The Dark Before Dawn - Laurie Stevens, Author

11:04 AM Posted by Martha A Cheves


Chocolaty Caramel Pecan Bars
(In honor of the book series, which is dark and
   deals with mental issues!)

Crust
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 Tbsp. whipping cream
1 cup all purpose or unbleached flour

Filling
24 vanilla caramels (unwrapped)
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 cups pecan halves (or pieces)

Topping
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet
2 Tbsp. whipping cream

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with parchment paper.  If you don't have parchment paper, grease the pan.  In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter and 1 Tbsp. whipping cream until well blended.  Add flour and mix until crumbly.  With floured hands, press evenly into pan.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan combine caramels and 1/3 cup whipping cream.  Cook over low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Add pecans and stir well to coat.  Immediately spoon over baked crust, spreading carefully to cover but not rip the crust.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter and chocolate chips, stirring constantly until melted.  Stir in 2 Tbsp. whipping cream.  Drizzle over filling.  Refrigerate 1 hr. or until the filling is firm.  Cut into bars.  (You can also toss the topping ingredients in a microwavable cup, heat and stir until it's smooth enough to drizzle.)

The Dark Before Dawn - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Dr. B sniffed and repositioned his glasses atop his nose.  "This last case you were on - you assaulted a grandmother."...  "Grandma had a twelve-gauge shotgun lying on a table in plain view from the front door.  Her drug-pushing grandson lives with the old lady and was a known gang-banger.  Grandma was very agitated with me.  Now, what am I supposed to think?" ... Dr. B chose his words carefully.  "But did you think first, Gabe?  When you pushed her, she fell and broke her hip.  She's an eighty-year old"...  "In a separate case two weeks ago," Dr. B said, "you nearly throttled a fifteen-year-old boy."...  "Then let's talk about the young man who was shot at that Halloween party you responded to when you were in uniform."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Detective Gabriel McRay has seen and even created his share of problems.  Enough so that he has been sent to the department's psychiatrist Dr. Berkowitz, better known as Dr. B.  Gabe's problems are showing through his temper but Dr. B feels it goes a lot deeper than that.  He feels Gabe's problems stem from a deeply suppressed past.  Gabe is not only suffering from his temper but also blackouts which leave him not knowing where he has been nor what he has done.  And to top it all off, someone has gone on a murdering spree that always ends with a message being left for Gabe with the 1st one reading "We are one."

As Gabe's memory starts to surface he finds himself wondering if he could possibly be the killer.  Is this what he does when he blacks out?  Turns out that Gabe isn't the only one with these same thoughts.  Some of his fellow officers are having the same thought.  As the murders and notes continue with each becoming more and more morbid the suspicion reaches the point that the department has decided put a watch on him.


This book isn't for the weak.  It's graphic and nothing is held back but it's also one of the best books I've read in some time.  I had a very hard time putting it down after reading the Prologue.  I could see it being a great story for Criminal Minds.  Now I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series Deep into Dusk.

1 comments:

  1. Laurie Stevens said...

    Thanks so much, Martha. This was fun!

Post a Comment