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Things We Do in the Dark Review: Back-of-Book Description
“Propulsive and chilling.” —People Magazine
“An intoxicating thrill ride. Hillier jams her foot on the accelerator and never lets up.” —New York Times Book Review
Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.
When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom―covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her―she knows she’ll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it’s not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it’s only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she’s unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris’s secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.
Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.
Things We Do in the Dark Review: My Thoughts
In my last review, I mentioned that I have a reading app that sets reading goals for the year. One of them is 12 books in 12 months. I have far exceeded that, with 26 books in 2022, but only certain books count on the app. This one would have been the 12th, which is why I decided to read it when I did.
Well…They reset the dang goals on 12/30 when I still had 100 pages left to go, which is pretty disappointing. So I set it down until January out of spite.
*That’s how behind I am in writing this… since it’s almost March! Oh my…
Luckily… only the app disappointed me because the book was pretty great.
The book is broken up into a couple of parts. The first part moves kind of slowly, but then when it switched to part two I felt confused for a while. I don’t know if this is just me and the headspace I was in? Who knows, but either way – something to be mindful of if you give it a shot.
I thought it was cool that the main character was Philipino – this may be the first book I have read with that group of people so strongly represented. There was also a lot of diversity in the jobs the characters played… which is maybe a weird thing to notice, but I did. And I thought it was cool. One of those jobs was a podcaster which seems pretty relevant today.
I should mention that there are depictions of sexual assault, suicide, and violence against children as well as adults. I know this is a hard topic for some.
In this book, violence was kind of the main plot point and the memories and actions drove a majority of the story. There was also a fair amount of speculation and “who dun it” to keep the reader questioning what was happening.
All of the characters felt well-rounded with enough backstory and personality to feel real. Some of their twists were a little predictable, but not all of them. And the ending was still a pretty good surprise.
Pretty good writing overall and I would probably read more from this author.
Favorite Quotes from Things We Do in the Dark:
“Sometimes the only way to start over is to burn it all down.”
“She wasn’t afraid of the dark anymore. There was nothing the dark could do to her that it hadn’t already done.”
“Because while you can reinvent yourself, you can’t outrun yourself. As a woman once reminded her a long time ago, the common denominator in all the terrible things that have happened to you is you.”
“She had come to understand that her mother hade done her best, considering who her own mother was. [Her] mother had a bad mother, too.”
“There were monsters everywhere. It was like playing Wac-A-Mole. As soon as she pounded one monster down, another one popped up.”
“This too used to be scary…Not anymore. Once you understand how the magician does their tricks, they no longer dazzle.”
Things We Do in the Dark Review: In Conclusion
Overall I found Things We Do in the Dark to be an engaging, enjoyable read. 4 solid stars. Some of the twists were easy to predict and I found one of the POV shifts confusing at first. But besides those drawbacks, it was a well-written and thought-out novel with many gripping parts.
I could see this being a limited TV series or a movie eventually, as there was a lot of drama and emotions to unpack.
I would recommend this book to people who like thrillers and murder mysteries, and people looking for more POC/Asian representation in their novels.
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