Thursday, July 5, 2018

Book Review: Find You In The Dark

Author: Nathan Ripley
Publication Date: June 19, 2018 
Publisher: Atria Books

In this chilling and disquieting debut thriller perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes’s Hidden Bodies and Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series, a family man with a habit of digging up the past catches the attention of a serial killer who wants anything but his secrets uncovered.

For years, unbeknownst to his wife and teenage daughter, Martin Reese has been illegally buying police files on serial killers and obsessively studying them, using them as guides to find the missing bodies of victims. He doesn’t take any souvenirs, just photos that he stores in an old laptop, and then he turns in the results anonymously. Martin sees his work as a public service, a righting of wrongs.

Detective Sandra Whittal sees the situation differently. On a meteoric rise in police ranks due to her caseclosing efficiency, Whittal is suspicious of the mysterious source she calls the Finder, especially since he keeps leading the police right to the bodies. Even if he isn’t the one leaving bodies behind, how can she be sure he won’t start soon?

On his latest dig, Martin searches for the first kill of Jason Shurn, the early 1990s murderer who may have been responsible for the disappearance of his wife’s sister. But when he arrives at the site, he finds more than just bones. There’s a freshly killed body—a young and missing Seattle woman—lying among remains that were left there decades ago. Someone else knew where Jason Shurn left the corpses of his victims…and that someone isn’t happy that Martin has been going around digging up his work. And when a crooked cop with a tenuous tie to Martin vanishes, Whittal begins to zero in on the Finder.

Hunted by a real killer and by Whittal, Martin realizes that in order to escape, he may have to go deeper into the killer’s dark world than he ever thought…

Martin Reese, our main character, has an unusual hobby. He finds the bodies of murder victims that have not yet been discovered. Martin is a complex character and his complexity deepens as the story progresses. Martin quickly catches the attention of local detective, Sandra Whittal, and a far more sinister serial killer. Both are on his tail, making his character react in ways that only a skilled writer could portray.

Martin Reese is so smart and highly perceptible. My favorite parts of this book were when he was in a pinch or was on his way to solving something that no other person had been able to solve in the past. He has a daughter, whom he is very overprotective of, which further added to my love of his character. He is realistic but also so intriguing because of just how complex he is. 

This entire novel was uneasy, atmospheric, and everything I needed a thriller/horror novel to be. The setting of dreary, rainy Seattle was a nice touch and helped me to envision Martin’s surroundings. Ripley writes terrifying scenes with an ease that many authors have not yet tackled. I have been in the mood lately for solely thrillers – they are easy to get into and so fast-paced. This one was no different. The story is dark and absolutely riveting.  Ripley’s writing will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I made it through the digging, the carefully arranged dirt, until I finally hit the first bone: an ulna, the thin forearm bone of a woman in her early twenties.

And, before I got up and left, worried for a second that I was going to be on that list of new memories this guy was making. List of new bodies.

I didn’t know yet that I’d made deeper mistakes I wouldn’t ever be able to put all the way right.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Atria Books in exchange for my honest review***

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