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Dark Places    by Jon Evans Amazon.com order for
Dark Places
by Jon Evans
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Softcover, Paperback

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*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Backpackers, trekkers and techno geeks should love Dark Places. Thriller lovers will be a bit disappointed. Balthazar (his parents loved the baroque) Wood is trekking through the Annapurna Range of the Himalayas in Nepal when he happens on a body obviously murdered. Swiss Army Knives are sticking out of each eye. Police call it suicide! Balthazar (his friends call him Paul) notes the similarity between this death and the murder of his girlfriend two years previously.

And so the search begins for a demented killer. The premise is good. And I like the characters. They seem real with likable flaws. Paul gets himself into several very precarious situations where he faces the killer. But the flow of the action is slow, so that I found my mind wandering from the first page. The locations described in the book are worth the price - the author has traveled to the far reaches of the earth and he brings his impressions of these places to his story. Evans must also be a computer expert par excellence. He managed to place my brain on hold as he described skills at the keyboard.

Though the action scenes were exciting, suspense did not build as Dark Places moved on in the story. This is a first novel for the author. He has good stuff to write about, and I predict that his next book will be the one to look for.

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