Day 232: Darkside

Cover for DarksideThe holidays are over and it’s time to get my act back in gear!

Darkside is a mystery with an unusual twist and an even more unusual ending. Belinda Bauer again sets this novel in the town of Shipcott on the edge of the moor in the area of Exmoor explored in Blacklands.

An old, helpless woman seems to have died in her sleep, but the death turns out to be murder. The local constable, Jonas Holly, who is a resident of the town, is being sidelined and even ridiculed by police detective Marvel, who dislikes him on sight. With another death, the police begin to figure out that a serial killer may be murdering sick and mentally ill people.

Frighteningly, Jonas’s beloved wife Lucy has multiple sclerosis. Jonas begins getting notes from someone that say he is not doing his job, so he decides to investigate on his own.

The ending of the novel is ambiguous. Does Jonas know who the killer is or not?

Bauer manages as she did in her first book to create a tense, atmospheric thriller. Characters are plausibly drawn, and the writing is tight. I have been very pleased with Bauer’s dark psychological thrillers so far.

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