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Thursday, June 21, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley @atriabooks @netgalley @nabenruthnum

Find You In The Dark
by Nathan Ripley

Thanks so much to Atria Books for these copies!
An intriguing debut novel - a mystery/thriller that slowly burns....
Jessica and I seemed to feel the same about this one - see why below...

Publisher:  Atria Books
Publish Date:  June 19, 2018
368 Pages
Genres:  Thriller, Mystery, Suspense

In this chilling and disquieting debut thriller perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s Hidden Bodies and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series, a family man with a habit of digging up the past catches the attention of a serial killer who wants anything but his secrets uncovered.

For years, unbeknownst to his wife and teenage daughter, Martin Reese has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and obsessively studying them, using them as guides to find the missing bodies of victims. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees the situation differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her case‑closing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious source she calls the Finder, especially since he keeps leading the police right to the bodies. Even if he isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, how can she be sure he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his wife’s sister. But when he arrives at the site, he finds more than just bones. There’s a freshly killed body—a young and missing Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn left the corpses of his victims…and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work. And when a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder.

Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape, he may have to go deeper into the killer’s dark world than he ever thought… 

My Review:

This is a slow burn of a thriller featuring Martin - a man who clearly loves his family but you're never sure if he's on the right side of things entirely.  A successful man who was able to stop working, have tons of money to put towards his own research of these dead bodies while consistently gone from his family was quite interesting.  He had quite the understanding, yet frustrated wife and a precocious daughter, Kylie, that I truly found to be the highlight of this book.  My favorite line by her: "Fuck You, Dad."  Haha - my sentiments exactly, girl!

Here's what I loved about this book - a man going against the law to try and do some good.  Using his family and his wife's peace of mind as the excuse to do what he does.  While I do believe this was mostly the case, you know anyone with this type of obsession and the wherewithal to get things done... there's something lying underneath.  This is what kept me reading.

What I didn't particularly care about was the extremely slow burn... which ramps up at the end to an almost too fast of a conclusion that was wrapped up a bit too neatly for my taste.  Almost.  The last 20% certainly did keep my attention and to be honest, I started to like Martin a little bit more towards the end.

A solid thriller that I did feel was worth getting through the slow burn for.  I can see good things coming from this author.  While this is touted as a debut thriller, we know this is a pseudonym with other published works under both names.  I'm definitely curious where he goes from here.


Jessica's Review:

This ominous looking cover, coupled with the title, definitely caught my attention from the start. FIND YOU IN THE DARK by Nathan Ripley is a solid thriller debut, but just know that this is a slow burn thriller. So if you're wanting something fast from start to finish, then this probably won't be for you!

A man that obsesses over serial killer files to the point of finding the bodies of their missing victims, a detective determined to catch this anonymous tipster dubbed the Finder, and then a new killer into the mix. Talk about an intriguing read! Martin Reese has an unusual and secret hobby. He likes to purchase old police files on serial killers - he studies them and tries to locate the bodies of their missing victims. When he does, he sends photos to the police anonymously, and he believes he is doing the community a public service.

Meanwhile, Detective Sandra Whittal is concerned that the Finder could graduate from finding dead bodies to leaving his own behind. Martin finds himself in some trouble when a new killer has their sights set on him. It becomes a race against the clock for Martin to find the killer and for Whittal to catch her mysterious source and stop the killings.

I was expecting this one to be a bit faster paced simply because of the synopsis. I mean, it sounds like it would be a page turning thriller, but it's more of a slow burn. There's nothing wrong with a good building suspense, but it can ruin the reading experience if you aren't expecting it. This is a solid debut and I really enjoyed the characters. I think that the ending felt a bit rushed and some will find that the ending wrapped up a little too nicely. That last part of the book though really grabs you. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Nathan Ripley in the future.

I give this 3.5/5 stars!

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