Cover Image: The Darkness of Others

The Darkness of Others

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The Darkness of Others takes place in New York City near the end of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic with all its fear, chaos and confusion which plays into this story. I'll confess it's the first book I've read that incorporates events from those dark days into a story and while I was intrigued, I was also a bit skeptical. Still, I took the plunge and dived in.

Psychiatrist Imani Banks and her husband Philip who runs a successful restaurant seem to have it all, but as we all know from living through the pandemic, restaurants were one of the most adversely affected businesses and had to scale back or close their doors completely during the mandatory isolation of the pandemic. Phillipโ€™s managed to keep their dire situation quiet from his wife, but in an effort to supplement their family income Philip rents a spare room to one of his employees Tonya and her young daughter who are struggling. Right away, Imani gets bad vibes around Tonya and tension grows between them when Tonya misses rent payments. Meantime, Imani's friend's husband is murdered and her friend who's a suspect goes missing. Somehow, someway, Imani suspects Tonya of being involved. She can't evict her because it's prohibited during the pandemic. Is a killer residing in their home? Or is Imani paranoid and completely missing the mark?

The Darkness of Others unfolds through the perspectives of five different characters none of which are reliable, giving readers a chance to play amateur detective and pass judgment on each character's version of the truth. The story is highly visual as evidenced with the grisly discovery of a body in the opening scene. Tension is high throughout, and just when you think you have things figured out, just read on because I promise you, you most likely don't. The twists and shockers just keep coming like storm waves. I was a bit leery in the beginning as to how the pandemic would play into this story - would it be dramatized and over-the-top? I'm happy to say it plays perfectly as a catalyst that set a series of events into motion, and it works beautifully for setting the backdrop for this story.

The Darkness of Others has a lot going on with multiple plot lines and threads. Characters are well-developed and ring true. One small fly in the ointment for me is that I felt a couple of the numerous threads were left dangling in the end and presumably this is a standalone. Nothing glaring or major, but I'm a stickler for closure unless a book is part of an ongoing series. Otherwise, I found The Darkness of Others to be a compelling, intriguing read - a tense, fast-paced story that's sure to entertain. Fans of suspense thrillers will enjoy this one!
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The premise of this psychological thriller was captivating.  You have a murdered man, a missing wife, a single mother trying to make ends meet and a family who ties all of these people together. The big downfall of this storyline, is that it is set during the pandemic. The pandemic itself is not the issue so much as the redundancy of the terms used throughout.  Terms such as covid, mask, virus, cough, unmasked, face cover, pandemic, etc.  At one point, I lost sight of the story due to the constant descriptions of those with or without a mask.  It was overkill IMO.  Maybe these descriptors will be helpful in 20 years but it was just too much for me as a reader right now.
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๐ŸŽŠ ๐‘ฏ๐‘จ๐‘ท๐‘ท๐’€ ๐‘ท๐‘ผ๐‘ฉ ๐‘ด๐‘ถ๐‘ต๐‘ป๐‘ฏ / ๐‘ฉ๐‘ถ๐‘ถ๐‘ฒ ๐‘บ๐‘ท๐‘ถ๐‘ป๐‘ณ๐‘ฐ๐‘ฎ๐‘ฏ๐‘ป ๐ŸŽ‰
๐Ÿ”– ๐™๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™š: ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜‹๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜–๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด || 
โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ €โ € โ€”โ€” โ€ข by Cate Holahan โ€ข โ€”โ€”
๐Ÿ”ข Length: 352 pages
๐ŸŽญ Genre: Fiction, Suspense/Thriller
โฐ Pub Date: *๐Ž๐”๐“ ๐๐Ž๐–!!* August 23, 2022

๐Ÿ“ Summary: โ€œ๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ง๐˜ฆ โ€“ ๐˜๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ช'๐˜ด ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ โ€“ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด, ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ข, ๐˜ซ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜”๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ข ๐˜ž๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ.โ€
โ€”โ€” โฆ

๐Ÿชฉ ๐‘๐ž๐š๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ž๐ง๐ฃ๐จ๐ฒโ€ฆ. Puzzle-piece mysteries; domestic suspense (set during the pandemic + specifically the restaurant industry); multiple POVs; twists & turns that make for a quick page-turner; and overall a well-written slow-burn thriller with a satisfying final act!
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Imani Banks is a therapist in Brooklyn Heights during the isolating pandemic that shut down the city. She is also the wife of award-winning restaurateur Philip, mother to two private school kids, and best friend of Melissa, who is missing. 

Melissaโ€™s husband Nate was found shot in their home, with Melissa nowhere to be found. Their daughter Ava had been at school when the news broke of Nateโ€™s death, and the school called the person Melissa had listed as an emergency contact, Imani. 

It seems that the police right away are thinking that Melissa had shot her husband and disappeared, Imani knew that she would never leave Ava behind like that. She was convinced that her friend was in mortal danger, no matter what the detectives said. 

Tonya Sayre is a single mother working at Philipโ€™s restaurant. She heads home after a long shift trying to serve customers in the heated igloos that allowed customers to eat outside, at an actual restaurant, even with the cold still blowing in around them. But when Philip decides to close the restaurant to diners and switch to takeout only, Tanya is out of a job. 

When she goes back to her apartment, her landlord tells her that she is two months behind in her rent. Tanya insists that there must be a problem with the bank. She hadnโ€™t realized because the deposits were automatic, as were her rent payments. But when she checks with the bank, she finds out that her automatic deposits had not gone in for two months. 

Tanya calls the attorney that handled setting up the account that was to provide a safe home for her daughter. The attorney tells her that the manโ€™s wife had found out about the account and shut down the payments, and he was doing what he could to restore it. But that doesnโ€™t keep Tanyaโ€™s landlord from kicking her out, despite the cityโ€™s moratorium on evictions. When she has nowhere to go, she talks to Philip to see if he can help. 

Philip wants to help her out, so he offers rooms in their home for Tanya and her daughter, and he lets her pay off the first month by cleaning the restaurant. After that, her unemployment checks can help. Tanya agrees, because she has nowhere else to go. But she can tell right away that Imani wasnโ€™t included in his decision and is wary of moving strangers in to their home. 

Meanwhile, Imani is still trying to figure out what could have happened to Melissa and where she might be. She does some investigating and starts to uncover secrets about Nate that make her question how well she really knew him. But as it turns out, Nate wasnโ€™t the only one with secrets. Tanya knows some things about the men in Imaniโ€™s life, and it turns out that Philip has kept some things from her as well. Will Imani be able to put the pieces together in time to save her best friend? And if she does, will everything she has built for her life come apart at the seams? 

The Darkness of Others is a dark thriller written and set during the worst part of the pandemic. The shutdown of New York City makes this story feel claustrophobic, and the underlying anxiety of the masks and social distancing adds a level of fear to this thriller. Author Cate Holahan uses the darkness of the illness to mirror the darkness in some of the characters, and she uses the resolution of the crimes as a way for the characters to reevaluate their life choices and move into a different world as the pandemic starts to life. 

I thought that The Darkness of Others was an interesting read. I struggled with it some, I think because of the pandemic as the background. Maybe Iโ€™m not as over those early days as I had thought I was, or maybe itโ€™s the description of the murder scene, so graphic and so early in the book, that threw me off. But I stuck with it, and I was glad I did. The ending is lovely and fitting and brings it all to a better place for the characters who deserve that. It was a challenging ride to get there, but we got there. And as more time goes by, it will not only get easier to read about those pandemic days, it will be important to have books like this to remember and to teach others what those days were like (albeit without the murder, for most of us). 

Egalleys for The Darkness of Others were provided by Grand Central Publishing through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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Letโ€™s just start right off with the elephant in the book. Many of the books that are coming out now were written during the pandemic. Our lives still arenโ€™t back to normal, and after the changes of the past two-plus years, I donโ€™t mind that being memorialized in books. 

HOWEVER, this book contained so many Covid references, it felt very forced and intentional. Every chapter mentions peopleโ€™s masks, if someone got within six feet of another, if the elevator and subway are too crowded, if the sanitizer had been applied - itโ€™s a bit much, and distracted me from the rest of the story. I couldnโ€™t afford to be distracted, because keeping this cast of characters straight was an initial challenge. We have:

Nate and Melissa, the (very wealthy) man found dead and his (famous) missing wife

Ava, their teenage daughter

Oksana, maid who found Nateโ€™s body

Rick and Frank, two criminals who really didnโ€™t even need to be in the story

Philip, pandemic-struggling restaurant owner and his wife,

Imani, a therapist and Melissaโ€™s best friend

Tonya, a waitress at Philipโ€™s restaurant, single mom toโ€ฆ

Layla, Tonyaโ€™s pre-teen daughter

Youโ€™ll get to read all about them, as this book rambled on for SO LONG. These annoying and flat characters act like they are in a soap opera, and that combined with the constant Covid-19 reminders (I donโ€™t mind it being in a book, like I said - but this was beyond) initially had me about to give the book a 2.5 โ€ฆ then I got to the ending, and it was the best part of the book. Iโ€™m going to go with a solid three stars. This one wasnโ€™t for me, but Iโ€™m sure some people will love it.

(Thank you to Grand Central Publishing, Cate Holahan, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)
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This is a murder mystery/domestic thriller told from multiple points of view.  Nate Walker is a famous director found dead in his home.  His missing wife is the prime suspect but is anything ever straight forward?

If you still have pandemic burnout, you might want to wait a bit to read this one.  It's set in New York during the pandemic.  None of the characters have COVID, but masks, the virus, and the financial fallout are mentioned often.

I enjoyed the diverse female characters and the strong friendship between Melissa and Imani.  I also appreciated the dynamic between Imani and her husband, Phillip. It felt very homest. 

This one will keep you guessing. There were a few things I was right about, a few I was wrong about and a couple that I never saw coming.
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Three intertwined women take turns with the lead in this tale set in NYC in the early spring of 2020. Thereโ€™s a murder and a missing woman. I thought this was going to be a home run, but flat characters and too many scene changes lost me pretty early on, and it was a struggle to finish.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a digital ARC of the latest thriller by Cate Holahan - 4.5 stars rounded up!

Imani Banks is a psychiatrist in Brooklyn and her husband, Phillip, is a chef/owner at a popular Michelin star restaurant.  They have two kids that attend an exclusive private school.  Life is good.  Not so much for Tonya, a waitress in Phillip's restaurant.  It's the pandemic so the restaurant is struggling to stay open and Tonya's job is in jeopardy.  She is a single parent to Layla, who attends the same school as the Banks' children but on scholarship.  When Tonya gets evicted from her apartment, Phillip takes her in with Imani begrudgingly going along with it only for the money it will bring in.  The murder of Nate, a famous film producer and friend of the Banks, causes a major uproar - his wife and Imani's best friend, Melissa, is missing and presumed to be the killer.  But Imani knows she would never leave her daughter, Ava, behind.

Whew - lots going on there but Holahan made this a tense, well-written thriller that I couldn't put down until all the puzzle pieces were in place.  Told in various POV, this one will keep you guessing, even if you figure some things out.  I loved how the pandemic added another tense layer to this thriller by going back to the days of complete fear about everything without focusing on the pandemic deaths.   Don't miss this one!
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The Darkness of Others by Cate Holahan is a recommended novel of psychological suspense.

When director Nate Walker is found dead by the cleaning lady and his wife Melissa is missing, Imani Banks is called to pick up their daughter from school and break the news to her. Meanwhile, Tonya Sayre, a waitress at the restaurant that Imani's husband, Chef Phillip  owns, needs a favor. She is being kicked out of her apartment because her daughter's father has withheld support. Imani, however, isn't completely thrilled with Tonya living there and begins to suspect her of other actions.

First, this is set in NYC during the pandemic. I wouldn't have chosen to read this novel knowing this information ahead of time. There is plenty of masking fear, paranoia, and closing businesses, but at the same time the scope is limited. The afterword addresses the purposeful setting during the lock down. Setting that aside, the narrative explores the darkness that can be found in any relationship and it unfolds through the point-of-view of several characters.

While the writing is very good and the character development is also nicely done, the actual mystery isn't really much of a mystery at all as the perpetrator is easily guessed very early on in the novel. The twists aren't really that surprising and there really isn't a truly satisfying motive for any of the nefarious deeds that occurred. 3.5 rounded down

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley.
The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Edelweiss, Google Books, and Amazon.
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Kudos to Cate Holahan.  This book was such a tangled web of deceit and lies that you couldn't tell who did it until the moment it was finally revealed.  Well done!

Set during the pandemic, the characters in the book are definitely under extreme pressure.  For the most part they are in fields tied to entertainment and food which were the two most impacted by the pandemic.  It was almost painful to revisit that time period when people truly feared for their lives if their mask slipped or if an unknown person entered a room unmasked with no knowledge of where they'd been.  That mindset definitely sets the stage for this book's volatile and emotional rollercoaster.

The book starts with the death of well known movie director as he is shot in his home.  All signs point to the missing wife.  But is she the murderer or a victim herself?  Her best friend, Imani is left picking up the pieces and determined to not only find her friend but also prove her innocence.  But she has other problems to worry about as well, her husband's restaurant is practically out of business and he's recently brought home one of his waitstaff and her daughter to rent a room in their home.  A woman she doesn't trust for many reasons.

There are so many delicious twists and turns in this book.  Once you start, it's very difficult to put it down.  

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.  I voluntarily chose to read and review it and the opinions contained within are my own.
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A suspenseful story set in New York, Imaniโ€™s friendโ€™s husband is murdered and she is also missing. Everyone is assuming that she killed her husband and disappeared. Next, her husband rented a room in their home to a woman and her daughter. Imani is trying to figure out who the real suspect is and to her best to clear friendโ€™s name. But, the two new people in her life is looking suspicious. All this drama swirling around her, she needs to keep her mind on track. The author tosses some  twists in the story to keep the reader on their toes. A suspenseful plot and an all around thrilling story. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for this ARC, I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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I needed to take some time after I finished this one to digest the full story.  This book was absolutely fantastic.  It is definitely one of the best books Iโ€™ve read this year.

The chapters alternated between characters.  Imani, Tanya, Oksana, Rick, and Melissa tell this story.  The book begins with a dead body.  The plot takes off after that.  I also liked the authorโ€™s use of the pandemic as the backdrop - it made the story more unsettling.  Itโ€™s divided into 3 parts, and everything started to come together for me in part three.  It kept me guessing through the entire book, and I never saw the ending coming.  It was a very creative ending.  All I can say is wow.

Cate Holahan writes truly original stories.  There were clues sprinkled throughout this story, and I would find myself saying, โ€œWait.  Stop.  Go back.โ€  I really enjoyed being kept in the dark throughout this story.  This is not my first book by this author, but it is now my favorite.  It certainly wonโ€™t be my last.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the advanced reader copy - I am so appreciative to have gotten an early read of this one!  I highly recommend this book - itโ€™s perfect for the upcoming fall season!
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This one had me in the beginning and then lost me along the way. Most times I love an ensemble cast and shifting viewpoints but here I think a couple of them were unnecessary and didnโ€™t really add any value. The twists may be surprising to someone who doesnโ€™t read many thrillers but it seemed so obvious to me that I wasnโ€™t surprised at all. Itโ€™s also set in the early days of the pandemic and I didnโ€™t love being back in that time period. Not really the book for me, but it was a fast read and the audio version was well produced and probably what kept me reading while I was cleaning. Iโ€™ve also enjoyed the authors books in the past and will definitely give her a other try in the future.
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One day, this bookโ€™s portrayal of life in a pandemic will seem haunting, but for now, I did not enjoy the seemingly repetitive pandemic references amidst a twisty resolution to a murder. I enjoyed the characters, but it didnโ€™t resolve as cleanly as I wouldโ€™ve liked.
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Many treats await readers of Cate Holahanโ€™s novel โ€œThe Darkness of Others.โ€ Choosing five characters to relate this tale is a seldom-used tool, coupled with the story being told in a chronological style rather than the this-was-happening-at-the-same-time-as-the-last-chapter method.

While the five storytellers seemed a challenge at first, it was soon easy to differentiate between the characters, especially since Ms. Holahan has so excellently defined each of them. One of the treats for me was the inner workings of each personโ€™s mind and how easy it is to judge others through the machinery running your thoughts while seldom identifying the truths that identify the motivations of those being judged. The false conclusions lead to actions that are incorrect for the situation, causing future events to wobble or spin completely out of control.

While I was able to guess who the villain of the story was there are enough surprises throughout and a few red herrings that more than once made me question my choice. This story deals with everyday life situations and demonstrates how quickly things can happen and the horrible โ€œfixesโ€ that many times end up being worse than the original deeds. The suspense element weaves its way through the pages until the climax races to a conclusion. Highly recommended. Five stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.
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Thank you NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the copy of The Darkness Of Others This was the first book I have read by Cate Holahan but it wonโ€™t be my last because I was riveted by this one. The writing was masterful. I loved how the pandemic was woven into the story and the charactersโ€™ lives without overdoing it. As the characters were introduced it was hard to see how they were all connected until it was all tied together at the end. If youโ€™re looking for a well-written thriller with a great story and interesting characters, this book is for you!
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The Darkness of Others by Cate Holahan might just be the best book she has written.

"Imani and her husband, Philip, live in a posh townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. They are both stunned when they find out a movie director friend, Nate, has been murdered and his wife, Melissa, is missing. Police want to talk to her because it looks like she might have been the one to pull the trigger. Melissa also happens to be Imani's best friend.
Tonya works for Richard at his restaurant. When there's a mixup with her rent she is evicted and with the restaurant shut down because of the pandemic, she has nowhere to go. Richard offers to rent a couple of his extra rooms until she can get on her feet. But Imani thinks she might be involved some way in Nate's murder. And she won't stop until she's found her friend."

There is a lot of time spent in Imani's head and Imani spends a lot of it inventing situations. Do you ever have moments where your brain makes these unsubstantiated leaps in logic? "I really hope I don't get Ebola today at lunch." Imani's brain is constantly churning - as a reader you don't know where things are going or who's what. Holahan does a good job hiding the killer. There's one big clue that gives it away and that's where the pace picks up to the end. 
Some nice twists and surprises. This is more psychological thriller than Holahan's usual domestic thriller.

The tough part for me is that the story is set in NYC at the beginning of the pandemic. People didn't really know what was going on and reactions were extreme. It's hard to relive that. Holahan explains her reasons in the acknowledgments.

An excellent story from Holahan
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Thank you Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Iโ€™ve read some of Holahanโ€™s other books and found them to be satisfying and quick thrillers. This one took me a little while to get into โ€” I usually donโ€™t mind changing POVโ€™s but it took me a while to start to get into the swing of it here.  At first, the characters were a little dry and unlikeable, but that ended up being a big part of the story and I was able to see the point of why the characters were written this way. This was ultimately a quick thrill and I would recommend it to anyone just trying to get into the thriller genre โ€” it wasnโ€™t too intense at all and is overall a decent work.
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This was certainly a funky one. I waffled throughout as to who I thought the killer was - I knew the location about halfway through, but wasn't quite sure who perpetrated the crime. Things feel mysterious and suspenseful throughout, determining who Layla's father is, what exactly transpired on the night of Nate's murder, and why the heck we have a chapter from Oksana to kick off the book. My favorite chapters were Tonya's, as she has the most to hide out of anyone, but seeing Melissa and Imani's perspectives were nice too. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a quick thrill but doesn't want to be kept up at night thinking about it.

*Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review*
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The Darkness of Others by Cate Holahan. Thanks to @grandcentralpub @netgalley for the gifted Arc โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ

Imaniโ€™s best friend, Melissa, goes missing after Melissaโ€™s famous movie director is murderer. The obvious suspect is Melissa. Imani thinks her new tenant may have something to do with it. 

Iโ€™m glad I kept at this one. It was a little slow going for a bit but got pretty darn exciting at the end. I liked the different perspectives and how everything came together at the end. It comes together in an unexpected way as well. 

โ€œโ€What killed you was rarely what you saw coming. It was something youโ€™d missed.โ€

The Darkness of Others comes out 8/23.
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