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    Review of ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK by Sidney Sheldon

    William Morrow, September 2004

    They seemed unconnected at first--a suicide, a Mob-related killing. But what are the odds of four unconnected deaths in a single think-tank? New widows Kelly Harris and Diane Stevens discover each other after their husbands' death, and begin to suspect that the deaths were no accidents. Unfortunately for them, though, the mastermind behind the murders doesn't intend for them to survive long enough to tell their stories.

    Still mourning the deaths of their husbands, Kelly and Diane rely on luck and quick reactions to avoid deaths at the hands of the assassins the mastermind sends after them. They are, he thinks, the only obstacle to his dream of incredible riches and power.

    Author Sidney Sheldon doesn't really stretch much in this light thriller. I would have liked to see Kelly and Diane rely on their wits more than pure good luck to survive. While their mourning is natural and understandable, their flashbacks into the wonderful relationships pulled me out of the suspense, slowing down the story. I also found some of the story logic questionable. The mastermind repeatedly ordered his henchmen to make the women's death appear to be an accident. But surely the police would have noticed the coincidence of the two women dying immediately after their husbands--and surely they could have left word with the police that they suspected something dishonest? I would also have liked to see a better reason why the mastermind thought he had to kill the two women in the first place--obviously they weren't intelligent enough to be much of a threat.

    ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? is a pleasant and easy read. While the story has its flaws, it certainly held my interest and kept me reading to the very end. (Note: the 'special thanks' note at the beginning of the book is sometimes a sign that the named person, in this case Mary Langford, did the actual writing).

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 5/01/05

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