In the Dark by Loreth Anne White

Rating 3/5

Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s book  ‘And then there were none’/’Ten little indians’ this had potential to be a good thriller.  Briefly, a group of ‘strangers’ are invited to a remote lodge on the pretence of securing a business opportunity.  They all seem to recognize one another but cannot quite place where they may have met.  The story unfolds that they are all connected in some way.  Of course murders ensue. Each one resulting in the carved-off head of a figurine (made to represent each person in the group).  Thus, headless figurine and survivor countdown are linked! A mystery rhyme forewarns there will only be one survivor (or perhaps none) from the group.  The interactions between the group members is interesting, and paranoia and tensions develop like in any good, psychologically dark, fiction.   I would have liked it to have been less superficial though and more intense.  The characters were not easy ‘to know’ as they were not described in enough detail.  However, reading about the group was the best part of the book for me and it did hold my attention.

The book also kept switching to the police and rescue team who were trying to unravel the mystery of the missing group. I quite liked that the book had this layout as the police/rescue team chapters were viewed through the perspective of following tracks and evidence.  However, it is such a shame (and I do not know why authors do this) but a predictable romantic spark was insinuated between a police detective and head of the rescue team. I also found a lot of repetition of the storyline (told first by the ‘group’ chapters and then reiterated by the’ police/rescue team’ chapters).  The reader was very much spoon-fed information.

That said I loved trying to guess who would be the survivor of the group.  I did go through most of the group accusingly pointing the finger at each one!  I do not often read murder/mystery so it was a puzzle I wanted to solve, and that kept me interested.  Eventually I did guess.  The last few chapters were almost like the authors own notes explaining what went on and why.  This again made the story plod on and gave a feeling of spoon-feeding the reader.  For a quick and free read (kindle first) it was fine and quite entertaining.  I think I just prefer more depth and more psychology (personal preference) but that does not mean others will not find it thrilling.  It has a fair few stars on goodreads.


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