Publisher: Random House
Release Date: June 22, 2021
WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS is a gripping dark mystery that made me super uneasy! I love that Laura McHugh sets her atmospheric thrillers in small towns around the Midwest, in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and now Arkansas — technically a Southern state, but close enough for me.
The main character is Sarah/Sarabeth, a young woman who has endured A LOT. As a teen her parents joined a fringe religious group and moved the family to a remote farm in Arkansas. She is stifled by the strict rules and dreams of escaping. Just before her 18th birthday, she’s abducted by a masked man, but found a week later. This horrific experience ends up being her ticket out, but she won’t easily shake the trauma. The police have no leads, and her case eventually fades to the background.
Fast-forward five years, and Sarah is still dealing with scars from the past, but doing her best to move on. She’s contacted by investigator Nick Farrow who’s working on another missing persons case similar to her own and needs her help. Of course that means going back to the family farmstead to face her past, but is she ready for what might be revealed?
Sarah’s story is gut wrenching and really put me on edge. Chapters alternate between Sarah in the present and Sarabeth in the past, so readers can experience what she went through. I was engrossed in the mystery and the many dark secrets that were gradually revealed.
WHAT’S DONE IN DARKNESS is another gritty, fast-paced, and enjoyable thriller from Laura McHugh. The situations of unreported missing girls from the hollers presented in this book are probably more common than we think. Eye-opening!
So, Nick Farrow’s character. I pictured him looking and acting like Detective Colin Zabel from Mare of Easttown. (Have you seen that show? If not, you must watch.)
I love the mention of Lambert’s Cafe! I’ve never been there, but I see the billboards when we drive to the Ozarks — “Home of the throwed rolls!” That’s so funny. I always wonder why someone would want rolls thrown at them in a restaurant. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.