Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Book Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery
Publication.Date  April 19th 2016
Published By:  Delacorte Press
AuthorKara Thomas

The Darkest Corners on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Where to get:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-darkest-corners-kara-thomas/1122404512?ean=9780553521467&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004 http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780553521450

The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

“Who are you here to see? ”
“Glenn Lowell.” My voice comes out dry and raspy. The guard lifts her eyes. Takes me in.
“Glenn Lowell died this morning,” she says. Maggie’s jaw sets. “How is that possible? ”
“People get sick, and they die,” the guard deadpans. When her eyes lock on me, pity flashes in them. She sets her pen down. “He deteriorated overnight. I’m sorry.”

     In the vein of Gillian Flynn, The Darkest Corners is a tightly woven, carefully crafted, multi-layered and thoroughly gripping dark thriller. Filled with unexpected twists and jaw-dropping reveals, it's a compulsively readable story that will keep you glued to its pages long into the wee hours of the night. It's expertly told, it's believable, it's heart-breaking and disturbing, and it has a fantastic ending that you will never see coming! If you're into high-octane, atmospheric thrillers that also tackle some more difficult subjects (such as pathological families, violence, abuse, grief), you will really enjoy reading this book.

     After 10 years of absence, Tessa returns to the small town of Fayette, Pennsylvania, to say goodbye to her dying father. She's too late. Her father has passed away before she got to see him one last time, but before she can leave Fayatte and go back to her grandma in Florida, bad things begin to happen again and she realizes that this time she can't leave without getting all the answers.

    10 years ago, when Tessa was only 8 years old, she and her friend Callie testified in the trial of Wyatt Stokes, accused of brutally murdering local teenage girls. Thanks to their testimonies, Stokes was convicted and put on the death row. Now, 10 years after those horrific events, another teenage girl's body is discovered - she's been murdered in the exact same way as the Ohio River Monster's victims; her jewelry was taken and her body dumped by the river. Did Tessa and Callie put the wrong guy on the death row?

     In The Darkest Corners, Kara Thomas addresses many real-life issues, from more common ones like lost friendships and the suffocating reality of a small blue-collar town, to complex themes of child abuse, identity, murder investigation procedures and more. There are many interesting sides to this story, but discussing some of them would spoil the surprises. Just know, going into this book, that it's not just a simple murder mystery, it's way more than just that. It's both a plot and character driven book, and both Tessa and Callie are such complex, well-drawn heroines, you can't help getting emotionally invested in their lives.

     I really enjoyed this book. The plot moved along at a nice pace, the atmosphere of small town Fayette was shining through every little detail of the story, the characters were believable and I was hooked on the mystery from start to finish. I loved the plot involving Tessa's mom and sister even more than the Ohio River Monster mystery, I thought it was even more hard-hitting, disturbing and powerful, especially in the final moments of the book. I can honestly say, I was really surprised by the final reveal, and that made this a thoroughly satisfying reading experience for me. This was one of the best YA thrillers I've ever read, and I'm looking forward to more books from Kara Thomas!

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