Monday, October 10, 2011


Slowly but surely, I'm getting my reviews from Shelf Awareness posted here. Today I have another, this one by Lisa Unger - her most recent novel, DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND. This review appears, of course, with permission from the folks at Shelf Awareness.

First line: "Failure wasn't a feeling; it was a taste in his mouth, an ache at the base of his neck."

Jones Cooper retired from his beloved position with the Hollows Police Department and now “putters” around the house. Instead of people coming to him with law enforcement issues, they call him to water their plants and take care of their pets while they are out of town. This occupies his time, but it doesn’t fill the hole in his life that his job loss created.

When Michael Holt returns to the Hollows looking for answers to his mother’s disappearance, Jones’ calm is shattered. Michael’s mother’s disappearance was the first major investigation for Jones Cooper many years ago; it always remained unsolved and now Jones is pulled back into the case. After all these years can he figure out what really happened?

In the follow-up to her novel Fragile, Lisa Unger brings back some beloved characters while also introducing new residents to the Hollows. The small town setting allows Unger to highlight her strongest writing skill: character relationships. Whether husband and wife, parent and child, doctor and patient, Unger probes the mysteries of human connection, leaving her characters raw and exposed to the critical stares of her readers. When the plot sews them back together, the end result isn’t necessarily the sum of the pieces.

The resolution to this plot may be anticipated early by some readers, but the greater mystery lies in the resolution of the characters themselves. This is the beauty of Unger’s writing and it is what keeps readers glued to pages.

DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND is available in hardcover from Crown and on audio from Random House Audio


Harvee October 10, 2011 at 7:42 AM  

I love the title and the cover. Looks like a very good book. Enjoy!
You're welcome to visit for a look at some of the: books on my shelves

Beth F October 10, 2011 at 9:05 AM  

I like character-driven mysteries, so I would be in the camp that didn't worry too much about figuring out the mystery part early.

J.P. Hansen. October 11, 2011 at 1:23 PM  

Then there are the mysteries, more common now days, where there is nothing to figure out: the villain isn't introduced until all most the end. These books usually aren't to my taste. I like to have the potential villains arrayed before me early on, and then I can guess. It's a little like a chess game.

J.P. Hansen

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