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Book CoverDevon’s review of A Voice in the Dark by Jenna Ryan
Contemporary romantic Suspense released by Harlequin Intrigue 1 Jan 09

The “Phantom of the Opera” scenario is highly intriguing. A relationship based upon communication alone, no visual contact, seems deep. Getting to know the ‘real’ person, with no messy physical stuff to mess it up…sounds good, anyway. Don’t you wonder what and why the person is hiding? I was very interested in A Voice in the Dark because I had to know why the heck this guy was hiding, just as the heroine wondered. Are you curious?

Angel Carter is a Boston FBI agent who has been working closely with profiler Noah Graydon. They are in constant contact over the phone, but have not spent time face to face because Noah is a mysterious shut in. The relationship has deepened to friendship, and Angel sometimes wishes for more. When a dormant serial killer starts killing again, Angel and Graydon find themselves growing closer than ever.

I enjoyed the writing style quite a bit. I liked Angel, and most of the other characters. The dialogue was erudite and full of interesting and appropriate cultural references (I did have to look up Lamont Cranston). The grey and dreary Boston setting made a nice backdrop to the mystery, which kept my interest the whole time. The mystery was well developed, not just wallpaper for the romance. The climax was exciting, the villain disturbing.

Unfortunately, the romance never quite got off the ground for me, because I couldn’t figure out what the eff was up with Graydon. He’s all mysterious, and remains in the shadows, except when he goes for pizza. This guy was out and about all over the place! He wore hats with giant brims or something, so that his features always remained in shadow. C’mon, how do you go out for dinner with someone and never see their face? I was getting awfully frustrated, waiting to find out what the big secret was. There was an eye patch involved. I don’t find a pirate patch enough of a reason to cut oneself off from society. Seems a bit vain.

IMO, we never really find out if there was anything more than PTSD (my diagnosis) keeping Graydon housebound (kinda sorta). The ending left me suspicious that he had just been messing with everybody. The storyline was officially played out when they had sex. I don’t know how mysterious he could remain after getting nekkid. Wouldn’t Angel notice disfiguring scars? The “What’s up with Graydon” issue seemed so inconsistent and vague, it really distracted from the story. I would be really interested in the opinions of others. Was Graydon so distraught over losing an eye that he could no longer go out? Was it a convenient excuse to skip showers and avoid annoying people? Or was there something else? Hmmm…

I would read this author again, though I can’t recommend this without reservations.

reviewer iconGrade: C

The Summary:
No one knew what Noah Graydon looked like, but they’d all heard the rumors. How he’d been broken, even scarred, on his last case. How he never showed his face…until the day he took an overwhelming interest in one very special agent.

Angel Carter would have been a serial killer’s next victim if not for Noah. The rescue gave her a glimpse into his world of shadows—yet she dared to want more. To really know if the passion between them was real. They would have to come face-to-face if the killer was to be caught—and Noah could only conceal his body from Angel for so long….

Read an excerpt