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Reviews:
An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi
Animal Kisses by Barney Saltzberg
The Bunnies' Counting Book by Elizabeth B. Rogers
California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker
Daddy and Me by Neil Ricklen
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace by Donald Sobol
Encyclopedia Brown Strikes Again by Donald Sobol
The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey
The Little Green Caterpillar by Yvonne Hooker
Little Lost Puppy by Margaret Glover Otto
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel
My Little Opposites Book by Bob Staake
Number 9 by Wallace Wadsworth
On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
Picture Me Colors by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
Picture Me Numbers by Deborah D'Andrea and Kaycee Hoffman
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems
Pokémon 2000 by Tracey West
Russell and the Lost Treasure by Rob Scotton
Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton
Slide 'N' Seek Shapes by Chuck Murphy
The Spider King by Lawrence Schoonover
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
The Straw Men by Michael Marshall
The Tokaido Road by Lucia St Clair Robson
The Top of the World by Ethel M. Dell
Watch Me Grow Kitten by DK Books

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An Acquaintance with Darkness: 12/18/06

An Acquaintance with Darkness

The American Civil War has been inspiration for a number of ghost stories, romances and mysteries but until An Acquaintance with Darkness, I can't recall reading a Gothic horror set in this era, especially one set in Washington D.C. Gothic horrors usually takes place in New England, the birthplace of the American version of the genre. Even Stephen King keeps up the tradition by setting most of his novels in or near Maine. When reading this political thriller about the assassination of Lincoln, I was a little put off by the inclusion of various Gothic elements (body snatching, night flowers, strange servants, etc.) into the story. In fact it was this waffling between genres (thriller and horror) that ultimately put me off the book completely. It could never settle on which genre it was and the two were never properly woven together into a coherent story.

Here's my BookCrossing review:

The set up was great; a nice combination of historical fiction and suspense but the pay off disappointed me. Valentine's actions are neither justified nor horrific enough to make him the villain of the story. He just sort of is and his motivations are never fully explained nor are his odd assortment of characters living and working with him. They are just there to be Gothic trapments and that's not enough.

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