Behind the Books:
Cover of Darkness about?
Under Cover of Darkness
I recently spoke to a group of
middle school children about being a writer, and one
child asked "What is Under Cover of Darkness
about?" I didn't want to get into a discussion of serial
killers with children of tender years, but I quickly
realized that the story isn't about murder. "It's about
relationships," I answered. "It's about a father who
realizes how much he loves his wife and daughter." That
really is what drives Under Cover of Darkness.
"[t]he most successful component of this story is Gus
Wheatley's growing awareness of his emotional separation
from his family," said Publishers Weekly.
It's difficult to pinpoint the moment of inspiration for this story. It came to me over time. I stopped practicing law in 1996, and many of my former colleagues have commented how lucky I am to be able to work at home and spend so much time with my kids. I do feel fortunate that way, but I wanted to write about a man who isn't as lucky. Gus Wheatley is so wrapped up in his career that he hardly even knew his six year old daughter. That it took his own wife's sudden disappearance to make him realize how little he knew about her and their daughter is both the tragedy and the drama that sustains the story.
UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS: HarperCollins Publishers: May 2001 Behind the Writing of the Novel: Copyright 2000 James Grippando