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Extended Audio Sample Dark Lady Audiobook, by Richard North Patterson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (978 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard North Patterson Narrator: Patricia Kalember Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780375418068
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In Dark Lady, Richard North Patterson displays the mastery of setting, psychology, and story that makes him unique among writers of suspense, and one of today's most original and enthralling novelists.

In Steelton, a struggling Midwestern city on the cusp of an economic turnaround, two prominent men are found dead within days of each other. One is Tommy Fielding, a senior officer of the company building a new baseball stadium, the city's hope for the future. The other is Jack Novak, the local drug dealers' attorney of choice. Fielding's death with a prostitute, from an overdose of heroin, seems accidental; Novak is apparently the victim of a ritual murder. But in each case the character of the dead man seems contradicted by the particulars of his death. Coincidence or connection?

The question falls to Assistant County Prosecutor Stella Marz. Despite a traumatic breach with her alcoholic and embittered father, she has risen from a working-class background to become head of the prosecutor's homicide unit. A driven woman, she is called the Dark Lady by defense lawyers for her relentless, sometimes ruthless, style: in seven years only one case has gotten away from her, and only because the defendant took his own life. She has earned every inch of both her official and her off-the-record titles, and recently she's decided to go after another: to become the first woman elected Prosecutor of Erie County. But that was before the brutal murder of her ex-lover--Jack Novak.

Novak's death leads her into a labyrinth where her personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined. There is the possibility that Novak fixed drug cases for the city's crime lord, Vincent Moro, with the help of law enforcement personnel, and perhaps with someone in Stella's own office . . . the bitter mayoral race which threatens to undermine her own ambitions . . . her attraction to a colleague who may not be what he seems . . . the lingering, complicated effects of her painful affair with Novak . . . the growing certainty that she is being watched and followed. Making her way through a maze of corruption, deceit, and greed, trusting no one, Stella comes to believe that the search for the truth involves the bleak history of Steelton itself--a history that now endangers her future, and perhaps her life.

For his uncanny dialogue, subtle delineation of character, and hypnotic narrative, critics have compared Richard North Patterson to John O'Hara and Dashiell Hammett. Now, in the character of the Dark Lady, he has created a woman as fascinating as her world is haunting. Dark Lady is his signature work. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • ENGROSSING . . . TRUE SUSPENSE. San Francisco Chronicle
  • [A] COMPLEX TALE OF PERSONAL, POLITICAL, AND CRIMINAL BETRAYALS . . . Dark Lady not only keeps you in suspense; it gives you plenty of social and moral questions to ponder. The Wall Street Journal
  • EXCELLENT . . . ONCE AGAIN PATTERSON REVEALS HIMSELF TO BE A MASTER OF CRAFTING MEMORABLE CHARACTERS. AND THE LONELY, LOVELY STELLA MARZ . . . IS ONE OF HIS BEST. USA Today

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel Schaefer | 1/20/2014

    " Good mixture of politics and intrigue. It took a little time to get going, but was worth it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 1/20/2014

    " Nancy 3 stars; Ron 3 stars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda Kelly | 1/19/2014

    " I realy enjoyed this and I like his books but don't have many of them for some reason. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 12/23/2013

    " Just okay. Patterson's more recent books are thought provoking and interesting. This is formulaic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B | 12/19/2013

    " good characters. Interesting plot on corruption & public projects "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby Jean | 12/4/2013

    " blah blah legal thriller blah. fake cleveland setting and intrigue around the baseball stadium and race relations and just watch the wire instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy Kester | 12/4/2013

    " I enjoy reading Richard North Patterson, he's intriguing and keeps you interested the whole way through the book. This was another hit. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 10/4/2013

    " Dark Lady by Richard North Patterson (2000) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 9/10/2013

    " If you like a "who dunnit", this is the one for you. An intriguing storyline with lots of detail. Very easy to read and had the ability to keep me turning the pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 12/22/2012

    " Nancy 3 stars; Ron 3 stars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 10/31/2012

    " love a book that I can't put down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/14/2012

    " Patterson weaves an intricate web of intrigue about a down-and-out old mill town in the Midwest that is trying to re-define itself. The corruption, back-stabbing, twisted fantasies, and ultimate resolution are well-crafted and enjoyable. Recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lou | 1/28/2012

    " I picked this up on a whim and was lucky enough to have made a good choice. This is the first I read by Richard North Patterson and while it was dark, with some complex characters, it was a difficult book to walk away from. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Hallett | 12/27/2011

    " This is one of my most favorite authors, but I have to admit that, though I enjoyed it, it is not one of his best books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janne | 10/4/2011

    " I had a hard time putting this book down. It is a dark story - some supposedly good people are not who they appear to be, others are just evil and don't care. There were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing - I liked it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 9/26/2011

    " A good political thriller.... Enjoyed it thoroughly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie | 9/2/2011

    " Interesting story, good main character development. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meghan Mcbain | 7/21/2011

    " Not for the squeamish "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee Dee Lear | 6/20/2011

    " still same series...great author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dad | 6/15/2011

    " Pretty intense. I'm surprised this one was never made into a movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janne | 1/17/2011

    " I had a hard time putting this book down. It is a dark story - some supposedly good people are not who they appear to be, others are just evil and don't care. There were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing - I liked it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Orchard | 1/17/2011

    " I love mysteries and this one was a great read! Realistic characters and an awesome story that kept me turning the pages! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 9/20/2010

    " Solid research add details to the plot which equal a good story and strong characters, who are very believable. I liked this book very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 7/14/2010

    " Patterson weaves an intricate web of intrigue about a down-and-out old mill town in the Midwest that is trying to re-define itself. The corruption, back-stabbing, twisted fantasies, and ultimate resolution are well-crafted and enjoyable. Recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 4/12/2010

    " I realy enjoyed this and I like his books but don't have many of them for some reason. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abby | 11/4/2009

    " blah blah legal thriller blah. fake cleveland setting and intrigue around the baseball stadium and race relations and just watch the wire instead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie | 3/4/2009

    " Interesting story, good main character development. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 1/18/2009

    " Dark Lady by Richard North Patterson (2000) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 12/19/2008

    " love a book that I can't put down "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 1/4/2008

    " good characters. Interesting plot on corruption & public projects "

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About the Author
Author Richard North Patterson

Richard North Patterson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil’s Light, In the Name of Honor, The Spire, and a number of other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. Patterson has appeared on such programs as the Today show, Good Morning America, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Buchanan and Press

About the Narrator

Patricia Kathryn Kalember is an American actress best known for her role as Georgiana “Georgie” Reed Whitsig in the NBC drama series, Sisters. Kalember also had the leading roles in a number of television films and co-starred in several feature films including Fletch Lives, Signs, The Company Men, and Limitless, as well as recurring roles in the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.