Darkness All Around

A Novel

Darkness All Around

Now in paperback: a gripping novel of psychological suspense in which a man’s startling claims about a long-ago murder compel his ex-wife to risk all in search of the truth.

When there’s DARKNESS ALL AROUND . . . some memories are best forgotten

Within the span of one harrowing week, Risa’s alcoholic husband, Sean, disappears, and her best friend, Carol, is brutally murdered. Eleven years later, Risa has seemingly put her life back together again, comforted by the love of her new husband, who is a local politician, and the knowledge that Carol’s killer has been convicted. But then just as suddenly as he had disappeared, Sean resurfaces— sober, plagued by horrific recollections of Carol’s murder, and convinced he was the real killer.

Sean’s startling claim buzzes through their small Pennsylvania community, and Risa is left to wonder if the man she still loves actually committed the grisly murder. Her growing belief in his innocence sends her on a treacherous search for the truth: a search that reveals ugly secrets that her new husband and the town’s law enforcement community are hiding.

Part murder mystery, part love story, Darkness All Around is a gripping exploration of the depths of the criminal mind, the fine line between the truth and a lie, and the bravery of the human heart.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439154045 | 
  • June 2012
List Price $21.99
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Darkness All Around includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Doug Magee. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Sean Collins is a recovering alcoholic, trying to put his life back together after years on the streets. He is also recovering from Amnesia and is haunted by graphic memories of a dead woman named Carol—a woman he used to know. When he discovers that Carol really was murdered and that the accused murderer might have given a false confession, he fears that he is to blame. He returns to his hometown of Braden to turn himself in.

Risa, Sean’s ex-wife, has not only remarried but had him declared dead after he went missing eleven years ago. When he returns to Braden, it turns her world upside down. Is her ex-husband, the father of her son, a killer? Is her current husband Alan, Sean’s erstwhile best friend, the man she believes him to be? Who really killed Carol? The answers will surprise everyone.


1.       At the opening of the novel Risa is plagued by a sense of looming disaster, which is borne out by events. see more

More Books from this Author

An innocent rite of passage turns into a nightmare for four couples, exposing their secrets and risking the lives of their children. 

After passing the bittersweet parental milestone of putting her daughter, Sarah on the bus to sleep-away camp for the first time, Lena Trainor plans to spend the next two weeks fixing all the problems in her marriage. But when a second bus arrives to pick up Sarah for camp, no one seems to know anything about the first bus or its...