Title: THE FAMILIAR DARK
Author: AMY ENGEL
Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS
Length: 256 PAGES
Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP DUTTON
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: MARCH 21, 2020
Price: $26.00 USD
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A spellbinding story of a mother with nothing left to lose who sets out on an all-consuming quest for justice after her daughter is murdered on the town playground.
Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.
Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.
The Familiar Dark is a story about the bonds of family—women doing the best they can for their daughters in dire circumstances—as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home.
THE FAMILIAR DARK takes place in one of the poorest portions of the Missouri Ozarks.
The story begins with the death of two 12-year-old girls – Best Friends – Izzy and Junie.
Eve Taggert is a single mother. She has loved her daughter Junie with an intensity that surprised Eve and which began when Junie drew her first tiny breath. On that day, Eve’s once wild life was flipped onto it’s head. She knew that she had to be a better mother to Junie than her mother had been to her and her brother Cal (short for Caleb). And ever since that day Eve had showered Junie with love and worked hard to provide for their tiny, two-person household.
But, when Eve learns that Junie and her best friend Izzy had been brutally murdered, she begins to fall apart. After all, what was the point of changing her life and becoming a contributing member of society of her daughter if it led to the death of her only child?
With dogged determination and a fierce need to identify the killer, Eve takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened.
As Eve begins to search for answers in her daughter’s slaying, old hurts, secrets and betrayals she had thought long buried are brought to light.
In fact, the twists in this tale are so numerous that readers will have a difficult time figuring out who the killer(s) is/are. As soon as you think you have a handle on all the players, you need to think again.
Author AMY ENGEL has captured perfectly the depth of a mother’s love and protective instincts for her child. She has portrayed the anger and resentment of a mother towards the perpetrator of the murder to perfection.
Although this novel is a mystery, a thriller, a whodunit, it is unlike any other thriller readers have encountered previously. The story focuses on relationships – on family ties.
THE FAMILIAR DARK is also a story about poverty and the fact that when you are poor, your life choices are limited. When you are working hard every day just to put food on the table and a roof over your head, there is little energy left at the end of the day.
Once her child was taken from her in the most violent and traumatic way possible, Eve is devastated. Despite the fact that her brother, Cal, is a cop, Eve decides to launch her own investigation.
As Eve dogs deeper and deeper into the criminal underbelly of her small town, she begins to discover that there are many secrets there and that some people will do anything to ensure those secrets are never revealed.
This story roars along like a high-speed freight train and readers will need to hang on for the ride of their lives.
I rate THE FAMILIAR DARK as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
***Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Photo Credit: Trish Brown Photography
Amy Engel is the author of THE BOOK OF IVY young adult series.
A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family.
Photo Credit: Trish Brown Photography
THE ROANOKE GIRLS was her first novel for adults. She also authored THE IVY SERIES of Young Adult books.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links: