by Sukey HowardSeptember, 2000
Under Cover of Darkness, James Grippando's latest, is a real gripper from the eerie opening to the catastrophic denouement. Grippando keeps the tension, suspense, and drama turned up high, twisting two strands of plot into a nightmarish knot, while Ron McLarty's well-crafted performance keeps the audio atmosphere charged. A serial killer, whose trademark is strangling and torturing pairs of look-a-likes, is loose in Seattle. Then, Beth Wheatly, the unhappy wife of a leading lawyer in a top-drawer firm, vanishes without a trace. The FBI and local cops think there may be a connection. When they realize Beth bears an uncanny resemblance to the dead women, the link gets stronger. When they find evidence that Beth is still alive, they begin to think she might be a participant, rather than a victim. To find out, a gutsy, young agent goes undercover, entering a dangerous world where death and deceit lurk in the dark.