when a man returns from the dead to confess to a murder.

Risa loses her first husband to alcoholism. Her second is bent on winning political office. Her son is a high-school football star who may take too much enjoyment in hitting his opponents… She’s not happy, but goes along with the flow anyway. Then Sean comes back to town, convinced that
Kathy Martin
Jun 12, 2012 Kathy Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb calls this part murder mystery and part love story and that is true. It is also a frightening and complex story about memory and lies. The story begins with a murder. Carol Slezak is brutally killed by being strangled and hacked with a machete. G.G. Trask, a mentally handicapped co-worker at The Ding Dong, is railroaded into a confession. At the same time Risa's alcoholic husband Sean disappears leaving her with their young child.

Eleven years pass...Risa is now married to Alan, a loca
This book was okay. It was a little hard to get into at first as I tried a few times. It was the profanity that kept turning me off. Within the first few pages there was at least 5-6 swear words. There isn't a need for such foul language. I finally committed and forged on. I am glad that I did. It had an interesting plot and the characters were believable and you really wanted to be on their side. Hoping beyond hope that things would turn out okay.

It would be terrifying to me if I finally moved
Kitty Honeycutt
Jul 05, 2012 Kitty Honeycutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Title: "Darkness All Around”
Author: Doug Magee
Published By: Simon and Schuster
Age Recommended: 18+
Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard
Raven Rating: 5

Review: I love a good suspense novel that can keep you on the edge of your seat just as good as any awesome movie can. “Darkness All Around,” by Doug Magee definitely delivers. This book has so many facets it’s hard to even begin to list them all. The story not only presents you with mystery and intrigue but true thrilling moments and scares that will se
Sep 15, 2012 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads win...

Sean, a man who was pronounced dead by his wife comes back to Braden some 13yrs later claiming he killed his wife's best friend Carol. But is his memory playing tricks with him or did he really kill her? His wife Risa doesn't believe he did it, but is she blaming someone else who she's been loving for the past years Sean has been gone?

This was definitely a book full of suspense and surprises, but the writing didn't really capture the quality. This suspense/mystery novel would ha
Nov 19, 2011 Ginny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Never Wave Goodbye by the author, I was really looking forward to his new suspense novel. Although I didn't find it to be as good as his first book, I was, nevertheless, drawn into this mystery. The cast is fully developed so that the audience understands what motivates the key players to behave the way they have now and a decade ago. Doug Magee writes a taut thriller in which the suspense is front and center while the romantic subplot supports the mystery.
Karen French
It was a page turner, a mystery of the finest quality. The characters were charasmatic and each delivered. I really got into the story from the very first page. I couldn't wait to see who the killer was. It left me breathless and on the edge of my seat. Great book.

I received this book for free on Goodreads First Reads.
It was hard to get into, but it was okay once it got going. It did have a surprise ending, which I liked. However, there was just something about it that kept me quite from giving it 3 stars. I definitely enjoyed his first book much better.
Received from Good Reads contest. An excellent book. Will definitely add Doug Magee to list of "have to" read authors. Like his style. Didn't want to put book down till finished. Liked characters. Hope to see more books written by Doug Magee.
Andrew Neal
It was okay. I felt like it was way too stretched out even though it was short. It seemed like short story or novella material to me.
Shirley McCann
Jun 28, 2012 Shirley McCann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. I had no idea who was guilty until the very end. Pulled me in and held my attention throughout. Good read!
Rosemary Larsen
Sep 19, 2013 Rosemary Larsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A master who done it!!!Two mysteries intertwined and two creepy husbands - one ex, one current.
Patti Meyer
Apr 12, 2012 Patti Meyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about lost love and second chances. Enough mystery and surprises to keep you reading.
Apr 15, 2012 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took awhile to get into this book. Enjoyed it after the first several chapters.
Pretty good but I thought it would be better.
Ivy rated it did not like it
May 15, 2016
Tara G
Tara G marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Hannah Williamson
Hannah Williamson marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2016
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I'm a writer, photographer, and filmmaker living in New York's East Harlem. I am the author of the novels Never Wave Goodbye and Darkness All Around (both Touchstone/Simon and Schuster). My new novel, President Blog, will be out as an ebook on January 24th, 2016
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