Cover Image: The Dangers of an Ordinary Night

The Dangers of an Ordinary Night

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Member Reviews

While I have a deep appreciation for the solid writing and natural dialogues here, I didn’t end up finding any character I wanted to cheer for and read more about, and I wasn’t comfortable with the romance angle. I’m always appreciative of an author’s efforts to provide enrichment to the reader, in this case a comprehensive bibliography of plays she mentions throughout the book. I’m looking forward to this author’s next work. 3 stars.
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Two high school girls disappear under suspicious circumstances, and only one comes back alive.  This is the story that is told in the Dangers of an Ordinary Night.  Tali, the fortunate one, comes back traumatized and lucky to be alive.  With her return, it opens a can of worms for her and her family that can never be undone.  Her father, an addict to gambling and on shaky ground with his wife, all but crumbles with the pressure and the police scrutiny, and Tali's mother has to hold it together for the whole family.

While the ending is not what I really expected, it was not as well written as I would have hoped.  With favorable comparisons to Celeste Ng, I was hoping for a little more punch at the end, but the book really ended with an (unfortunately expected) whisper.  Although it was entertaining at the time, I had higher hopes for the characters and the ending.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Net Galley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Suspenseful and twisty, The Dangers of an Ordinary Night is an entertaining whodunnit. Nothing amazing about this story, but it was a quick and enjoyable little mystery.
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I was sent an invitation to read this through email, but when I downloaded it it said it was not available anymore.
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3.5 ish stars

This one was interesting and a bit strange. I had a few theories about how it would turn out, and one ended up being (partially) accurate, which was kind of fun. The characters were reasonably well-developed, and the plot itself was pretty good, including a few tense and suspenseful moments. I enjoyed the story.
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Can a parent’s worst nightmare be the result of unintended consequences? Perhaps. Two high school girls go missing one autumn evening after they audition for a play at Boston’s prestigious Performing Arts High School. June Danforth and Tali Carrington are best friends. The last sighting of the pair is on a grainy surveillance tape. Two days later, the girls are discovered on a beach near Scituate: June is dead. Lying beside her is a chilly, disoriented, and distraught Tali Carrington.

The three main characters are Tali’s mother Nell, Cynthia Rawlins, a therapist hired by Nell, and Detective Fitz Jameson. Cynthia provides a therapeutic bridge between stressful parents and an anxious, fearful child, which Tali Carrington certainly is. Nell, Cynthia, and Fitz have complicated backstories which eventually intertwine. 

The first order of business for the police is to zero in on anything untoward in the home life of the victims. Nell was out-of-town on a job interview the night of the audition, leaving her easily-distracted husband Zeke to man the fort. Not only did he not know what coat his daughter wore when she left that morning, but he also wasn’t aware that she didn’t come home. Unforgiveable, thinks Nell. Zeke is also known to have a long-standing gambling problem. When Tali was five, Zeke had a very unsuccessful run at the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island. He pawned his wedding ring and didn’t make it back in time to retrieve it. A master of the grand gesture, Zeke bought a huge dollhouse for Tali, more a peace offering for his wife when he broke the news of the forfeited wedding ring than a delightful gift for his daughter. These are the memories that flood Nell as she stays at Tali’s side in the aftermath of the tragedy. She has known for a long time that it is chancy to count on him.

Tali speaks briefly to the police while she is still in the hospital. Her memory is foggy but she recalls heading toward Commonwealth Avenue around eleven.

Tali states that after they made the turn, a white male in his late thirties or early forties approached them from the side. The man wore a faux fur jacket not unlike one owned by her father. At first, Tali thought it was her dad, there to pick them up.

A suggestion is made that folks to whom Zeke owed money intended to kidnap Tali and hold her for ransom but something went dreadfully wrong. Nell ignores these rumors as she bears down on mothering her traumatized daughter. Also, Nell has secrets of her own: she recently kissed Peter Danforth (June’s father), a widower. Nell was very close to his late wife Mei. How much is Tali affected by the undercurrents floating in her home? Nell decides that she and Zeke will have to rub along for the sake of their daughter.

Peter is wrong. It’s been days since he warned her that Zeke is in trouble. As flawed a person as he is, Nell is an expert at seeing through clouds of doubt, and she’s certain Zeke had nothing to do with what happened to Tali and June.

Suddenly events go into overdrive. Detective Fitz visits the Carrington house while Cynthia (Cyn) is working with Tali. Tali’s meds make her feel inordinately chilly so Nell asks Fitz if he’ll grab a blanket for her daughter from the hall closet. 

As he moves into the entryway, he realizes this is his chance to play dumb and get a look inside the closet without breaking the rules of search and seizure. If a similar jacket to the one Tali mentioned in her statement is in there, this will be the kind of God wink Ma works the beads for.

Paydirt. Fitz finds a fake fur coat dotted with blood. When he shakes it, sand spills out of it. Zeke tells the police that he hasn’t seen his coat for ages but Nell doesn’t find that credible. She tells Zeke that either he leaves or she and Tali will. She takes some comfort that in the previous months she separated her finances from job-bouncing Zeke. 

Nell and Tali take a limo to June’s viewing and the police escort them inside. It’s terribly difficult, especially for Nell who can’t imagine her grief if it were her daughter lying in a coffin. A drunk and obstreperous Zeke crashes the viewing, desperate to speak with Tali, but the police take him away in handcuffs. 

We get a glimpse of the personal difficulties that beset Cyn and Fitz. Cyn had a profitable private practice with her former partner. She poured her heart into decorating their consultation rooms. It all blew up in her face when her partner was struck off the rolls for an inappropriate relationship with a troubled client. Farewell private consulting. Fitz covered up a girl’s death ten years ago before he entered the police academy. Maddie was her name and the guilty party is his brother. It haunts him that the case is still open but his mother and sister exercise Catholic guilt to keep him toeing the line. 

Out of the blue, Cyn goes to a bar with Fitz’s sister Keira and meets Fitz on the way in. He’s there, very reluctantly, to serenade his sister on her birthday. Keira tells Fitz that as of next week, she and Cyn will be working together at Boston College. Fitz just wants to walk away but Keira lays on the pressure. 

“And Cyn—you promised to buy me a drink.”


Fitz smiles for the first time all day. “Keira—the travel agent who books deluxe guilt trips.”

Fitz and Cyn are intrigued by each other when they accidentally meet away from their day jobs. Fitz was once a gifted musician with a future ahead: it’s his self-imposed penance to play in dives once a week to an audience who couldn’t care less about the virtuoso entertaining them. Fitz understands, from his own experience, the pressures that the students at the Performing Arts High School live under. In fact, he “uncovers a criminal undertow involving the high school’s overachieving students, and finally sees an opportunity for personal redemption from a secret that’s haunted him for years.” 

Nell, Cyn, and Fitz have a lot more in common than trying to help Tali emerge from her ordeal intact and solve a murder. Their pasts crawl out of the shadows, refusing to be stuffed back into hoary memory banks. There is such adrenaline on the page—one wants to savor the mystery and puzzle it out while simultaneously desperately racing ahead to unlock the connections. Put aside some time when you start The Dangers of an Ordinary Night because you won’t want to put it down.
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I love school and suburbia drama so this hit a lot of good notes for me. Two kids go out together, one dies and one is traumatized. Great set up! I felt like there were a lot of places to go with this plot but to my disappointment, they did pick the safer route. It was good enough but I was expecting a little bit more realistic drama.
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When I come across a book that’s set in the area I’m living in I’m immediately curious about it and want to learn more. I no longer live in Boston but I’m not far from it and so I couldn’t resist picking up a mystery based there. The Dangers of an Ordinary Night follows the case of two teenage girls who go missing after leaving their prestigious high school play auditions. 48 hours later, one is found alive one, is found dead, and the repercussions of all that happened during that time begin to play out.

What you see is not always what you get is old cliché but one that certainly was true here. A dying marriage, parental transgressions, and a hyper competitive art school environment combine to examine what happens when these three elements come together. As we slowly make our way through we see the effects of how each one leads to the ultimate outcome.

I found this to be a slow burn mystery where the story in the clues to the mystery is there way out I must admit I didn’t really care for any of the characters but I was intrigued by their story and wanted to learn what really happened. And the ending had a twist I didn’t expect which I appreciate it. Overall a solid mystery set in the city I love.
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This is my first time reading Lynne Reeves, and I was curious about the intriguing teaser. I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately it never grabbed me. It was hard for me to stay focused because I couldn’t find a character that I really liked. This was just an okay read for me, but I will still recommend it to others who may have a better experience. Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this advanced copy!
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A quick thriller where two girls disappeared where one came back and the other lost to death. It was up to the detective to get to the truth of it. 
Some sections were slow, but the book could be read easily. Though not many likable characters, I liked how the author etched them, making them seem complex
Overall, a good read.
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Reeves painted a terrifying picture for parents that had me rushing through the book to get to the bottom of the mystery. This novel was a can't-put-down thriller filled with flawed characters that will have you second-guessing what you believe and who is to blame.
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Atmospheric writing, deeply flawed characters struggling to find their way to what is right, and a plot that bulldozes along in a way the feels absolutely real. What a read!
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One of the things I can't stand in a book is completely unredeemable characters. If every character in the book is unlikeable it is really hard to keep reading, which was the case in this one. In addition all of the characters felt flat. The story is supposed to be about two missing teens but ends up being mostly about the adult characters and their abundant mental health issues. Overall this one was not for me.
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A thriller with enough mystery to keep you curious till the very end. Two girls leave an audition only to find one of them dead and the other disoriented and confused as to the events which led to her friends death. What follows is the unraveling of two families. The adults in this mystery are all grappling with pasts that don’t just haunt them but overshadow every decision they make. Tali the survivor of their ordeal can’t or won’t face what happened. The police investigating the case have baggage that informs all they try to uncover. The parents on both sides are guilty of more than neglect . It’s heart pulling and anger provoking, and keeps you reading till the end.
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This was a good book but I found it predictable in some respects. The story is interesting and easy to follow allowing for a great book to get lost in or to let your mind wander during. The way the characters intentions are revealed make this book a pager turner for sure.
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This story didn’t grab my attention, I found it difficult to get into and had to put this book down a few times. I didn’t like the teenage characters or the storyline. The text was so slow and hard going.
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So many red herrings, almost too many. No resolution for a main ancillary arc was dissatisfying.

Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review
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How it will end, you can tell from the very first lines, so technically speaking, I would not call this book a thriller, although I understand that this definition may make the novel appealing to a wider audience.
Nevertheless, the book is not to be dismissed, quite the contrary.
The psychological insight into the characters, in fact, the tangle of contradictions that each of them carries within themselves, the attempt to survive an extremely competitive society without losing their sanity, make the reading of this book, decidedly well written, very interesting.
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A small town on the outskirts of Boston. A high school but one which has a good reputation for its performing arts
students. Students here hope that they, depending on their performances get picked by one of the talent scouts
invited for performances and this will be their stepping stone into the big world of the arts.

June and Tali have been friends for a long time, and one night after auditioning for a play the two girls go missing.
Two days later they are found, one dead one suffering from amnesia, badly scratched and bruised with no account of
what happened, other than a man pushing them into a car.

Detectives have to work blind - looking into any strange people in the area, anyone with a track record for abduction.
and the tedious work of detection and elimination begins. Focus on both girls families as always, then on their circle
of friends and their families and small details emerge which dont quite add up. The final denouement is difficult to
fathom and understand but it is very well done in the whole drama of this performance. Because it is a performance.

Very good characterization, good outline of the story. Perfectly unbelievable till it becomes fact a good mystery
suspense thriller.
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I loved the author’s writing style - it caught my attention very early on and that’s quite rare. I love domestic suspense and this one was a successful read! Super fun and entertaining!
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