A midshipman's six-story fall onto a plaza at the United States Naval Academy is classified initially as an accident. The Academy's administration-none-too-affectionately called the 'Dark Side' by the midshipmen-attempts to brush the ensuing controversy under the rug. But a bizarre twist complicates what might otherwise be a tidy cover-up, and pulls Midshipman first class Julie Markham into the incident in a highly embarrassing manner. Suddenly there are rumors of homicide.
Julie's flawless reputation, high academic standing, and athletic achievements make her an unlikely suspect, but her father, Ev Markham, an Annapolis graduate who is now a professor there, knows the extremes to which the Dark Side will go to protect the Academy from scandal. Fearing Julie will be sacrificed to appease the rising public outcry, he hires high-powered attorney Liz DeWinter as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service begins an investigation.
Meanwhile, Jim Hall, the Academy's civilian security officer, explores a trail of violent pranks in the locked subterranean tunnels connecting the Academy to Annapolis proper-tunnels that lead to an unsolved murder. But as he follows, Jim finds himself becoming the quarry instead of the hunter, pursued by an ingenious predator whose dark secret is hidden deep beneath the Academy's pristine grounds and sterling traditions.
Darkside is a twisting, relentless thriller by an Annapolis insider-simply, Deutermann at his best.