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The Dark Room

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,292 ratings  ·  186 reviews
Gavin Cain, an SFPD homicide inspector, is in the middle of an exhumation when his phone rings. San Francisco’s mayor is being blackmailed and has ordered Cain back to the city; a helicopter is on its way. The casket, and Cain’s cold-case investigation, must wait. At City Hall, the mayor shows Cain four photographs he’s received: the first, an unforgettable blonde; the sec ...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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 ·  1,292 ratings  ·  186 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
I'll be honest, after seeing the widely varied reviews of The Poison Artist I wasn't sure what to expect of Moore's latest book. I originally passed on reviewing TPA because I was overwhelmed with other requests I'd committed to and, unfortunately let those reviews sway my decision. Even though that book was a 180 from The Dark Room, I still would like to go back and read it as I was highly impressed with his form of storytelling and writing style. Most of my Goodreads buds are aware of my deep ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel was a joy to read from beginning to end. It is in the best tradition of the darkest noir where the city of San Francisco is not only the the backdrop but a major player in this intricate and complex story. It reminded me of the classics of the golden age of hard-boiled detective fiction. Gavin Cain is a detective Inspector with SFPD exhuming a body on a case triggered by a deathbed video recording of a funeral director. He is pulled off the case when a more urgent present day case ari ...more
Jonathan Moore follows-up The Poison Artist with an entirely different style, feel and set of characters. He goes from a plot hidden among the hazy fog, to a compelling police procedural. Completely different, but both deliciously dark and proof that this author has range. What felt familiar was Mr. Moore’s affinity for masking the truth. For making me feel duped in some ways. It seems he never gives up everything all at once. Honestly, is there anything better in a crime thriller?

I don’t want t
Diane S ☔
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor
The seeming black mail of a mayor. A disinterred grave with a horrifying discovery inside, a dysfunctional family, and secrets long thought buried come to light. This author and I, his writing style, his characters, get along very well. Although different in feel and tone than his previous novel, which I loved, I found this one equally engaging.

Gavin Cane, homicide detective, is an interesting and likable character. His dogged personality and his ability to put things together has served him we
Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
”’You’d remember, if you saw her?’

‘I’d probably remember.’

‘Because she’s a knockout, right?’

The mayor glanced at the photograph. Cain wasn’t sure if he nodded or not.

‘She looks like one of those old film stars,’ Cain said. ’Lana Turner maybe.’

‘You got it mixed up,’ Castelli said. ’It’s Lauren Bacall you’re thinking of. She looks like Bacall.’

The Big Sleep--that was her?’

‘Bacall and Bogart,’ Castelli said. ’Yeah.’

‘One of your favorites?’

‘It was okay.’

‘I mean Bacall.’

‘Bacall?’ the mayor asked. He
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy for review from the publisher.

Inspector Gavin Cain is in the middle of having a body exhumed when he is pulled off that case and rushed to meet the mayor of San Francisco who has received some photos which apparently show a woman being raped along with a threat to release more pictures if he doesn’t kill himself. The mayor denies knowing the woman in between gulps of bourbon, but Cain is less than convinced. As Cain investigates he quickly becomes sure that there’s a link
Liz Barnsley
I was a fan of "The Poison Artist" the first in a loose trilogy from Jonathan Moore, it was different and compelling and entirely gripping. With The Dark Room he has changed things up and out and I do believe I love this one more - I read it in two hugely immersive sittings, this is a slice of dark noir that digs deep with some beautifully composed characters (something that The Poison Artist also could boast of) and a story that just grabs you by the heart and won't let go.

Whilst the first book
Jan 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Made-for-airport kiosk or made-for-TV movie

2.5 stars

Kept me turning the pages but zero character development. The Patterson blurb implying similarities to Connelly's Bosch series is laughable. Bosch has a detective's soul, tormented and righteous. I can't even recall the protagonist detective's name here or anything notable about him.
Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
As my first Jonathan Moore novel, I was truly excited to find an author that writes gritty, well executed noir crime for American readers! I love a good, authentic police procedural but I also like a bit of darkness to go with it and The Dark Room is a perfect combination of both. Moore crafts an excellent tale and I look forward to reading more of his work!
Pat (not getting friend updates currently)
Jonathan Moore is an amazing author. Every book is different, mostly even a different genre. Unfortunately this makes for a long wait between books as he can’t write to a formula. While not as great as The Night Market this was a solid police procedural (Note -The Night Market is not a police procedural) and I really enjoyed it. I’m going to go back and read all his stuff now.
Jessica Woodbury
I am picky about my crime reads. It's a hard genre to read because there's so much of the same thing over and over, when I really like to read things that are different. THE DARK ROOM has potential, it's well plotted and interesting. I would certainly recommend it to a lot of mystery and procedural lovers. I'll be going back to look at Moore's previous novels and I appreciate his clear and meticulous approach.

But this book, like so much of the genre, has a woman problem. It's not a lack of femal
Laura Rash
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A traditional type mystery with an interesting set of characters. A fast paced great read.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars- Completely unremarkable and mostly inoffensive in its use of language or characterizations which I consider a plus for the thriller-pulp genre (I find a lot in this genre to be quite misogynistic or otherwise tone-deaf). A basic page-turner for when you need a mindless-moment, the equivalent of watching a L&O episode when the nuance and subtlety of Twin Peaks is just too much to handle in a world that sometimes demands tuning out and turning off. Flat characters, well paces storyline, ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
A great police procedural.

My View:
Dark, dark and darker- this fantastic police procedural will keep you up all night until the crime has been solved and the villains dealt with.

This is a multilayered narrative – narratives of the past (cold cases) and present (new case) colliding providing depth to the narrative and then there is the back story – every bit as engaging – the story of Cain, what happened at his precinct – something shocking that is referred to but not fully disclosed and the inci
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Wow, what happened?

I loved The Poison Artist. Five-starred it, in fact.
This was something I was very excited about because the only reason I read it was because of a review I had read for The Night Market but wanted to read the first two novels in this very loosly linked trilogy first.

The Dark Room hooked me immediately. I was totally engaged and the central crime was horrific beyond imagination. But somewhere around the 40% mark tedium set in. The investigation slowed to a snail's pace and for
Supposed to be heart-pounding, according to the blurb. The many 4 stars and positive reviews had me buying this.

Instead of heart-pounding, my ticker was in danger of flat-lining. I didn't hear anything close to suspenseful. On the contrary, the 23% I managed to listen to was as lively as the morgue. Much of what I heard was the repetition of the photographs sent to the mayor and his repetitive protestations. It was just to long a wait to get to something exciting, something to raise my heartbeat
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
A good solid police procedural. Really readable and lots of twists and turns!
Apr 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This is between a 3 and 4 star mystery/detective procedural for me. As much as I want to give it a 4 for the action prone and yet conversation intensive scenes with high visuals, I just can't. Because the character development lagged behind all the other aspects of the writing. Gavin Cain is a near cipher, IMHO. Internally why is he driven? No intense background conflicting elements or competitive declines like a Bosch? Not much class driven nuance in him? Why the intensity of bonding with a Luc ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first Jonathan Moore book but it will not be my last. This is a slow burn mystery / thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end. I think the thing that most impressed me about this book was that although there was not heart stopping action from beginning to end, the story managed to keep me engaged the entire time. There so many different plot twists and characters, but Moore managed to intertwine the
Mar 09, 2017 added it
Wow, wait -- I need to catch my breath! What a great police procedural. Suspense, real tension, and a complex case that begs to be solved. I had to slow myself down at times because I was so eager to get to the conclusion, to find out what had happened, and how this convoluted tale would be explained.

Inspector Gavin Cain, SFPD, is watching an exhumation when he gets a call and then is whisked off by helicopter to the mayor's office. He's met there by his boss, Lt. Nagata and FBI Agent Karen Fis
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspector Cain is called at 2 a.m. while supervising an exhumation by his boss Lt. Nagati who said she was sending a helicopter to speed him off to city hall. No other details. After his arrival, he's sent to the Mayor's chambers where he's asked to investigate a threat and some pictures sent to the mayor anonymously.

Turns out the casket contains the bones of more than one person, and one of them had been put into the casket while still alive. The mayor, meanwhile, denies any knowledge of the pe
Maureen DeLuca
Nov 18, 2018 rated it liked it
A very hard book for me to rate. Between a 3 and 4 star read- Police Procedure type book- which is what I like- but somewhere I felt it got all bogged down and I was skimming the book, just so it would move along. I liked the main character - I finished it..... There are those that gave this a 4 and 5 star read- so, having said that - you may want to give this a try.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"The Dark Room" has the same kind of brooding presence as Hitchcock's "Vertigo," and is set in the same place: San Francisco. At its core is a tangled set of fears and resentments stretching back years held together by a set of terrible crimes. It is also held together by the fundamental decency of the cops on the trail of those crimes, especially that of Gavin Cain, a homicide inspector for SFPD. Its plot is complicated, but Moore plots better than anyone I've read in a long time. As an example ...more
I made certain assumptions as I read this book. Assumptions which – now I’ve had time to ponder them and actually check – don’t seem to be the case.

When we meet homicide detective Gavin Cain, for example, he’s concerned about his girlfriend Lucy, who he met in a previous case, and he’s assisted by a computer specialist he met during that case. We eventually learn it involved a school shooting and Lucy was a key witness… something that’s (understandably) impacted her psychological health. I was i
Joe Stamber
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-read, read-2017
This review is based on the audio book, which I know from experience can make a big difference. It opens with Gavin Cain, an Inspector/Detective in San Francisco, attending an exhumation when he is summoned to the Mayor's office to investigate a case of blackmail. Cain has a new partner, a boss who is buddies with the Mayor and the FBI sniffing round. As you would expect, things get complicated and Cain is never sure who can trust or who he can believe.

The Dark Room is intricately plotted with a
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Excellent Read! WOW! I want to read more of this authors books!

Set in San Francisco, Detective Gavin Cain is a homicide inspector. The story begins with Detective Cain watching an exhumation of a cold case when he is summoned to the mayors office by the chief of police. There he finds the mayor with black & white pictures of a girl, restrained, along with a blackmail letter. I am not that good at figuring out “who done it” so I was enjoying the “ride” all the way till the end when..OH WOW! I di
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dark, creepy and twisted. Moore has the ability to take a simple police procedural and create something more sinister. However his writing is great, the overall setting very good, not your standard sequel. Ive now read all 3 books but but not in the right order. I dont really think it matters as they are all very loosely related. Open ended ending to a degree, but still great read. A little literary at times which slowed the story down, but it still engaged me enough go enjoy it. I'll definitive ...more
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
This book is the four-starrest of all four-star books. Four because it's so compelling and readable and page-turning, not five because the ending is abrupt and a bit unsatisfying. But this is why I think I should be open to reading more 4-star-majority-rated books in 2019: I'd take 95% great with a lame ending ANY DAY over faux-hyped books with a million five star reviews that are just bad all around but had good PR. ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. Never a dull moment in this book, non stop action from page one to the end. This was the first Jonathan Moore for me and I definitely was not disappointed. If anything, I wish the ending would have been tied up nice and neat. Oh but wait, maybe that means there will be a sequel?
I highly recommend this thriller/mystery to anyone who enjoys a great mystery.
Genesis Sheli (Whispering Chapters)
This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

Gavin is asked, or more like moved without a warning, to be in a threatening case against the mayor. Black and white devastating photographs have been sent to him in which it shows a woman being tortured and raped. If he kills himself, the photographs will never appear to the public eye. If he doesn't, he may not be a mayor anymore.

With that kind of plot, who wouldn't be interested?! I dived into this book and it was hard to put down so I
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Jonathan Moore is an Edgar Award and Hammett Prize nominated author of six novels.

His third novel, THE POISON ARTIST, was a selection of the BBC Radio 2 Book Club. His novel THE NIGHT MARKET was optioned as a feature film by Amazon Studios and Mandeville Films, and his books have been translated into 12 languages.

Before graduating from law school in New Orleans, he lived in Taiwan for three years

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