Saturday, May 19, 2012

Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger

In Darkness, My Old Friend, the police ask Jones Cooper, who has recently retired from the Hollows Police Department, to look into a cold case, the disappearance of Marla Holt. Meanwhile, Michael, Marla's son, asks Eloise, a psychic and PI Ray Muldune to find out what happened to his mother all those years ago. Cooper is also looking for another missing mother at the request of Paula Carr. For someone who's retired, he's a busy man. Another resident, Willow Graves is new to The Hollows and is having a hard time adjusting. Her desire to run away leads her in dangerous directions.

I loved this book. This is the first book I've read of Unger's, but it won't be the last. It started off with great intensity and was thrilling to read. I didn't want to put it down. I loved the interconnecting relationships...much like a huge spider's web. I guess it's typical of a small town where everyone knows everyone else or is at least connected to lots of the other residents. I had lots of "aha moments" when those connections came to light.

The book contained lots of interesting characters, but my favourite character was Jones Cooper. He's about the same age as me and is questioning, "Is this all there is?". That's something I'm sort of struggling with myself. I also understand his recent retirement woes because my husband retired three years ago. It's tough to be doing something different after so many years of the same thing.

The psychic was an interesting addition. I don't know if I believe that sort of stuff, but her story was interesting. She was a bit creepy, though, I thought. She plays a major role in Unger's other book Fragile, which I haven't read.

My one complaint is that the intensity didn't quite carry through all the way to the end. It was still compelling enough, but it sort of leveled off rather than building up to a grand conclusion.

Even though this is the second book featuring some of these characters (the first being Fragile), this book can be read as a standalone book. I haven't read the first book yet, but I'd love to.  I'm going to keep my eye out for it.

New word: mollycoddled (page 153): overprotected. I was pretty sure I knew what this meant, but I like the word so much I wanted to include it in my review. ;)

Highly recommended. I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.

For more information about this book, please visit the Random House website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Lisa Unger's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Random House for this review copy.

Darkness, My Old Friend, Crown Publishers (Random House), ©2011. ISBN 9780307464996(Hardcover), 358p.

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