Friday, February 13, 2015

ACT OF DARKNESS by Jane Haddam

Jane Haddam’s Act of Darkness is a complex story.

A potential presidential candidate, Senator Stephen Fox and his handler Dan Chester ask ex-FBI agent Gregor Demarkian to attend a July 4th fundraiser.

The event will raise money to promote Senator Fox’s Down syndrome bill. Chester thinks the bill will propel Fox to the prominence he needs to run for president.

Fox has a personal investment in the bill. His daughter with Down syndrome died as an infant.

And there is an added problem. Fox has been blacking out at public events. Chester suspects foul play, so he calls in Gregor Demarkian.

During the weekend fundraiser, someone murders a prominent doctor who helped draft the bill, and the story goes from there.

Act of Darkness reeks with Haddam’s disdain for politics. At one point, a lobbyist who paid thousands to attend the event says, “What do I do, after all? I talk a lot of horse manure to a lot of corrupt politicians, and we all pretend what I’m saying isn’t horse manure and what the politicians are isn’t corrupt.”

The bill favors the medical establishment without doing much to help Down syndrome patients and their families.

As I said, Act of Darkness is a complicated story. It takes place on Long Island Sound in a strange house filled with strange people.

Even Gregor’s friend Bennis Day Hannaford has a surprising secret.

Except for Bennis, none of the other ongoing characters plays a major part in the story.

Act of Darkness is the third book in Haddam’s Gregor Demarkian series.

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