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Extended Audio Sample A Darker Place Audiobook, by Laurie R. King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,429 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laurie R. King Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Anne Waverly Series Release Date: February 1999 ISBN: 9781436111997
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Award-winning author Laurie R. King delivers an intelligent, terrifying, engrossing drama of good and evil unlike any she has written before.

A respected university professor, Anne Waverly has a past known to few: years ago, her own unwitting act cost Anne her husband and daughter. Fewer still know that this history and her academic specialty—alternative religious movements—have made her a brilliant FBI operative. Four times she has infiltrated suspect communities, escaping her own memories of loss and carnage to find a measure of atonement. Now as she begins to savor life once more, she has no intention of taking another assignment—until she learns of more than one hundred children living in the Change movement’s Arizona compound.

Anne soon realizes that Change is no ordinary community, and hers is no ordinary mission. For, far from appeasing the demons of her past, this assignment is sweeping her back into their clutches … and to the razor’s edge of danger.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A nail-biter thriller.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Laurie R. King once again astonishes with her skills in A Darker Place…Superb.”

    Washington Times

  • “King always writes well, and her stories sweep along with an inexorable force that comes from a power greater than mere skillful plotting…A Darker Place is a fine study of sympathy and how it clouds our judgment about integrity.” Boston Globe
  • “King brings to the schizophrenic nature of undercover work an astute understanding…horrifying. Anne is an intriguing character, afflicted with memory and loss (her relationship with her FBI handler is worth a book in itself). And the delicate maneuvers that get her into the heart of the targeted community even as she teases out its secrets carry their own fascination.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Casts a spell of psychological terror more visceral than any serial killer melodrama and that, for the thoughtful reader, offers intellectual rewards as well.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marlee Pinsker | 2/13/2014

    " This book was a great read. I had many hours of very happy avid involvement, curled up on my couch and ignoring the world. There are already many reviews of this book on this site, so I will just ask some questions: How did a very strong, dominant personality like Anne's ever get into a cult in her past? How did she do so well with basketball practice with a fourteen year old boy with her hurt knee? However, I have to say that the questions didn't interrupt my reading, and, in the end, I just enjoyed it so much I kept thinking about the characters. Was the ending too abrupt? Sure, but that's part of the game. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl W | 2/10/2014

    " Pretty good. If I run across another of her books I will read it. In the first half the book the characters and their purpose were clear. The second half got murky. Maybe I just lost interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kaye | 1/31/2014

    " Our professor has an interesting back story, but it was hard to connect with her emotionally. Basically, professor Waverly infiltrates cults through some sort of contract with the FBI, and the agent that she occasionally sleeps with. Her emotional baggage gets involved when she meets with one child in the cult, and what seems like a pretty benign group turns out to be anything but. The end was forced, with a whirlwind of details and a speedy tempo...as if her editor said, "enough of this alchemy crap! Wind it up"! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annie Michelle | 1/29/2014

    " so-so.......:( "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce Lagow | 1/22/2014

    " Laurie King has a Master's Degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary; religion has been a life-long interest, not to say passion. The subject shows up in a number of her works, mainly the Mary Russell series, and in this, a stand-alone novel, although it makes an appearance in the Kate Martinelli series as well.[return][return]The protagonist of A Darker Place is Anne Waverley, a middle-aged professor in an Oregon university. Anne's specialty--alternative religious movements--has involved her in FBI investigations of suspect religious communities, evaluating these for signs of incipient instability and potential degeneration into violence. Anne's background is one of horrendous loss of husband and daughter to such a scenario, and her work for the FBI is in part atonement for surviving--she had left the community to ponder whether to continue in it when the slaughter erupted.[return][return]But she has come to a certain acceptance if not peace, and she is reluctant to become involved in this latest investigation. She does, however--and it becomes for her an emotional trap as well as a deadly dangerous mission. The result is an enthralling thriller with a hair-raising climax.[return][return]What King does as well as tell a powerful story is to educate the reader on alternative religious communities. Nearly every chapter starts with either a page from one of Anne's lectures on the subject, either at the university or for an FBI seminar, and the fsascinating material adds immensely to the quality of the story. The title describes the theme of the book--a dark place into which the search for God and religious experience can lead.[return][return]While I am a devoted fan of Laurie King's Mary Russell series, A Darker Place remains my favorite of her works. It is well-written, tightly plotted and infused with power. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 CLM | 1/13/2014

    " My sister has enjoyed this author for years, and finally persuaded me to try one of her standalones this week. It is hard to put down although the heroine is not exactly likeable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Stoner | 1/13/2014

    " This is a very well written, fictional study of a woman who infiltrates cults. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 12/26/2013

    " Exceptional story of an educated, middle aged woman who infiltrates a religious community for the FBI. Her intelligence and physical strength is admirable. The detailed descriptions of the landscape and surroundings and the intricate characters really make for a wonderful book to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 9/20/2013

    " I did not like the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 5/26/2013

    " Didn't like this stand alone novel as well as the Mary Russel "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayne | 4/1/2013

    " It was a good read and such a relief to read a well-written story for a change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merle | 2/27/2013

    " This is listed as a Kate Martinelli mystery, but fortunately it IS NOT. The main character, Anne Waverly, is quite original and the plot is psychologically compelling. A real page-turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 10/3/2012

    " Another great Kate Martinelli mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 7/14/2012

    " King always holds my attention, this book is no exception. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 6/26/2012

    " King works her skills of the slow burn here, gradually peeling back layer after layer to reveal the true heart of her novel. A shade below her other work, but still a jewel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 lauren | 4/12/2012

    " i really liked it. i thought the ending was weak and want to know what happened. it needs another chapter or a sequel or something. overall good "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candace | 1/19/2012

    " Standalone story (not part of a series) about a woman who goes undercover into a cult for the FBI. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 10/21/2011

    " Excellent writer. Middle aged female religious studies professor infiltrates a religious cult in Arizona, and branch in England. Very suspenseful, and deep character study. I like this writer a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chana | 8/7/2011

    " Set in Sedona AZ, it felt familiar, I am almost positive that I have read it before but even its ending was a surprise. The cult theme of the book was somewhat upsetting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 5/18/2011

    " a page turner, dark and scary, exploration of cults. lingers in my mind, feel like I'm still in the midst "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merry | 1/22/2011

    " I would give this 3&1/2 stars. It was good, just not my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 1/5/2011

    " Exceptional story of an educated, middle aged woman who infiltrates a religious community for the FBI. Her intelligence and physical strength is admirable. The detailed descriptions of the landscape and surroundings and the intricate characters really make for a wonderful book to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret | 11/28/2010

    " a page turner, dark and scary, exploration of cults. lingers in my mind, feel like I'm still in the midst "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 10/12/2010

    " A little slow at the beginning, but a great suspenseful novel hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 10/10/2010

    " Excellent writer. Middle aged female religious studies professor infiltrates a religious cult in Arizona, and branch in England. Very suspenseful, and deep character study. I like this writer a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betty | 9/22/2010

    " Wonderful character development in a great tale of suspense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candace | 3/16/2010

    " Standalone story (not part of a series) about a woman who goes undercover into a cult for the FBI. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/5/2010

    " Amazingly real and slightly creepy, this book is a wonderful representation of maniac cults. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucy | 2/27/2010

    " this book was very interesting. however, it was a bit hard to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/30/2010

    " This is a very well written, fictional study of a woman who infiltrates cults. "

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About the Author
Author Laurie R. King

Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books, including the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes stories. She has been nominated for a multitude of prizes, and her fiction has won the Edgar, Creasy, Nero, Macavity, and Lambda Awards. She has been guest of honor at several crime conventions and is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar Award and an honorary doctorate in theology. She was inducted into the Baker Street Irregulars in 2010.

About the Narrator

Alyssa Bresnahan is a dynamic dancer, actor, and audiobook narrator. She has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, has earned twenty Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voices. In 2009 she was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best fiction narration. She has toured Europe in stage productions of several Greek dramas. In the United States, she appeared as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and as Nina in The Seagull. At the New York Stage and Film Festival, she had the starring role in The Clearing.