A Darker Place

A Darker PlaceBuy the Book:
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Published by: Bantam Books
Release Date: 1999
Pages: 512


A respected university professor, Anne Waverly has a past known to few: Years ago, her own unwitting act cost Anne her husband and daughter. Fewer still know that this history and her academic specialty--alternative religious movements--have made her a brilliant FBI operative. Four times she has infiltrated suspect communities, escaping her own memories of loss and carnage to find a measure of atonement. Now, as she begins to savor life once more, she has no intention of taking another assignment. Until she learns of more than one hundred children living in the Change movement's Arizona compound....

Anne soon realizes that Change is no ordinary community and hers is no ordinary mission. For, far from appeasing the demons of her past, this assignment is sweeping her back into their clutches...and to the razor's edge of danger.


“King’s solid research into alternative religious sects makes the desert commune feel like a real place, while her taut pacing insures that an air of menace hangs over the strange rituals that go on there. But the strongest appeal of the story lies in its superb characters, especially … [Anne Waverley], a mature woman who is both smart and courageous but flawed by an emotional need that puts her in grave danger. Just the kind of person to rescue the psychological suspense genre from its surfeit of perfect heroines.”
New York Times


Read Laurie’s thoughts on writing A Darker Place.

Of the “The Novelist Who Came in From the Cults” you can read this article from Metroactive.

To see an English garden at least as wild as that of the Change compound.

Sedona: some nice panoramas of the area, and the Sedona vortices

Cults and religious communities:

For a look at the history and symbols of alchemy

To see more images, visit the Pinterest page.



“This whole thing has got to be unconventional at least,” she said finally.

“I suppose it looks that way.”

The mildness of his answer irritated her. “You don’t think that hauling a middle-aged professor of religion out of her ivory tower and into the field to investigate a cult is a little unusual?”

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘cult’ in her hearing if I were you,” Glen suggested. “Not unless you’re interested in a twenty-minute lecture on the difference between cult, sect, and new religious movement.”

Gillian Farmer was not to be diverted. “It still sounds like something out of an Indiana Jones movie.”