The Dark Room (Hardcover)

By Jonathan Moore

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544784673, 304pp.

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

List Price: 24.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"Suspense that never stops.  If you like Michael Connelly’s novels, you will gobble up Jonathan Moore’s The Dark Room.” James Patterson 

A heart-pounding thriller from an “electrifying”* author that shows what happens when our deepest secrets are unburied.
*Stephen King

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 second, pills and handcuffs on a nightstand; the third, the woman drinking from a flask; and last, the woman naked, unconscious, and shackled to a bed. The accompanying letter is straightforward: worse revelations are on the way unless the mayor takes his own life first. 

An intricately plotted, deeply affecting thriller that keeps readers guessing until the final pages, The Dark Room tracks Cain as he hunts for the blackmailer, pitching him into the web of destruction and devotion the mayor casts in his shadow. 

About the Author

JONATHAN MOORE lives in Hawaii with his wife and son, and is the author of five books. Before completing law school in New Orleans, he was an English teacher, a bar owner, a raft guide, a counselor at a Texas wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, and an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C.

Praise For The Dark Room

Praise for THE DARK ROOM
A Library Journal "Essential Thriller" of January 2017
An iBooks Best Book of January 2017
A Northern Virginia Magazine Best New Release of January 2017

“Moore channels the moody intensity of Raymond Chandler’s crime fiction and saturates The Dark Room with the brooding cinematic qualities of the mid-20th century’s black-and-white film noir genre...The Dark Room will prompt readers unfamiliar with Moore to seek out his other works, including The Poison Artist, which Stephen King describes as electrifying. ” — The Washington Post

“Smart plotting.  Nary a false note.  Suspense that never stops.  If you like Michael Connelly’s novels, you will gobble up Jonathan Moore’s The Dark Room.”
James Patterson 

"Complex, well-crafted thriller... Moore—an attorney and author of three previous novels, including The Poison Artist and Redheads, which was short-listed for the Bram Stoker Award—infuses the complicated tale with richly detailed forensic facts and procedural expertise that would make [Kathy] Reichs proud. At the same time, he makes a concerted effort to craft characters you can care about." — BookPage

"An engaging and thoroughly contemporary mystery...The Dark Room is a worthy introduction to Moore’s work, and will soon have you seeking out his earlier titles (like The Poison Artist or Redheads) while waiting for his next crime novel." — Bookgasm

"Exuding noirish elements and utilizing the city’s mean streets to their full, atmospheric effect, The Dark Room oozes dastardly deeds from blackmail to murder – and beyond."The Seattle Review of Books

"The Dark Room is a complex, edgy, elegant novel that is at once macabre, menacing and mesmerizing. Moore calls this book “the center panel in a triptych” that started with The Poison Artist. The third, The Night Market is scheduled for 2018. I can’t wait." — Open Letters Monthly

"The Dark Room is one of those books that when you think you know what happened, it veers directions and plunges into another stream of questions and doubt...[it] will lure you in from the first chapter and then capture your attention until the very last page....a great crime novel that I won’t forget anytime soon." — Latte Nights Reviews

"Moore's (The Poison Artist, 2016, etc.) complex and often deeply disturbing crime noir set in the City by the Bay delves into dark subjects and the insidious nature of true evil. Two things happen almost simultaneously to San Francisco Police Inspector Gavin Cain: as he and his newly minted partner, Grassley, stand at the grave of Christopher Hanley, a young boy who died years ago, and watch as the casket is exhumed, following up on a tip, he's summoned to tackle a new challenge. His lieutenant has him flown by helicopter to City Hall to consult with the mayor, Harry Castelli, concerning a series of photographs and a note he received. The photos show a beautiful blonde woman who is clearly terrified, but even more disturbing is the note, which indicates that more photos will come unless Castelli kills himself. Castelli says he doesn't know the woman in the photographs and has no idea why anyone would urge him to commit suicide. Cain and FBI agent Karen Fischer struggle to identify the mysterious and apparently doomed blonde in the black-and-white photos, which they believe were taken 30 years earlier. Meanwhile, Cain, whose personal life is already complicated enough—his girlfriend, Lucy, hasn't left her home in four years—is stunned to discover that Christopher Hanley's casket contained not only the corpse of the dead teen, but also the desiccated body of a woman who, judging by the evidence, was buried alive. Moore sketches Cain with a spare pen, leaving the reader to fill in most of the blanks, but his knowledge of police procedure and the nature of the job is immaculate. Moody and macabre with an Edgar Allan Poe feel to it, this book leaves an uncomfortable, indelible impression that can't be shaken by simply putting it down. The featureless Cain and his search for the woman in the casket are irresistible. San Francisco has never been so menacing." — Kirkus, STARRED review

"A dying man’s video confession leads to exhuming a body buried in 1985, with horrifying results: lying on top of the embalmed corpse is the body of a woman who was buried alive. San Francisco PD Inspector Gavin Cain is pulled off this case to work one involving Mayor Harry Castelli, who has just received several incriminating photographs of a woman, with a note promising more—unless he kills himself. The mayor claims no knowledge of the woman in the photos, but since Cain’s boss has hitched her star to the mayor, Cain is immediately assigned to the Castelli case, while still keeping an eye on the exhumation. Inevitably, the two cases become intertwined; meanwhile, Cain’s delving into the nefarious activities of an outlawed Berkeley fraternity in the 1980s puts those dearest to him at great risk. Former medical examiner Henry Newcomb, a major player in Moore’s spellbinding psychological thriller The Poison Artist (2016), plays a small but key role here, as forensics puts the seal on dogged police work. Moore calls this book “the center panel in a triptych” that started with The Poison Artist. With this second electrifying noir thriller, readers won’t want to wait until 2018, when the third, The Night Market, is scheduled for publication." — Booklist, STARRED review

"Intricate thriller... Moore, a terrific stylist, provides telling procedural details (a computer-expert friend helps identify the clothing and jewelry in the decades-old photos) and makes good use of the Bay Area setting." — Publishers Weekly

The Poison Artist is an electrifying read, building from shock to shock. I read the last one hundred pages in a single sitting. The final chapter is an absolute stunner. I haven’t read anything so terrifying since Red Dragon.”  —Stephen King

“Patient, stylish and incredibly suspenseful.” —Lee Child

“A magnificent, thoroughly unnerving psychological thriller written in a lush, intoxicating style.  I dare you to look away." —Justin Cronin
"The Poison Artist is a rare thing: a totally new take on the mystery-thriller genre...Jonathan Moore's story of a scientist helping the police investigate a femme fatale serial killer using poison is totally fresh and unpredictable. The writing is top-notch, wonderfully evoking a dark and foggy San Francisco where ghosts of the past color the bloody events of the day. Grade: A"—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"The Poison Artist takes place in a fog-bound, rain-drenched version of San Francisco, which becomes, in Moore’s telling, almost a city from a dream, where truths and realities slip in and out of focus somewhere between the long nights and the constantly filled glasses...It’s genuinely scary, in the very best way, and nastily twisty, also in the very best way. Just like the clashes between Caleb’s day and night existences, Moore’s hypnotic, rich prose shifts and jars from seductive bars at night to the gruesome way fingerprints have to be taken from a body that has been underwater for days. Spiralling down from dream into nightmare, The Poison Artist is thoroughly unnerving and classily executed."The Guardian
“Moore has a great gift for the macabre and creepy.” —The Times
“This is a cinematic and phantasmagoric treat... Obsession and violent death collide in an elegantly written thriller.” —The Independent

"With crisp dialogue and skilled plotting, this atmospheric novel—fittingly set in a dark and foggy December in San Francisco—is an engrossing thriller by an author to watch. Give this one to readers who like forensic thrillers but would also be drawn in by the creepy mood."Booklist, starred review
"Exquisite...The sympathetic, though brutally flawed hero and the shocking, Hitchcock-esque finale make this psychological thriller a must-read."Publishers Weekly, starred review