A Dark and Secret Place tries to do a whole passel of things in the course of its tale. Most of it is terrific. Prodigal daughter returns home to small town after her mother commits suicide only to find her mother had quite a number of secrets.
The prodigal daughter is Heather Evans, who heads home to deal with her mother’s suicide and to clean up the things a long life leaves behind. In the course of her cleanup, she discovers a large number of letters from a rather gruesome serial killer who is currently in prison. What did her mother know? Heather’s investigation leads her into some dark and creepy and cultish angles. In fact, the sheer number of things this investigation winds up including is a bit much.
Otherwise, the book is creepy and thought-provoking (on the nature of relationships, evil, and other things). The stakes are upped when ore young women are killed, something the police initially chalk up to a copycat. When it becomes clear they are not Heather works with DCI Ben Parker to solve the mystery. We also get what I saw as a bit of a gratuitous romantic arc.
That brings me to my only other minus: the ending. It’s a bit over the edge of what I was willing to suspend my disbelief for.
For the things I saw as a negative, though, the rest of the book was quite good. I’ll give it a solid four out of five stars.
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the reading copy.