I’m always in the mood for a unique thriller – especially one that’s dark, cerebral, and twisty. So when I came across Somewhere in the Dark by R.J. Jacobs, it sounded right up my alley. I’m happy to say it really delivered for me!
A quick synopsis: the story follows a young woman trying to rebuild her life after a childhood of neglect – until she becomes a suspect in a famous singer’s murder.
At a young age, Jessie Duval spent over a year of her life trapped in a pitch-black closet, with nothing for comfort but a single country CD by singer Shelly James.
Years later, she decides to follow Shelly James on her tour across America. But things go very wrong, and she’s arrested for stalking and endangerment during a concert.
Now, after some jail time and lots of therapy, she’s working on rebuilding her life. She has a catering job she enjoys, and she even has her own apartment. But when her job brings her back into Shelly James’ circle, and Shelly is found dead soon after, Jessie becomes the #1 murder suspect. How can she prove her innocence when all signs point to her looking guilty?
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (Crooked Lane Books) in exchange for an honest review.
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Somewhere in the Dark by R.J. Jacobs: My Thoughts
I’ve read quite a few thrillers in my day. I love the genre. It’s exciting to put together the pieces of a puzzle while the main character races against the clock. That’s part of why we read: to be entertained.
And while I’ve enjoyed most of the thrillers I’ve read, sometimes there’s an expectation that the plot has to be the most interesting part of the story. But when you come across a thriller whose characters are just as gripping as its plot, you know you’ve found something special. That’s how I felt about this book.
The writing flows effortlessly. It’s the kind of reading where you easily sink right into the character’s head/point of view and nothing can pull you out. Being inside Jessie’s head was like being in another world.
I understood where her extreme anxiety came from, and I was rooting for her to be innocent (and to be able to prove it against all odds). Her interactions with certain characters warmed my heart, too.
My only (small) complaint: I wanted to know more about the James family. We definitely get an interesting peek behind the scenes, but I was hoping for even more!
Overall, Somewhere in the Dark is an engrossing psychological thriller with a fresh premise that touches on childhood trauma, coping mechanisms, fame, and second chances. Highly recommended!
RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(Publication date: August 11th, 2020. Thank you to Crooked Lane Books for the review copy!)