Cover image for Darkness falls
Darkness falls
Murphy, Margaret, 1959 April 14-
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2004.

Physical Description:
355 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
FICTION Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



British barrister Clara Pascal stars in "Darkness Falls" and she has everything. A high-flying attorney and devoted mother, she was envied and admired by her peers. Now, robbed of everything that gave her life meaning, she lies chained to the stone wall of a cold, dark cellar, deprived of food and rest. Most frightening, though, her kidnapper refuses to communicate with her, even to tell her what he wants.
As Clara passes from fear to anger to despair in her dark prison, Detective Inspector Steve Lawson leads the Cheshire police team working to find her. Is her abduction the work of a random maniac? A released criminal taking his revenge on the lawyer who sent him to jail? An obsessed stalker? Is it a last, spectacular bid for freedom by Casavettes, the ruthless drug baron she was prosecuting? Even her husband is not above suspicion.
The police team frantically knocks on doors, follows bare wisps of leads, bullying, cajoling, and begging witnesses for help, but it seems that Clara Pascal has disappeared without a trace.
And Clara, at last, begins to suspect why her jailer has kept her alive so far....

Author Notes

Margaret Murphy is the author of seven novels. Goodnight My Angel was shortlisted for the First Blood award for debut crime novels. She lives in England.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This stunning British suspense story will keep readers edgy and guessing until the very end. It opens with a cheerfully frantic domestic scene of Clara Pascal-- prosecuting counsel, wife, mother, and seemingly typical thirtysomething career-home juggler--trying to get to chambers on time while answering the demands of her daughter, excited and clingy on her ninth birthday. Two chapters later, Counsel Pascal is chained to a wall in a stranger's pitch-dark cellar. She is anything but a passive victim, however, as she uses her formidable argumentation skills to keep herself alive. Murphy ably spins several plot lines and points of view: Pascal's increasingly hopeless ordeal, the Chester Constabulary's efforts to find her, the musings of a serial killer. Everything hinges on motive. Was Pascal a random victim, or did her current case, the prosecution of a drug overlord, make her a target? Or is there something disjointed in her seemingly serene home life? Murphy's descriptions of the police procedure involved in recovering kidnap victims are sharply rendered, and her depiction of Pascal's courage is psychologically acute and moving. Perhaps the best feature of the novel, though, is the way tension is heightened through the juxtaposition of scenes. By setting the gut-wrenching events in the cellar against the painstaking detail gathering of the investigation--door-to-door inquiry, strategizing in the Incident Room--Murphy makes the reader squirm with impatience, willing the narrative forward. A first-rate chiller. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Who's the man responsible for grabbing Clara Pascal-an attractive, successful criminal lawyer-outside her daughter's school, then chaining her to a wall and subjecting her to a barrage of mental and physical attacks? Is it the nameless lunatic we meet in the first chapter of British author Murphy's latest high-tension thriller (after 2001's Dying Embers), who has already killed at least one woman and is busy looking for his next victim? Is there some connection with the crime lord Clara is prosecuting in an upcoming trial, or one of her other cases? Could her husband, a flashy but unstable businessman, be involved? Murphy is absolutely fair as she moves her totally credible team of cops through each possibility, with some doors opening and others closing (or appearing to close) at every turn. And her villain, who never shows Clara his face, is all the more frightening because of his rough-edged intelligence. "Who do you think you're kidding?" he asks her at one point. "Of course you want to know who I am. Because you think if you know who I am, you'll be able to reason with me, use that persuasive patter you're so famous for." It spoils nothing to know that Clara does just that by the end of this well-crafted novel. Agent, Jane Gregory. (June 26) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved