White Darkness by Steven Salinger

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From its blood-chilling opening scene, White Darkness will grab you by the throat and keep on squeezing.

On the island nation of Haiti, the shadowy Colonel Hugo Ferray is making another of his surprise nighttime visits. While he sits in the elegant dining room entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Dalwani and their three teen-age daughters with witty conversation, his armed troops outside are silently snipping the telephone wires and surrounding the house. When preparations are complete, the colonel slowly and mercilessly transforms his polite social call into a sadistic ritual of pillage, rape, arson and murder.

Fabrice Lacroix works for the wealthy Jouvier family. He spends his days tending their garden and daydreaming about living in America with his girlfriend Antoinette. But a terrifying, late night confrontation with Colonel Ferray will propel Fabrice on a journey toward America more harrowing than he could ever have imagined. His escape will leave his precious Antoinette to face the colonel's savage fury alone. Both Fabrice and Antoinette will place their lives in the hands of the l'wahs, the revered Voodoo spirits who are the living gods of Haiti.

At thirty-nine, More Rosen is struggling to maintain the family jewelry store in a once elegant Brooklyn neighborhood now crowded with West Indian immigrants— people whose language, customs and beliefs he does not understand. When Moe rescues his Haitian neighbor from a brutal mugging, he will be drawn into her strange, alien, darkly superstitious world where romance and success will lead to violence, kidnapping and the very real threat of death.

After methodically destroying all traces of his former life, Colonel Ferray will relocate to America and assume a new identity. When he discovers that much of his stored treasure has been stolen, his lust for vengeance will take him straight to the West Indian section of Brooklyn. Rather than subduing his vicious impulses, the change of scene will actually increase his appetite for innocent women and orchestrated bloodshed.

As the evil of the island seeps into the streets of New York, a deadly clash involving the colonel, Moe Rosen, Fabrice Lacroix and the mystical spirits of Haitian Voodoo will become inevitable.

In settings that range from the high seas of the Caribbean to the canyons of New York, from a poverty-stricken Haitian village to a Miami bank vault filled with stolen gold, from a shootout on a lonely West Indian mountaintop to an authentic Voodoo ceremony in a crowded Brooklyn basement, White Darkness tells the story of men and women whose love, strength and courage will be tested to their limits in a final battle that will either destroy them or set them free.

Praise for Steven D. Salinger's Behold the Fire:
"It would be hard to pack more suspenseful action into these pages..." — People
"Debut thrillers don't get much better than this." — Chicago Tribune
"Jolting...impressive....sees a lot of action and covers a lot of ideological ground without losing a grip on itself...Salinger writes as if language were his lifeline to a new world." — The New York Times
"The best first novel I've ever reviewed." — Philadelphia Inquirer

About Steven Salinger

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Steven Salinger is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of one previous novel, Behold the Fire. Salinger lived and worked in the Caribbean for nearly two decades, an experience that both inspired and informed White Darkness. Today he lives and writes in New Jersey.
Published August 15, 2012 by Crown. 368 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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His love is requited, his failing jewelry store turns a corner, and, to his astonishment, Moe, the near-misanthrope, finds himself enjoying Mr. Rogers–like popularity in his rapidly changing Brooklyn neighborhood.

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Publishers Weekly

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That both men are heading for Miz Ark should feel like a plot contrivance, but thanks to Salinger's storytelling and the way the Haitian worldview permeates the novel, every coincidence feels like the deliberate work of the l'wahs, Haitian deities like the erotic Erzulie and the evil Ogoun Ferrai...

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