The Redding, California, area is terrorized by a serial killer with an unusual method for murder. Annie Kingston is called in to draw sketches of the victims' faces so they can be identified. As the body count rises, the pressure increases to find this heinous killer. The Sheriff thinks he's close--maybe too close. How can Annie?and her son? stay safe, as the killer closes in? Book Three in the Hidden Faces Series.Publishers Description
All words fell away. I pushed myself off the path, noticing for the first time the signs of earlier passage---the matted earth, broken twigs. And I knew. My mouth turned cottony. I licked my lips, took three halting steps. My maddening, visual brain churned out pictures of colorless faces on a cold slab---Debbie Lille, victim number one; Wanda Deminger, number three . . . He d been here. Dragged this one right where I now stumbled. I d entered a crime scene, and I could not bear to see what lay at the end. . . . This is a story about evil. This is a story about God s power. A string of murders terrorizes citizens in the Redding, California, area. The serial killer is cunning, stealthy. Masked by day, unmasked by night. Forensic artist Annie Kingston discovers the sixth body practically in her own back yard. Is the location a taunt aimed at her? One by one, Annie must draw the unknown victims for identification. Dread mounts. Who will be taken next? Under a crushing oppression, Annie and other Christians are driven to pray for God s intervention as they ve never prayed before. With page-turning intensity, Dead of Night dares to pry open the mind of evil. Twisted actions can wreak havoc on earth, but the source of wickedness lies beyond this world. Annie learns where the real battle takes place---and that a Christian s authority through prayer is the ultimate, unyielding weapon."
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.12" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.94"
Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Apr 3, 2005
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
Availability 0 units.
Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Brandilyn Collins... A Superb Author of Mystery and Faith Feb 14, 2007|
|"Dead of Night," the third book in Brandilyn Collins' four-volume 'Hidden Faces' series, is as suspense-filled as any novel by any author who writes in this genre. Even though her previous works are superb, Ms. Collins somehow gets better and better. Highly Recommended!|
--R. C. Howe (aka 'Toby Martin II).
|A multidimensional Christian suspense novel full of surprises Mar 28, 2006|
|Forensic artist Annie Kingston has a serial killer on her hands ---- hands that have no clue what the suspect looks like. But people who live in the area where the killer has been stalking female prey and dumping their bodies are in a near panic; the women are fearing for their lives and everyone is demanding that the authorities do more to catch the monster in their midst. The pressure on Annie is enormous. Not only is she called to each gruesome crime scene to sketch the faces of unidentified victims; she's also drawn into the investigation on a personal level when both a suspect and a body show up on her property.|
As it turns out, these crimes are highly personal with regard to Annie. Her high-profile status, which had been secured in an earlier investigation (and, presumably, an earlier book), has placed her squarely in the killer's sights. What's more, her newfound faith in Christ rankles the killer to no end. Between each chapter, Collins gives the perpetrator an opportunity to reveal the chilling thoughts and motives that drive the violence, and it becomes evident early on that resentment toward the church and Christians is a prime factor behind the killing spree.
As if that wasn't enough, Annie's drug-abusing son is giving her fits, and a neighbor, the unmarried father of her daughter's best friend, is quietly and slowly revealing his attraction to her. Her life is complicated, to be sure, but as the investigation heats up, neither Annie nor Collins's readers can possibly be prepared for just how complicated it's going to get.
Despite all the big and little red herrings that crop up as the plot progresses, about a third of the way through the book I was sure I knew who the killer was, and it was not someone you'd ordinarily suspect. Much to my utter delight, I was wrong --- not even close, in fact. I can't begin to describe the pleasure I get from being mistaken about the doer when I'm reading a murder mystery, especially if the surprise ending doesn't feel contrived. That was the case here; Collins so adeptly disguises the killer's identity until the bitter, strychnine-laced end that when it was revealed, I felt simultaneously stunned and satisfied rather than tricked and cheated.
Collins also serves up some surprising insights and images that are only marginally related to the main plot but provide depth and texture to the overall story. In a scene in which Annie's daughter and her friend are simultaneously grilling cheese sandwiches and grilling Annie about another possible victim, Collins describes the resiliency of teenagers through Annie's thoughts: "Somehow they managed to turn their attention back to the priorities of the moment --- to cooking their sandwiches, sliding them onto plates, fetching drinks. Even as they pumped me for information about Karen --- not all of which I could give --- their demeanor settled like cellophane under heat, shrink-wrapped to fit this new reality." Images like that appear often enough to set Collins's writing apart from that of so many one-dimensional suspense authors.
Now to the faith part. As a new believer, Annie has a lot to learn, and this provides Collins with an opportunity to enlighten her readers as well. Her writing is not what you'd call preachy, but neither is the faith angle subtle. The primary "teaching" comes from a taped sermon that Annie listens to in her car, a slight variation on a device used by Christian writers who make their faith-related points through sermons delivered in church. To her credit, Collins does a good job of weaving the faith element in as a part of everyday life; it never felt intrusive or tacked on as an afterthought. Plus, it was pivotal to the plot, which made it even more appropriate for her to focus on.
For fans of Christian suspense, this one is up there in the stratosphere. In fact, I'm fairly confident that Collins has it in her to give an author like Patricia Cornwell a run for her money someday. She has that kind of potential.
|Chilling and Brilliant Oct 17, 2005|
|"Dead of Night" builds on the memorable characters from the previous Hidden Faces books and takes things to another level. Brandilyn Collins tackles the issue of evil head-on, never flinching or backing down. This time, the evil comes in the form of the Poison Killer. This particular villain injects victims with poison, then watches them die. Through chilling scenes, Collins takes us into the killer's sadistic mindset. She does so brilliantly, and I looked forward to those moments in the book. (Does that make me a sick puppy?)|
Once again, the story follows Annie Kingston as she tries to unravel the mystery--not only of the killer's identity, but of her son's criminal activity, and of her own romantic possibilities. Blending suspense, romance, and family issues, Collins comes up with a fantastic book. Although she's careful to avoid gratuitous violence, she portrays things in a credible way, and she gives us some final twists that are surprising but fitting.
The Hidden Faces Series is one of the more enjoyable ones going, and "Dead of Night" is the best installment yet. This is a must-have for mystery readers in this market.
|Absolutely Awesome! Sep 30, 2005|
|The first thing that impressed me was this author's tight writing. She wastes no words and before I knew it, I was half-way through the book. |
Next, the character's faith is weaved in wonderfully. It's obvious the author knows God.
Her brand is "seatbelt suspense" I kind of thought, Yeah, whatever, but hello, I found myself hunched forward in anticipation the further I got into the novel. "Don't forget to breathe" is right!
I have to say I almost always guess the who dunnits early on. Not this time. Not even close. I was absolutely caught off guard by the ending.
This book was so satisfying all around. Brandilyn is now among my favorites. I'm glad I don't write this type of suspense, I'd hate to have to compete with her genious. I mean that whole-heartedly. Great job on this.
|Brandilyn Does it Again Sep 26, 2005|
|Forensic artist Annie Kingston may be facing her most challenging assignment: a challenge to her talent, her career, her new-found faith, and-her life. |
Young women are turning up dead, their bodies found in the most grotesque postures imaginable. Who are they and why were they killed? Annie's usual work is to draw composite sketches of a suspect as described by the victim or a witness. This time, her abilities are put to the test when she is called upon to draw pictures of these victims as they must have looked while alive in order to identify them . . . because their features bear no resemblance to anything normal.
When the sixth corpse is discovered virtually in Annie's back yard, it becomes personal. Fear and dread come to live in the Kingston home. As Annie works with the local and county officials, the pressure increases. The reality of the dead women is horrible enough, but when it looks like Annie herself has become a target of the killer, the stakes rise.
There is a serial killer out there and the sky park community of Grove Landing is in an uproar. The citizens are furious, demanding action - and terrified. Who is it? Who can they trust? How can they protect themselves? Who will be the next victim?
As the tension mounts, Annie depends more and more on prayer-desperate at times. Can she remain faithful through all this? As if she didn't have enough pressure with the drawings and the reality of the horrible killings, she must contend with her juvenile delinquent teen-age son, and a sensitive, vulnerable young daughter.
It is difficult to write a review of Brandilyn Collins' work without giving anything away. What I've written so far is an attempt to tease you and pull you in. This lady is, to my mind, one of the most talented writers of suspense today. Dead of Night is book three in the Hidden Faces Series. And I think it is better than book two (Stain of Guilt), which was better than book one (Brink of Death). But that's not fair, either. The best part of all is that these books show how Annie Kingston grows through her experiences. She finds her way to a belief and faith in the One Who is Always There.
If you like spine-tingling, hair-raising, edge-of-the-seat suspense, you've got to read these books. One warning, though-if you're easily spooked, better read this during the day, or at least turn on all the lights if you read after dark! Oh...you might not want to be alone, either.
Peggy Phifer ý2005
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