Too boilerplate to be earthshaking, Nathan Ripley’s Find You in the Dark is nonetheless an entertaining thriller that ably sets up a potential sequel.
Nathan Ripley clearly understands, on a fundamental level, how to tell a good story, taking flawed but likeable — or at the very least empathetic — characters and spinning them into a plot filled with action, velocity and suspense. His attempt in his debut, Find You in the Dark, to blur the distinction between madness and sanity, and justice and mercy, is admirable, if not a little too premeditated in its execution to be ranked among the genre’s finest. The book is smart, its plot calculated and precise; but its characters are rather flat and lifeless, pawns on the author’s chessboard rather than authentic personalities.
Martin Reese, a retired internet millionaire, is obsessed with finding the remains of long-missing Tinsley Schultz, whose murder two decades ago inspired his first interactions with her sister, Ellen. They’re now married with a daughter, and in clandestine fashion, Martin has spent years uncovering the graves of serial killer victims, and taunting the police for his ability to do their job. But things go awry when he discovers the remains of a fresh corpse at the expected burial site of his wife’s sister, and the serial killer known as the Ragman becomes the puppeteer in a nightmarish game involving Martin and newly promoted police detective Sandra Whittal, who is convinced of his guilt.
All the ingredients are here for a pulse-pounding, suspenseful psychological thriller, but in execution it’s all a little ho-hum. Find You in the Dark aims to be a gripping, hair-raising, nerve-shredding chiller; instead it’s a merely adequate, though entirely readable potboiler. It’ll kill some hours, and keep you glued to its pages; but there’s not enough here to get the blood pumping and the heart racing.
Format: Paperback (198mm x 129mm x mm)
Imprint: Text Publishing
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publish Date: 2-Apr-2018
Country of Publication: United Kingdom