All The Dark Places by Terri Parlato
Publication Date: December 27, 2022
Summary from NetGalley:
A savage murder rocks a quiet Massachusetts suburb, revealing the dark secrets at the center of a group of friends and setting two women – one with a traumatic past, the other a Boston police detective – on a hunt for truth in this stylish debut thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Shari Lapena…
Snow falls softly outside Molly Bradley’s home on a frigid January night. Inside, half a dozen close friends are gathered to celebrate the fortieth birthday of Molly’s psychologist husband, Jay. Candlelight gleams against dark wood, wine flows, and the house rings with laughter. Everybody loves Jay, Molly most of all. Yet next morning, Molly discovers Jay dead on the floor of his office, his throat brutally slashed.
After decades working with the Boston PD, Detective Rita Myers has grown accustomed to the banality of evil—the murders that make no sense beyond bad luck or a tragic brush with the worst of humanity. But Jay Bradley’s murder isn’t random, or a mere crime of opportunity. Rita is convinced that someone in the couple’s small circle killed him. Someone who was celebrating with them that night.
Devastated, Molly tries to make sense of her husband’s death. Jay was her rock, the only person who really understood the nightmare she lived through long ago. He knew the horrors she’s kept hidden even from her friends. But shocking revelations are making her question if Jay was all he seemed to be—and whether someone else knows her past too. And until Molly figures out who she can really trust, she won’t be able to stop herself becoming the next target . . .
ARC provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
This was a really good debut thriller, with two very interesting narrators, a full cast of characters, almost all of them suspects, and it was a really hard one to figure out!
The story is told from two points of view Molly, the grieving widow and from Detective Rita Meyers the officer in charge of the investigation. I really liked this dual narration because we got both perspectives, what is happening with Molly and how the police work to solve the murder.
I liked Molly for the most part. She is pretty tough but she also seems to have a lot of bad luck in her life. She is a victim in this story and she often acts like one, but given her traumatic past I can understand how she feels. I did like how she defended her friends though. She was loyal to them, which may have contributed to some of the things that went on. The author also does a good job of showing us what grief looks like after an unexpected death especially a brutal one.
Rita was a great character and a very sympathetic one. She is a good detective and was able to look at the clues and the suspects with an open mind. I also liked that we got to see a little bit of her life outside of the job, which made her a much more rounded character. It would have been nice to see her have an ah-ha moment though and figure out who the killer was before the killer revealed themselves.
The plot was good, however, the pacing was a tad slow, but not so slow you lost interest. Some of this may have been due to the short chapters and the switching of points of view. I do have a couple of issues with the story, there were just too many characters to keep track of, and there wasn’t really a chance for the reader to figure out who commited the murder before the person is revealed. I had a really hard time keeping track of who all of the characters were, especially with Molly using their first names and Rita using their last ones when interviewing them. They also all seemed a bit interchangeable. Among the suspects there really didn’t seem to be any clues to help the reader figure out who was the guilty party until they were revealed. All of them were good candidates until the end. Even the cops weren’t sure until they showed themselves.
I did enjoy this and would recommend it to those of you who like psychological thrillers. I think this is a solid debut and I will be keeping an eye out for more books by this author.