Richard Peck

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In [Through a Brief Darkness] Peck wisely relinquishes any pretense to relevance or depth and comes out with a tightly drawn romantic melodrama about sixteen-year-old Karen, protected daughter of a big time crook, who is suddenly pulled out of boarding school and hustled off to "relatives" in England, there to discover gradually that she has actually been kidnapped by ruthless members of a rival syndicate. The unconvincing presence of a handsome young Etonian … who comes to Karen's rescue makes it impossible to take the adventure seriously, but Karen's gradual admission of the illegality of her father's activities gives it what little ballast is needed, and—most important—the shocks and terrors of Karen's captivity and flight and the unexpected reversals when "nice" people turn out villains and vice versa are handled by a calculating mastermind who knows just how to maximize suspense.

"Young Adult Fiction: 'Through a Brief Darkness'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1973 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XVI, No. 23, December 1, 1973, p. 1314.

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