Friday, June 15, 2012

The DarkRoom Book Review

I have another thriller of a book to tell you about tonight called DarkRoom written by Joshua Graham. As I always do, I will go over the excerpt from the book and then briefly tell you what I think about the book.

After scattering her mother's ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences, in her darkroom, supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, she confronts him about a dark secret he has kept--a secret that has devastated their family.

Her investigations lead her to her departed mother's journal, which tells of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism, and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

This was a hard book for me to read because I grew up as an Army brat and my father served in Korea and was going to re-enlist for another 5 years (we were in Germany at the time) and he was going to request that he stay there. We all loved living in Germany and believe it or not, did not want to come home. But, he was told that if he did re-enlist, that there was no guarantee that he would not be sent to Vietnam.
My father was devastated because he had thought the military was going to be his life forever. So, when I read books like this, whether they are true or not, I want to scream and say alot of things but I won't. I knew and loved all the GI's that Daddy used to bring home for dinner or holidays who did not have family there with them like he did.
So, I know about soldiers and I know how they think. You will never know what you will do if you are put into a situation and it is your life and your buddies life on the line. So, I pass no judgement because I was not there. I was safely in Germany with my father and all of his Army buddies.

I can tell you that my first husband was in Vietnam. He served during the very end part of it and I have seen the photo's of him hanging around with other GI's taking a break or whatever else they were doing. Although we did not make it as a couple, I would bet you my last dollar, he never once crossed the line.
With all this said, I understand that sometimes stress will cause people to do things that they normally would not do. I think the Vietnam War was one of those such times where emotions ran high and even back here in the U.S. we heard and later saw all the protesting. It was not a popular war at all. It was a senseless war, one that we should have never been in.
In the DarkRoom, Xander the photographer keeps having visions and she is not sure why or what they are about. She goes to her father because her mother is long gone and her ashes have been spread out back in Vietnam. Currently, Xander and her father live in the United States. She will find her mother's diary and that is the beginning of her search for answers to the things she has read and the things she is seeing in her visions.

Evidently, a small group of soldiers had wiped out a large group of women and children one day in a village and that Peter Colson, the man running for President and who wins, was the man in charge that day and that group's name was Echo. All of the men who were there that day are dead except for 4 men. With the help of Kyle Matthews, Xandra has proof but in getting that proof, Kyle Matthews is killed protecting her. Another one of the men, Jennings, is also killed. But Xandra has the evidence she needs and so her father, Peter Carrick and his friend Ian Mortimer, can safely testify against the President. 
This is a good book to read if you love thrillers and love going along for the chase to see if you can figure it out before the hero does. If you can separate yourself from this book (sorry, I couldn't) and read it for what it is, then you will enjoy this book. I took no such pleasure in this book. Yes, I love good thrillers. It's my bad that I did not check this out better. I thought it was about a woman who saw serial killers in her visions.
So, it is my fault and I take full responsibility that I could not deliver a more rousing review. Just remember what I said, if you are a good thriller/mystery reader and have no problems with the content, then this book will you keep you captivated.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.


Lydia Criss Mays said...

Mary, I've missed you and hope you are well! Happy to be back and catching up on all your thoughtfulness!

Happy seeing beautiful!

Admin said...

Wow Mary thank you for your insightful review! The Vietnam War does dredge up painful memories. I was in high school at the time but I remember watching TV and seeing the protests. Horrible war. I'm thinking the book dredged up bad memories for you? Only makes me want to read it more. I haven't been able to read this yet but I'm dying to once things settle down here a bit. Again, thank you so much for your opinion! Sorry it didn't work out for you. ;o)

taletrader said...

I come from a family of vets, so I get exactly what you're saying. However, I still really enjoyed this book. There was a lot more to the book than just Vietnam--although, that is what the plot revolved around.