Summary and book reviews of A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio

A Visible Darkness

A Mystery

by Michael Gregorio

A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio X
A Visible Darkness by Michael Gregorio
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2009, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2011, 464 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Dark, intelligent, and vividly written, A Visible Darkness continues a masterful series of historical mysteries that portray a past torn between nationalism and humanism, superstition and science.

Prussia has been overrun by Napoleon’s forces, and the Emperor’s troops have discovered a new source of funds there: enough amber to finance France’s wars. But their plans stall when the girls who collect the stones begin to disappear, only to be found gruesomely disfigured by an unknown killer. The French call upon Prussian investigator Hanno Stiffeniis, who must seek out the culprit knowing that his own success may doom his country's future.

Dark, intelligent, and vividly written, A Visible Darkness continues a masterful series of historical mysteries that portray a past torn between nationalism and humanism, superstition and science.

Chapter One

'Three of them can consume a dead horse in three days.'

Linnaeus might have been describing famished wolves or bears emerging from the forest in desperate search of winter nourishment, but savage Nature was not the subject of his dissertation.

Flies . . .

That's what Linnaeus was talking of.

And as I left the house that morning, I spotted another corpse in the garden.

The lawn and flower-beds had become a cemetery in recent weeks. I had buried a rat, three field-mice and a squirrel, intending to hide them from the eyes of Helena and the children. I knelt down to examine the creature more closely. Half hidden beneath one of the rose-bushes, a fair-sized stoat in what remained of its red-brown summer coat.

It had not been there the previous evening when I returned from my office in town. Yet overnight, it had been reduced to a skeleton, more or less. Four or five bluebottles were fighting over the last shreds of .flesh, darting in, teasing at the fat where ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Chief among the many gifts the husband and wife writing team of Michael G Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio bring to this atmospheric thriller is the ability to deliver the environment of Prussia's Baltic Coast in 1808 as a living, breathing, odiferous locale. Indeed, it is fair to say I spent a good deal of the time reading this novel with my nose wrinkled. But that is a good thing, since the effect not only enhances a sense of place but brings the summer of 1808 to the forefront to the extent that it becomes its own vibrant character...continued

Full Review (1057 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The third dose of Stiffeniis boasts the same strong evocation of history and, refreshingly, a looser and more confident narrative voice.

Booklist
Philosophy and chemistry run amok in this intelligent, compelling, but definitely difficult-to-read thriller.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. While some readers will anticipate the solution, the pitch-perfect evocation of the period and the compelling, gloomy atmosphere more than compensate for any lack of surprise.

Library Journal
Gregorio writes dense prose and detailed passages on living conditions of the time. But he excels in his depiction of an unusual sleuth who combines the wily psychology of a conquered people with the underlying philosophy of his former teacher, Emmanuel Kant.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Baltic Amber & Prussia
Baltic Amber
As I read 'A Visible Darkness' I was fascinated by the act of collecting amber. Michael G Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio, who write under the pseudonym Michael Gregorio, were kind enough to answer my questions plus give a bonus teaser about the next Hanno Stiffeniis novel already in the works...

Q. There is, it seems, a rich history surrounding Baltic amber. How much did you know about the amber trade before embarking on your novel? How did you research this?

A. We were looking for an original setting for the third story in the series, and the Baltic coast seemed the ideal place, given that amber has been collected on the shore for many centuries. It was a dangerous job. You could be ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Michael Gregorio

If you liked A Visible Darkness, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Heaven, My Home
    by Attica Locke
    Attica Locke's 2017 novel Bluebird, Bluebird introduced us to Texas Ranger Darren Mathews, who ...
  • Book Jacket: Transcendent Kingdom
    Transcendent Kingdom
    by Yaa Gyasi
    Yaa Gyasi's (pronounced "yah jessie") Transcendent Kingdom is, among other things, a meditation on ...
  • Book Jacket: We Are Not Free
    We Are Not Free
    by Traci Chee
    Author Traci Chee is best known for her young adult fantasy trilogy, The Reader series. We Are Not ...
  • Book Jacket: The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures
    The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures
    by Jennifer Hofmann
    The title of Jennifer Hofmann's perceptive debut novel with its bureaucratese strongly suggests a ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Piranesi
    by Susanna Clarke

    A new novel from the NY Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Shadow King
by Maaza Mengiste

An unforgettable epic shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and named a best book of the year by the New York Times.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Memorial Drive

Memorial Drive
by Natasha Trethewey

The moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of tragedy.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

L N Take I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.