Complex, Psychological Thriller,
This review is from: Darkness All Around (Hardcover)
The blurb calls this part murder mystery and part love story and that is true. It is also a frightening and complex story about memory and lies. The story begins with a murder. Carol Slezak is brutally killed by being strangled and hacked with a machete. G.G. Trask, a mentally handicapped co-worker at The Ding Dong, is railroaded into a confession. At the same time Risa's alcoholic husband Sean disappears leaving her with their young child.
Eleven years pass...Risa is now married to Alan, a local politician, and living the life of a political wife. She isn't happy with her life or with the violence she is starting to see in her seventeen-year-old son Kevin. She has given up her dream of being an artist and is running her family's bar and restaurant The Kitchen which is the hotbed of gossip in their small town of Braden, Pennsylvania. Braden is a football town and Kevin, with Alan's encouragement, is a rising star on the football team.
Then Sean comes back to town convinced that he is really the one who killed Carol. He had been living on the streets in New York City but an accident with a subway train caused him to lose his memory for a while. Bits and pieces including the vision of Carol's blood stained body are coming back to him. His brain damage has also caused him to stop drinking though he is very dependent on some pills that he was given during rehab to keep him from drinking.
Alan is all for getting Sean out of town again. His presence is wrecking Alan's campaign for congressman. And he doesn't want to bring up that old murder case. Alan's only concern is his campaign and not doing anything to jeopardize it. He doesn't want to lose his wife to Sean either.
Then there is the young reporter Henry Saltz whose first task when he arrived in Braden was to get the report from Carol's crime scene. Henry is still around town eleven years later when Sean comes to see him to find out if the memories he is recovering are accurate. He is Risa's friend.
This was a compelling story with lots of twists and turns. There were lots of surprises along the way. No one was who they seemed. I recommend this one for those who like dark, complex mysteries. It was a very engaging and compelling read. I couldn't put it down until I found out the truth.