Monday, July 16, 2012

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Darkness All Around

Author: Doug Magee
Title: Darkness All Around
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: June 19, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours and the Publisher
Book Blurb: When there’s DARKNESS ALL AROUND . . . some memories are best forgotten Within the span of one harrowing week, Risa’s alcoholic husband, Sean, disappears, and her best friend, Carol, is brutally murdered. Eleven years later, Risa has seemingly put her life back together again, comforted by the love of her new husband, who is a local politician, and the knowledge that Carol’s killer has been convicted. But then just as suddenly as he had disappeared, Sean resurfaces— sober, plagued by horrific recollections of Carol’s murder, and convinced he was the real killer. Sean’s startling claim buzzes through their small Pennsylvania community, and Risa is left to wonder if the man she still loves actually committed the grisly murder. Her growing belief in his innocence sends her on a treacherous search for the truth: a search that reveals ugly secrets that her new husband and the town’s law enforcement community are hiding. Part murder mystery, part love story, Darkness All Around is a gripping exploration of the depths of the criminal mind, the fine line between the truth and a lie, and the bravery of the human heart.

Review: Darkness All Around is a different kind of mystery. It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but the read was definitely a pleasant surprise. What was different in this story is the relationship aspect. Most of the books in this genre that I've read seldom focus on the people involved. This isn't the case here, and that really almost takes away the whodunit from the story, especially as the whodunit is a case that's been closed for years.

I was drawn to the story because it is set in Pennsylvania. I'm from the state, so that's always a draw for me, but what kept me turning the pages were the characters. I loved Risa. You could tell there were some cracks in the marriage as the story starts out. Her politician husband is not easily likable to the reader.

So to say the outcome was a surprise would be a lie, however Doug's writing is engaging because he creates characters that you can relate to. I could almost see the newscasts about Alan's run for office and Kevin's drive for football glory.

The small town of Braden really comes alive too. No surprise that everyone knows everyone's business. Anyone that lives in a small town can tell you that.

It is the mystery that is a little bit ho hum, because the end of the prologue pretty much tells you who the killer is. I won't say what character said it..but "Maybe she deserved to die." isn't the typical remark from an innocent bystander.

Sean is the real focal point of the story. You want to dislike him for the way he was; a not so good father, a violent drunk etc. But you can see a turnaround in him. You know he wasn't perfect but you like him anyway. You know that there's no way he could have played a part in killing Carol, even though things in his memory are telling him otherwise.

If the outcome weren't so predictable this would have been a perfect read, but it still was a great one and one that I would recommend to anyone that likes a little mystery in their life. I'd also recommend it to fan's of women's fiction, because Risa was such a strong character.

Rating:  4 flowers

Many thanks to TLC Book Tours  for letting me host this spot. Check out the other reviews and stops on the tour!

Tuesday, June 19th:  Crime Fiction Lover
Thursday, June 21st:  You’ve GOTTA read this!
Monday, June 25th:  Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, June 26th:  Life in Review
Wednesday, June 27th:  House of Crime and Mystery
Thursday, June 28th:  Inside of a Dog
Monday, July 2nd:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, July 3rd:  Reviews by Lola
Thursday, July 5th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, July 9th:  Man of La Book
Tuesday, July 10th:  Wordsmithonia
Thursday, July 12th:  Well Read Wife
Monday, July 16th:  A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, July 17th:  Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, July 18th:  Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
Thursday, July 19th:  Drey’s Library
TBD:  Murder by Type
TBD:  Raging Bibliomania


Kailana said...

That is too bad it was a bit predictable, but glad it redeemed itself!

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