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Into the Dark an Echo Falls Mystery


Into the Dark an Echo Falls Mystery

THE DARK, the third installment in Peter Abrahams’s
Echo Falls series, finds 13-year-old Ingrid
Levin-Hill in the middle of a number of family crises. Her Grampy
is having trouble keeping up with his farm, her mother and father
don’t seem to be getting along, and she finds a body on
Grampy’s property with her maybe-more-than-friend Joey
Strade. As Ingrid solves the mystery, many family secrets come out
in this fast-paced adventure.

Ingrid barely has time to piece together clues in between helping
her family, starring as Gretel in the community theater production
of Hansel and Gretel, going to school and keeping up with
her friends. But when Grampy is arrested for murder, she has no
choice but to find answers. Grampy will not discuss where he was at
the time the crime occurred or what he was doing. There is a lot of
that behavior going around, but Ingrid is determined to find out

A visit to help Grampy with chores becomes frightening when Harris
Thatcher from the Department of Conservation comes to talk to him
about the “pond” Grampy had made with illegal
explosives. Grampy sends the gentleman off with the threat of a .22
rifle and shouting. While she’s there, he also gets a
“wrong number” from a Dr. Pillman and will not talk to
her about the bruising on his arm.

The editor of the local paper is doing a story on the five
surviving World War II men in the area, and Ingird is surprised to
hear Grampy referred to as a hero. He refuses to discuss it, then
abruptly changes his mind and agrees to become part of the piece.
Soon after, while Ingrid is snowshoeing with Joey, they find a body
on Grampy’s property. It’s Mr. Thatcher, and he was
killed with a rifle! Chief Strade, Joey’s father, knows that
Ingrid is lying about Grampy, but she will not tell anyone that she
saw him threaten Thatcher with the same kind of weapon. So he
forbids Joey from talking to her.

When Ingrid tries to get answers at home, she finds that her mother
is distracted and her father is never around. Even her good friend
Mia tells her she’s moving away. Ingrid realizes she must
solve things on her own, or else Grampy will go to prison. She
begins finding clues in everything from a New York parking receipt
to stories of World War II to talking to Grampy’s neighbors.
The Chief is watching her, and she lies to him again, which he
seems to be aware of. She knows that some secrets are not hers to

Life at home gets quite crazy and upsetting, and Ingrid finds a
surprising bond with her older brother. He joins her in learning
about Grampy’s heroic past and how it affects their situation

While readers may figure out the identity of the murderer along
with Ingrid, the details of the characters and their secrets will
keep them turning pages. Ingrid is a smart, realistic 13-year-old
with a sense of humor. In INTO THE DARK, she really starts to grow
up and find her own way through some very tough family situations.
While this third Echo Falls book is a darker departure
from the previous two titles, fans of the series will find a lot to
like in this one.


Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 18, 2011

Into the Dark an Echo Falls Mystery
by Peter Abrahams

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2008
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0060737085
  • ISBN-13: 9780060737085