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The Truth Lies in the Dark Paperback – November 3, 2008
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Mandy Martineau is plagued with nightmares. Not just any nightmares, though, she's terrorized in the night by the distinct feeling of déjà vu as she lives through the scariest imaginable situations. Desperate to determine just what is real and what is truly part of her dreams Mandy sets out to discover exactly where she fits in.
Loved deeply by her husband Nick and her recently deceased grandfather Mandy can't help but feel like they are part of whatever conspiracy she's trying to dig herself out from under. She knows they are keeping something from her when she comes upon them in whispered conversation. Her suspicions are further affirmed when she's presented with written documentation outlining that at the very least her grandfather knew of some sort of life altering secret.
It is then that as she travels with her husband from their home to points West then back again Mandy researches bits and pieces of a life lead before she could remember. A life she's unsure belongs to her.
Not wanting to ruin the suspenseful and mysterious aspects of the story makes this a difficult review to construct.
A profound element that does not betray the story is the deeply woven romance within the larger mystery. It is clear that Nick will do anything to protect his wife and that brings with it serious ramifications. Mandy too deeply loves Nick as evidenced by her dependence on him. What is interesting is that even though they work (sometimes together and sometimes at odds) to bring her investigation to a successful completion what defines that success is completely different for each.
The mystery of this story, while written well, fell a bit short. At times I felt the foreshadowing made the next steps in the story too clear. Often times I felt like Callender was laying everything out on a map and leading us through the maze as compared to allowing the reader the freedom to explore and investigate with Mandy and Nick on their own.
Where Callender makes up for that is in her prose. She provides the reader with just enough detail to set the physical and emotional scene without bogging us down with too much information. We see and feel all that Mandy and Nick experience right along with them.
Additionally, with the inclusion of the love story she provides the reader with two characters worthy of investment. We wanted Mandy to find out what was going on and we wanted she and Nick to struggle through that adversity to their happily ever after in the end.
If you are a fan of suspenseful writing and good character development I would recommend that you pick up this novel. You won't be disappointed.
"This freshman author has offered up an account of what happens when life is not what it seems. Readers are quickly pulled into the tale, which moves at a good pace."
Taken from review by radio personality Joan Dylan, WRCH 100.5 (Jan. 2009)
"...I thought it was a great read, really kept me turning the pages, well written, good character development and nice twist at the end. Overall.... yes, I would recommend the book especially for a weekend out of town/vacation or beach read."
Reviewed by Pat Elliott from BookLoons (Dec.2008)
"The truth truly lies in the dark in Callender's well-written page-turner, guaranteed to keep the reader on the edge of the seat and guessing to the last page. Well done, Ms Callender, more books please."
The book kept me interested and, while I don't think the plot was too original, I still enjoyed it. I found Amanda's dreams most interesting. Her amnesia, and other parts, reminded me of My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews--to which it was a little similar to that book, but not completely. The pacing was quick and exciting, and I had a good time reading it.