Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: Darkness, My Old Friend: A Novel by Lisa Unger

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Author: Lisa Unger
Publisher: Crown
Hardcover: 368 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

After giving up his post at the Hollows Police Department, Jones Cooper is at loose ends. He is having trouble facing a horrible event from his past and finding a second act. He’s in therapy. Then, on a brisk October morning, he has a visitor. Eloise Montgomery, the psychic who plays a key role in Fragile, comes to him with predictions about his future, some of them dire. 
Michael Holt, a young man who grew up in The Hollows, has returned looking for answers about his mother, who went missing many years earlier. He has hired local PI Ray Muldune and psychic Eloise Montgomery to help him solve the mystery that has haunted him. What he finds might be his undoing.  
Fifteen-year-old Willow Graves is exiled to The Hollows from Manhattan when six months earlier she moved to the quiet town with her novelist mother after a bitter divorce.  Willow is acting out, spending time with kids that bring out the worst in her. And when things get hard, she has a tendency to run away—a predilection that might lead her to dark places. 
Set in The Hollows, the backdrop for Fragile, this is the riveting story of lives set on a collision course with devastating consequences.

My Rating: 3/5

I saw this available for a digital checkout at my library and decided to give it a chance. I'm glad a did, because it's a thoroughly decent story. With all the different viewpoints, I was confused at first, but once I got everybody's story straight in my head, I had no further problems.

Darkness, My Old Friend isn't the sort of thriller mystery that is quite popular with mystery readers. It's a slow read and takes awhile to build up, but the pay off is worth it. In the end, I was so invested in the characters that the lack of action was made up for in my emotional connection to the story and the characters' lives. I liked the multiple viewpoints, because it gives a fuller view of all that is going on in the small town of The Hollows and it helped me to fully understand all the characters' actions and reactions.

While I thought that the story itself was interesting and enjoyable, the way it is written bothered me. I thought that it was trying to hard to be literary. Because of this, the pacing seemed off, and I was annoyed at some parts because I wanted to get into the story and the mystery instead of reading about the characters' "deep" thoughts on life and love. Despite that, however, I thought it was a good read and would recommend you to give it a try.