Out of the Darkness Summary
by Susan Kelly

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Out of the Darkness

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In this fifth novel in the series featuring Liz Connors, the crime writer is offered a position as assistant to celebrity writer Marcus Griffin. Because one of the magazines for which she freelances is about to fold and because she respects Griffin’s work, Connors accepts the assignment. Griffin is convinced that he can prove that Henry Kmiec committed the seven Merrimack Valley killings. He intends to present his proof in the case, which police have been unable to solve definitively, in a new book.

At first, the collection of data for the book goes well. Connors, however, soon uncovers evidence that shows that Kmiec is innocent of at least one of the killings. At the same time, Griffin remains convinced that Kmiec, who is in prison as a result of other killings, is guilty. Griffin’s position hardens when, in a personal interview, Kmiec confesses. Kmiec provides details of the crimes that the police withheld from the public, adding credibility to his story.

As the novel unfolds, Connors and Griffin continue to investigate the Merrimack Valley murders. Kmiec is found hanging in his jail cell, leaving his confession unexamined. Connors follows leads offered by the sister of one of the victims, Marian Sandoval, a police officer who does not believe that Kmiec is guilty, while Griffin pursues evidence implicating Kmiec. Their investigation takes on added urgency when Sandoval is found murdered in a style similar to that used in the Merrimack Valley killings. The novel follows the investigation through Connors’ eyes, thereby offering every surprising plot twist as she would see it, without much foreshadowing or background. This makes OUT OF THE DARKNESS thrilling to read, with unexpected developments occurring at an increasingly rapid pace as the story builds to its climax.