Vanessa V. Friedman
March 25, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

Voices in the Dark

Current Status
In Season
Andrew Coburn
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B

This mystery has all the trappings — money, murder, sexual intrigue — necessary to make it a generic potboiler, but for one thing: The truth is revealed in the second chapter. Voices in the Dark, it turns out, isn’t about suspense, it’s about motivation. A teenager falls to his death in Boston; in Bensington, a small suburb, his family mourns. Since there is no doubt about who killed the boy, the question is, who hired him to do it, and why? Ever since Peyton Place, the idea of misery roiling under the blue skies and green fields of small towns has been a part of the literary tradition, and Bensington is no exception. The end, though not entirely surprising, is at least satisfyingly righteous: The bad guys get their comeuppance, and the good guys get a chance at happiness once again. B

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