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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea @kensingtonbooks @CharlieDonlea @jessmapreviews

Some Choose Darkness 
by Charlie Donlea 

Publisher: Kensington Books
Publish Date: May 28, 2019
Kindle Edition
304 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Crime

A modern master of suspense, critically acclaimed author Charlie Donlea returns with a taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight . . . 

The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more. 

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. As a former client of her father’s, Rory becomes reluctantly involved with the killer—though he continues to insist he didn’t murder Angela. Now he wants Rory to do what her father once promised: prove that Angela is, in fact, still alive.

As Rory begins reconstructing Angela’s last days, another killer emerges from the shadows, replicating those long-ago murders. With every startling discovery she makes, Rory becomes more deeply entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell—and in The Thief’s tormented mind. Drawing connections between past and present is the only way to stop the nightmare, but even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . 

My Review:

"The trust is easy to miss, even when it's right in front of us." 

As a person who has always been fascinated with serial killers and their own certain *rituals* or *marks*, this book really fit into my wheelhouse of thrillers to read. What's especially special about this book is Donlea's two main female characters being on the Autism Spectrum. While I don't have a ton of knowledge about this, I do know that in the past autism would be diagnosed as something else and would be a detriment to the person afflicted. Donlea definitely manages to showcase this in a very respectful but harrowing way.

Both Rory and Angela are extremely fascinating characters. I love that both are strong women that deal with their own secrets and share the commonality of extraordinary minds that give them that something special in seeing things others may not. This works well especially for Rory in her line of work in solving old cases. 

This book is a bit darker than the only other book I've read by Donlea, but not so much as to deter any reader. The opening and ending are sandwiching the amazing filling that never wastes words in the telling of the story. What I love about Donlea is his way of smoothly revealing any of the little twists we find throughout. There's no big slap in the face but rather a "gooooootcha, there it is... wow" type of feel. Some things I think were fairly obvious but others I wasn't expecting.

This was a little bit of a slower pace than I typically like. However, I was help captivated about what where the story was going. I did feel like the ending did leave room for a potential sequel but to be honest, I hope not as I think this book stands alone strongly and to be honest, there are enough sequels in my life that I'd be remiss to have to promise myself to another (though if this did move on into a series read, then it wouldn't be hateful and OF COURSE I'd read it!).

"Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it." 


Jessica's Review:

This was my second book by Charlie Donlea and I was reminded why I loved his other book! SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS was a fast moving and suspenseful read with all of the elements that I love in the thriller genre. Short chapters to keep you in a perpetual "just one more chapter" mentality, multiple POV's, a serial killer, high tension, and some incredible female leads. 

Who doesn't love going into the mind of a serial killer? Something that always fascinates me is how an author will dissect these characters and bring us into their perspectives. We alternate between present day and flashbacks to when The Thief was on the loose. The readers are brought through the case and investigation between present day and decades ago as the killings were happening. When The Thief was still at large, Angela was obsessed with trying to catch the killer, and now, Rory is obsessed with following the old case and Angela's methods. 

What makes this unique and stand out compared to the other crime fiction novels in the same vein is that both Rory and Angela are on the Autism spectrum. Their approaches to the investigation are absolutely fascinating and kept me glued to the pages. These women have a different way of looking at things and can see elements that most people can't. I loved it. The way Donlea does the reveal throughout the book kept me hooked - and I was way off with that ending! Gotta love when that happens, especially when you're a frequent reader of this genre. 

Overall, while there were some slower parts, I really enjoyed this book! There is definitely a darker and more sinister tone to this one, but nothing too graphic. I would highly recommend this and can't wait to see what Donlea comes out with next. 

4 stars

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