River of Darkness

River of Darkness : The First John Madden Mystery

3.96 (5,118 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Rennie Airth's The Death of Kings is now available from Viking. Upon its original publication, River of Darkness awed readers who look for intelligent, well-plotted psychological mysteries. This "fine, frightening piece of work" (Kirkus Reviews) introduces inspector John Madden who, in the years following World War I, is sent to a small village to investigate a particularly gruesome attack. The local police dismiss the slaughter as a botched robbery, but Madden detects the signs of a madman at work. With the help of Dr. Helen Blackwell, who introduces him to the latest developments in criminal psychology, Madden sets out to identify and capture the killer, even as the murderer sets his sights on his next innocent victims.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 132 x 196 x 21mm | 304g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143035703
  • 9780143035701
  • 370,943

Review quote

"It's the tactics and the terrain, the morale and the characters that make the difference between an average thriller and one as good as this."--Christopher Dickey, The New York Times Book Review "One of the best mysteries I have read in years."--The Boston Globe "Airth writes with arresting authority and compassion...a major talent."--Chicago Tribune "All the familiar elements of suspense writing are given an unusual and satisfying twist in this grim and fascinating thriller--the initial volume of a promised series...A fine, frightening piece of work."--Kirkus Reviews (starred) "Readers who are looking for smart, well-plotted psychological mysteries will be delighted."--Booklist
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About Rennie Airth

Rennie Airth was born in South Africa and worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters before becoming a novelist. He is the author of two other John Madden mysteries, River of Darkness, a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and a Macavity Award for Best Mystery, and a New York Times Notable Book, and The Blood-Dimmed Tide. He lives in Cortona, Italy.
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Rating details

5,118 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,595)
4 42% (2,132)
3 21% (1,065)
2 5% (246)
1 2% (80)

Our customer reviews

This series is not well know but is a fantastic read. I thoroughly enjoyed them all! River of Darkness is the first of the series, and was recommended to me by a die hard mystery reader at my local library. Set in the early 1920s and opening like an 'English Manor murder' it soon twists and distorts into something quite unexpected. Inspector John Madden of Scotland Yard is a really interesting character - disturbed by his own experiences during the War he is brought in to solve a particularly grisly murder. A really suspenseful page-turner. I highly recommend!show more
by Alcina Barrett-Kilby
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