5 January 2018

Review: IN THE DARK, Chris Patchell

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 1561 KB
  • Print Length: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Kindle Press (August 4, 2015)
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
Synopsis (Amazon)

Marissa Rooney stands in her daughter’s empty dorm room, a half-used vial of insulin clutched in her trembling hand. Brooke has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. And if Marissa has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.

But Marissa isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from her past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…

In the dark.

My Take

This is much better than your average debut novel, and it really has been sitting in my TBR for far too long.

It is filled with strong characters from Marissa Rooney, with 3 ex-husbands, to Seth Crawford police detective, to  Lizzie Holt creator of the Holt Foundation. Marissa’s daughter Brooke, an insulin dependent diabetic, goes missing during a night out with her room mate. The problem is that nobody realises Brooke is missing for at least 36 hours.

At the time Marissa is working for a law firm in Seattle. The moment Brooke’s room mate contacts her Marissa leaves work to contact the police. As a result she loses her job and is offered another with the Holt Foundation, a philanthropic organisation being set up to support parents finding themselves in situations just like this.

Meantime Marissa’s other daughter Kelly is in trouble at school for carrying a knife. It turns out that she is being bullied by other students. The plot shows how much stress Marissa is under.

Some of the plot elements felt a bit fanciful, but in general it was a good read, fast moving with plot threads well resolved.

My rating: 4.6

About the author
When Chris Patchell isn't hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn't steal them from comic books.

Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time - suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.

Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. "My stories are based on scenarios I see every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior."

Recipient of the 2015 Indie Reader Discovery Award for DEADLY LIES

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