Under Cover of the Night

A True Story of Sex, Greed and Murder

It was planned to look like a suicide but even in the best laid plans, evidence is left behind…

Jocelyn Branham Earnest was found dead on the living room floor of her home in Forest, Virginia. By her side was a gun and a suicide note–typed, lacking in signature and with one fingerprint on it. A fingerprint belonging to her estranged husband…

Wesley Earnest was a respected high school administrator, poised to restart his life in a new community. Parents entrusted their children to his care and believed he was above reproach. But an investigation into the life the couple once shared would reveal adultery, troubled finances and shattered dreams–enough that one man with murder on his mind would travel hundreds of miles…Under Cover of the Night.


“The keys to good true crime books are to keep them interesting and sensitive. Fanning succeeds on both counts. The attention to detail is Fanning’s strength; it’s obvious she researched the case thoroughly and planned her approach. “Under Cover of the Night” is a sad story told well, and it will whet readers’ appetites for more of Fanning’s work.”

Suzanne Wardle, Roanoke Times

What readers are saying about UNDER COVER OF THE NIGHT:

“Haunting and disturbing—well-written and researched.  There are some books which have affected me so deeply I will occasionally re-read them immediately after finishing them and UNDER COVER OF THE NIGHT is one of them.”

“I love Diane Fanning, she is such a detailed writer.  It was heartbreaking to read how the victim continued to let herself to get manipulated by a greedy, self-serving egomaniac of a husband.  She predicted her own demise but never got out of harm’s way.”

“True Crime folks will love his one.  Well written.”

“I’ve been a big fan of Diane Fanning for years.  She does her homework and writes an engaging book.”

“Oh, I love her style.”

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