A Dark Family Past

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

Publication Date: January 11, 2022

Summary from NetGalley:

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Now twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. While she finally has a fragile grasp on the happiness she’s worked so hard to achieve, she sometimes feels as out of control of her own life as the troubled teens who are her patients. So when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, seeing parallels from her past that aren’t actually there, or for the second time in her life, is Chloe about to unmask a killer?

ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for an honest review.

Confession:

Even though this one started off slow, and I was able to figure out who the killer was pretty quickly, the writing and the twists were good enough to keep me interested and doubting my own thoughts about what was really going on.

The book is told solely through Chloe’s point of view and fluctuates between the present and the summer when the girls in her hometown were missing. The transitions were done smoothly enough that you didn’t always notice that they happened. The past was done as memories sparked by what was happening in the present.

Chloe was an interesting narrator. She wasn’t exactly reliable, mostly because she drank too much and took drugs to help with her anxiety. But she was pretty smart and had some good insights into what was going on. There were times though that her decisions were not that sound and her paranoia would interfere with how she perceived things. She doesn’t trust easily and who could blame her, with her family issues. But she does get to the point where she is able to figure it all out.

This is definitely a plot driven suspense thriller with lots of twists and red herrings thrown at you to keep you guessing. As I said before I was pretty certain that I knew who the killer was early on, but there were many times that I doubted myself and was also hoping I was wrong. The story did start off a bit slow, but once it got going I found this story a hard one to put down.

A well done suspense thriller with an interesting cast of characters. This was a debut for this author and it was good enough that I will be keeping an eye out for more of her books in the future.

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