Eden is a young widow, paralyzed by the abrupt turn her life has taken. After her husband’s death, she learns he wasn’t the knight in shining armor she’d imagined. But, going through his things, she finds a reservation for a getaway the week of their tenth anniversary. She decides to go ahead and keep the rental on the books and perhaps close a chapter on their tumultuous relationship.
She pulls up to the house and finds it is already inhabited by drunk twenty-somethings who insist they have a reservation. Eden stomps off to the visitor center only to learn that the home is rented to multiple people at any given time, especially during peak stargazing season. Furious, once again, at her dead husband, she returns to the property, claims a private guests suite and plans to leave first thing in the morning.
But someone in the house is killed that night and everyone is a suspect. Eden is trapped in the unfamiliar town, in an inhospitable hotel, with unfriendly kids until the cops can sort out the crime. Meanwhile, Eden must manage her debilitating anxiety around darkness and nighttime as well as her growing suspicions about her husband.
The trouble with subsisting on so little sleep for so long was that I had no talents for sleep when I had the chance. It was like an atrophied muscle. ~ Loc. 4478
This is a plot-driven novel, and a compulsively readable one. It is quick to throw the hero into conflict and with multiple suspects to eliminate, there are plenty of clues to uncover. The author has chosen a theme — darkness — and carried throughout the book admirably. Even Eden’s failed hobby is photography – “light-writing”.
But the characters feel much more likely to be in a reality show than a taut drama. There is infighting among the group of friends, old grudges and secrets and Eden’s own hangups. No one is particularly sympathetic. Even Eden, who has been dealt more of her fair share, can become a bit tiresome.
The desire to know whodunit keeps the reader coming back, but the overall story isn’t one that will stick with the reader for its depth or even wild cleverness. It is simply a solid suspense novel — and sometimes that’s what you want to read.
Read via Edelweiss. My thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy.
By Lori Rader-Day
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 7, 2018)
Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches