A Darker Place (1999)

darker_place_UK_coverdarker_plsm(In UK: Birth of a New Moon)

“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.”

To Buy a Copy

Bookshop Santa Cruz (ask for a signed copy!)

What they say

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 her standalone novels and on writing A Darker Place.

Of the “unlikely heroine – a middle-aged religion professor with a bum leg.” The Mystery Reader.com. says this “Professor Anne Waverly’s exploits are intriguing to say the least.”

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: The red rocks, some nice panoramas of the area, and the Sedona vortices

Cults and religious communities:

For a look at the history and symbols of alchemy

For a bibliography, click here.

For Laurie’s suggestions to teacher and book groups, click here.


Click the alchemical laboratory to visit the gallery