REVIEWS+

Darkness, My Old Friend

Crown. Aug. 2011. 336p. ISBN 9780307464996. $24.
COPY ISBN
Willow spots a man digging up a dead body, then drops her cell phone as she flees. He returns it, explaining to her mom that he was hunting for an abandoned mine shaft. He also explains that he has been trying to figure out what happened to his long-gone mother; a psychic he's hired has a vision of a man named Jones, who's just resigned as Chief of Police because he was involved in a young woman's death. Okay, now you know why the publisher calls Unger's plots surprising. There's definitely something creepy going on in this latest from the New York Times best seller; read it to find out what, and let's hope Unger can take care of all those complications. With a reading group guide.
Michael Holt's mother disappeared when he was a child, and he has always known that she would never have abandoned him willingly. He returns as an adult to his hometown of The Hollows, hiring a private detective and a local psychic to uncover the truth, however unpleasant it might prove to be. Jones Cooper, an ex-cop struggling with the events of his past, is soon drawn into the disturbing investigation, in Unger's latest offering. The lives of the residents in this small town (also the setting in ) have been intertwined for years, even generations, and no one is as ordinary or uncomplicated as they seem. Effective use of psychology (more subtle than that found in the author's previous novels) draws readers into the lives of the characters, in particular the teenaged Willow Graves, who acts out her pain and confusion with chronic lying, angry outbursts, and sneaking out at nighttime. Excellent characterization makes this one of Unger's best thrillers yet. [See Prepub Alert, 2/7/11.]—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs
Michael Holt's mother disappeared when he was a child, and he has always known that she would never have abandoned him willingly. He returns as an adult to his hometown of The Hollows, hiring a private detective and a local psychic to uncover the truth, however unpleasant it might prove to be. Jones Cooper, an ex-cop struggling with the events of his past, is soon drawn into the disturbing investigation, in Unger's latest offering. The lives of the residents in this small town (also the setting in Fragile) have been intertwined for years, even generations, and no one is as ordinary or uncomplicated as they seem. Effective use of psychology (more subtle than that found in the author's previous novels) draws readers into the lives of the characters, in particular the teenaged Willow Graves, who acts out her pain and confusion with chronic lying, angry outbursts, and sneaking out at nighttime.
VERDICT Excellent characterization makes this one of Unger's best thrillers yet. [See Prepub Alert, 2/7/11.]—Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month