To Darkness and to Death
A Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne Mystery
By Julia Spencer-Fleming
(St. Martin's Paperbacks, Mass Market Paperback, 9780312988876, 432pp.)
Publication Date: May 30, 2006
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Millicent van der Hoeven has decided to sell her family's Adirondack estate to a nature conservancy. But on the day of the land transfer, her brother frantically calls the police. Millie has disappeared in the cold November forest… Reverend Clare Fergusson gets an early morning phone call to join the Millers Kill search and rescue operation. As a former Army helicopter pilot trained in survival skills, she can't refuse the request—even though it's the day of the bishop's annual visit. Worse for Clare, the search operation will link her up with Russ Van Alstyne, the very married local police chief who is her greatest temptation. Now, as Clare and Russ race time to find Millie van der Hoeven, they soon discover the secrets of someone who is desperate to stop the sale...and a deadly madness waiting to destroy them all. To Darkness and to Death is a stunning mystery from award-winning author Julia Spencer-Fleming.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING was born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base and spent most of her childhood on the move as an army brat. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College, and received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in a 185-year-old farmhouse outside of Portland, Maine, with three children, two dogs, and one husband.
“Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne make a fresh and unusual detective partnership, and I always welcome Clare’s impetuous but wise take on the world around her.”—Sara Paretsky, author of the V. I. Warshawski novels
“Add harrowing tension à la TV’s 24 to Julia Spencer-Fleming’s always lyrical prose and beautifully drawn characters, and you have one of the year’s must-reads! Spencer-Fleming has topped an already shining series with this fourth outing.”—Deborah Crombie, award-winning author of Dreaming of the Bones and In a Dark House
"A Rube Goldberg plot that crams all manner of secrets and crimes into the most hectic 21 hours in Millers Kill's history...the results show that God has both endless compassion for mortal screw-ups—and a terrific sense of humor."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A rich and fulfilling story...time spent with these characters is to be cherished."—Chicago Sun-Times
"Disparate elements fuse with elegant plotting...Spencer Fleming parcels out the excitement until the stunning conclusion. She also continues her sensitive handling of the tension between Clare and the very married chief of police she's fallen in love with."—Rocky Mountain News (Grade: A)
"Spencer-Fleming makes effective use of her vividly realized Adirondack setting, and she keeps the story moving at a good clip...the fourth installment in a satisfying series."—Booklist
"The friendship of these solid, down-to-earth characters moves closer to romance, and the intrigue continues to build, revealing a riveting, well-plotted criminal adventure."—Romantic Times BOOKclub Magazine (starred review)