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Until Dark    by Mariah Stewart order for
Until Dark
by Mariah Stewart
Order:  USA  Can
Ivy, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

After her marriage breaks up, freelance artist Kendra Smith returns to her old family home on the east coast, and on the way picks up a new assignment from the FBI. Kendra hasn't had an easy life; she's still unable to accept her famous mother's recent suicide, and even after many years, still agonizes over her younger brother's supposed murder at the hands of a pedophile. From an early age, a bitter Kendra has applied her sketching talents to assist the FBI. Not only is she very good at drawing faces but she also is skilled at extracting crucial details from witnesses.

This time the FBI assigns Kendra the task of sketching the 'Soccer Mom' serial killer. Special Agent Adam Stark works with her. Kendra and Adam had a past relationship, but time and circumstances have kept them apart. It soon becomes evident that neither has ever completely gotten over the other. Even as their emotional life gets complicated, the case heats up, as the Soccer Mom killer's brutality escalates with each new victim. Soon, a disbelieving Kendra discovers that she is the next target. Can Adam save her? Or will Kendra's psychic friend come to her aid?

Mariah Stewart surpasses last year's thrilling The President's Daughter with Until Dark, which is dark, gritty, scary, and very dangerous. Kendra is a multi-faceted and emotionally torn individual. Adam's character isn't explored as deeply, but he is courageous and his love for Kendra is heartwarming. Subsidiary characters intrigue and make a sizeable impact. The mystery takes one mind-boggling turn after another until the reader is thoroughly befuddled, and the revelation at the end comes as a shocking surprise.

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