The Dark Room

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Pub Date 25 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 08 Nov 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas & Mercer

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Description

All’s fair in love and revenge in this taut thriller from bestselling author Lisa Gray.

Ex–crime reporter Leonard Blaylock spends his days on an unusual hobby, developing strangers’ forgotten and discarded rolls of film. He loves the small mysteries the photographs reveal to him. Then Leonard finds something no one would ever expect, or want, to see captured on film—the murder of a young woman.

But that’s impossible, because the woman is already dead. Leonard was there when it happened five years earlier.

He has never been able to shake his guilt from that terrible night. It cost Leonard everything: his career, his fiancée, his future. But if the woman didn’t really die, then what actually happened?

All’s fair in love and revenge in this taut thriller from bestselling author Lisa Gray.

Ex–crime reporter Leonard Blaylock spends his days on an unusual hobby, developing strangers’ forgotten and...


A Note From the Publisher

Lisa Gray is an Amazon #1, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She previously worked as the chief Scottish soccer writer at the Press Association and the books editor at the Daily Record Saturday Magazine. She is also the author of Thin Air, Bad Memory, Dark Highway, and Lonely Hearts. She now writes full-time. Learn more at www.lisagraywriter.com and connect with Lisa on social media @lisagraywriter.

Lisa Gray is an Amazon #1, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She previously worked as the chief Scottish soccer writer at the Press Association and the books editor at the...


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ISBN 9781542035354
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Average rating from 130 members


Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book - an easy read with an engaging plot and plenty of twists and turns. Initially I thought this book would be one with implausible coincidences driving the story, however everything is very neatly plotted - my only critism would be the ending - I think this could have been wrapped up in a more dramatic fashion but that's my opinion only - all in all enough to hold my interest and I finished the book in 2 days so definitely give it a go - a great beach read

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It kinda took me to long to get into this story to enjoy it properly but I read it to the end and yes some nice twists along the way ..

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3. 5 Stars. This was a fun mystery. The plot was solid and there were no slow points. I would have liked to have been more engaged with the main two characters, whose personalities could have been fleshed out a little more to make the reader care more about the final outcome. Still a solid book, I still recommend.

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A good mystery thriller that I enjoyed my time with. A new to me author that I discovered and will be reading more from in the futurez

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Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. IYKYK, my reviews are always honest.

1.5 rounded down.

THE PLOT

Leonard is processing some of his mystery film when he finds a photo of a woman he watched die 5 years ago. But in this photo, it looks like she's just died again more recently. What's going on!?

MY OPINION

I have a bunch of ARCs on my NetGalley shelf so I asked the good people of Bookstagram what I should read; they picked this (duh). Welp. Lol. That was the only reason I finished this other than yeeting it.

I didn't know who I was supposed to support. Why would I care that a 37-year-old cheating cokehead got scammed? Why would I want him to figure out who scammed him? Free my girl Martha from the bondage of this ain't shit guy who doesn't even shorten his creepy ass name to Leo to be more respectable. Now that I'm typing this... Martha and Leonard have to be two of the most unfortunate names out there.

Next we have the plot which resembled a slice of swiss cheese—meaning it had lots of holes. The story itself was extremely repetitive and there was zero suspense. I didn't give two wet farts about the "sexual tension" between Leonard the cokehead and Martha the sad ass stalker... big pass from me. There was lots of math not mathulating like: a cab in NYC costing $10 (when Leonard said "keep the change" excuse me sir you're $40 short...)and a freelance journalist rocking Dior Sauvage cologne AND the matching deodorant plus living in a 2 bed apt near hell's kitchen. Simply impossible.

I tossed it a half of star (which isn't reflected unfortunately in the rating) because one of the final twisty twists was unexpected, although tbh that didn't quite make sense either but whatever lol.

PROS AND CONS

Pros: my internet friends picked this

Cons: writing, plot, ending, worst MC on the planet

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Wow! What a ride. Leonard Blaylock is a reporter who"s life falls apart after one night with a mystery woman. Years later he tries to figure out what really happened to him that night and who was behind it with help from a fellow mystery film enthusiast Martha.
This book had me hooked right from the beginning and didn't let up, I felt suspicious of everyone and loved seeing the relationship between Leonard and Martha unfold. If you are a fan of twisty thrillers then I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you Netgalley for this ARC #TheDarkRoom #NetGalley

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This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. Mystery and intrigue. The characters are not really likable, but that is often the case in a mystery...the story moves slowly, at times, but the author is gifted at weaving a story that comes to a surprising ending. Enjoy.

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What a great read ... a truly exciting novel full of twists and turns and a shock ending. Two people (Leonard & Martha) brought together through the hobby of developing discarded rolls of film. Behind the hobby and linking them is a 'Honeytrap' murder - the murder of an attractive woman hired to trap unfaithful men for money. The storyline develops as the two friends investigate the honeytrap and murder. A brilliantly crafted novel, hard to put down and well worthy of five (5) stars.

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My first read by this author and I was not disappointed. Full of great twists and turns.. Highly recommend if you are looking for a quick mystery.

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I really enjoyed this book! It took a couple of chapters to get into the story, but once the action started I couldn't put the book down. I thought it was really well-plotted and well written. The dialogue was great and easy to read and the characters were all suspicious, which is perfect as it kept me guessing throughout. I was thinking it was wrapped up all way too easily when the last two chapters blew me away! I did not see the ending coming and I was totally surprised!

I haven't read anything from Lisa Gray before but I would definitely read more from her in the future. I would recommend if you're looking for a quick read and a twisty, entertaining thriller.

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Good book! Some crazy twist in this one! this book also had suspense, intrigue, and many twists and turns! The storyline was interesting and flowed nicely! I will recommend reading this book as it was worth reading! It wasn't one of my top favorites but still worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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Leonard Blaylock an ex crime reporter spends his days on an unusual hobby developing forgotten and discarded rolls of film he loves the small mysteries the photographs reveal to him then Leonard finds something no one would ever expect or want to see captured on film the murder of a young woman but that’s impossible because the woman is already dead Leonard was there when it happened five years earlier he has never been able to shake his guilt from that terrible night it cost Leonard everything
A really enjoyable read but abit slow starting then it livens up
Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing Uk
I just reviewed The Dark Room by Lisa Gray. #TheDarkRoom #NetGalley

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Thank you so much to Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book! It took a couple of chapters to get into the story, but once the action started I couldn't put the book down. I thought it was really well-plotted and well written. The dialogue was great and easy to read and the characters were all suspicious, which is perfect as it kept me guessing throughout. I was thinking it was wrapped up all way too easily when the last two chapters blew me away! I did not see the ending coming and I was totally surprised!

I haven't read anything from Lisa Gray before but I would definitely read more from her in the future. I would recommend if you're looking for a quick read and a twisty, entertaining thriller.

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Leonard Blaylock is an ex-crime journalist turned freelancer who enjoys a unique hobby - developing strangers old film reels. The lonely Leonard displays these pictures in his private gallery, giving each person a name and backstory. But this time he doesn't need to pretend ... he recognises the fatally wounded stab victim in the picture. But that's not how he saw her die 5 years previously.

Leonard sets off, with the help of another film enthusiast he meets online, to discover the true identity of the woman in the picture. The woman who's death has caused him to lose everything; his job, fiancée and friends. How can somebody die twice?

I read this in one sitting. I couldn't put it down!

The Dark Room is told from multiple perspectives and timelines, piecing together the events that lead Leonard to lose everything. I thought I'd figured out exactly what was going on but the twist at the end was amazing. Definitely didn't see that coming! A must-read for all thriller fans.

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I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I don't see the appeal of developing other people's discarded camera films myself, and it must be a hobby with a rapidly diminishing shelf life, but I assume it is a thing. It's certainly the premise of this novel. I found this well-plotted and fast-paced, with plenty of twists and turns. The final chapters explain exactly what went on for the benefit of the reader, which I always think is a sign the clues weren't sufficiently seeded in the main narrative, but they did put to rest things which were nagging at me.

Recommended as a gripping, undemanding read.

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WoWzers! While the book took a few chapters to get into it, once it did, the book really took off! I absolutely loved the circumstances surrounding the investigation – a mystery film developer. Maybe I loved it because when I was in high school and college, I developed 35MM film at a store. It was always so interesting to see people’s photos. I was very much like Leonard in that aspect, and so for me, the author came up with something very creative. The first big wow moment was around 36% of the book, and then the wow moments never stopped. Just when you think you have the answers, BAM, another twist. There are so many OMG moments in this book. AND when I thought I had it figured out, I was wrong (once again!). The ending was equally shocking.

This is a definite must read.

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Thanks so much Amazon Books UK and NetGalley!

Leonard, an ex reporter, has a unique hobby. He develops strangers' forgotten rolls of film. While doing so, he comes across a murder scene. The victim is someone that he thought died several years before and he believed he had been responsible. He's now in investigative mode trying to figure out what happened.

OKAY CAPS LOCK TIME. THIS WAS AN AMAZING RIDE. I DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. THIS BOOK DESERVES SO MUCH PRAISE. I WAS SHOCKED WHEN I FINISHED.

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There are more twists and false leads in this than you can imagine. No one is as they seem - right up to the last pages. The characters are intriguing as they are not particularly likeable and yet you become fully enmeshed in their mission and lives. A dark, seedy mystery which will leave you satisfied!

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I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I've read all of the Jessica Shaw PI novels and have enjoyed them. Leonard Blaylock is a minor character that was introduced at one point. Unfortunately not very memorable and definitely not likeable. Leonard has some issues and he's clearly an unreliable narrator as he is trying to piece together what really happened to a woman who was murdered. His memory and the pictures he found are contradictory. Leonard teaming up with a woman who is a stalker and creepy made this read really uncomfortable and not so interesting. I struggled with it and would suggest skipping it. Maybe next time we will see Jessica in action.

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Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the copy of The Dark Room. I wish at least one of the characters had been likable or at least sympathetic, but they were all reprehensible. The writing never grabbed me and some of the descriptions were distracting. (The table was flimsy and describing HOW flimsy seemed like filler.) This book had such a great premise and I love the idea of ‘mystery film' and people who develop it. I liked the story for the most part and the ending was great but the way it was revealed was clunky and disappointing. This could be a great book for you, it just didn’t work for me.

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After reading twist after twist nearing the end, revealing the killer... I felt a bit duped. And smiled at myself for being so seriously about books. However, after reading the final chapter, all I could think was... hmmm these games these characters were playing....

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This was a quick and easy read that was well written, tense and fast paced. There was a good amount of mystery in the plotline and I thought that the characters were engaging but I felt like they could have been slightly more well developed, but I still enjoyed the book

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A good novel which is full of twists and turns and a great ending. Leonard & Martha are brought together by their hobby of developing other people's abandoned rolls of camera film.
The link between the two is the Honeytrap murder - the murder of a woman hired to trap unfaithful men for money.
The two start to investigate the murder in this fast-paced well written novel.

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I was very excited to have received the ARC of this book because the synopsis sounded very intriguing. Unfortunately, I couldn't get on with the book and had to stop reading it after about 20%. I felt there was no depth to the characters and the writing style was stilted. The conversations were odd and unbelievable and the whole thing felt very much like a first draft that hadn't been edited or fleshed out yet. It might have just been me, comparing it to books I've read recently that hooked me in the first chapter. I am very sorry that I couldn't have finished the book because maybe the ending was worth the struggle but it didn't feel like it was worth my time. I will give 2 stars for the synopsis and the chance that it might have just caught me on an off day.

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This was ok. Didn't grip me but didn't make me put the book down. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review

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WOW...what a great book. It has a great story line and plot and truly does keep you intrigued the whole time. The ending is very twisted and unexpected. Totally loved it and recommend it.

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(Thank you, NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.)


"It turned out the biggest sliding-doors moment in Leonard Blaylock's life was getting into a taxi with a stranger on a cold November night." When I read this quote in this book, I knew I was hooked! The Dark Room starts with a roll of film with a horrifying picture on it. I loved the plot twists throughout the story and how the characters were twisted themselves. It kept me guessing what was going to happen and the ending took me by surprise. I would recommend this to anyone who loves plot twists and thrillers.
(Quote is directly from the book. )

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This was trully such a joy to read! It's everything you want from a psychological thriller/ domestic noir. The twists and turns were just impossible to see coming and they never stop!!! I flew through this on holiday and it made waiting in queues part of the highlight of my trip since it meant I xould snatch a few more pages. The characters are so well written and you just get absolutely drawn into the story Nd trying to figure out what's going on. Loved it!!

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Leonard keeps seeing a woman who he saw die several years ago. His life changed for the worse after that incident. He decides he needs to figure out what is happening. I liked this book.

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I hugely enjoyed this. Takes the whodunnit portion of a crime novel and involves us in the search. Loved the twists which I didn't see coming!

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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. I have enjoyed everything this author has written and this was no exception. A fast paced well written thriller that will have you guessing right to the end.

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I was intrigued by the storyline and the characters in The Dark Room. Immensely engrossing and very different and I didn't want to put it down.

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I found this book hard to get into at first, but after a while the plot picked up and I started reading faster. I thought I'd guessed who the actual murderer was, but I was wrong. I found it a good book and am planning on re-reading it to see what clues I missed

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Wow! What a book! I was completely hooked on this book pretty much from the first page. The plot was really good and I really didn't expect the twist at the end.
I really enjoyed this one, it's full of twists, thrills, excitement and warmth.
I'd definitely recommend this book to others.

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Lisa Gray did a great job with a compelling story. I didn't know developing film was a hobby, but after reading this book I found out it really is something people do. Leonard had his life destroyed and now has stumbled onto a picture that changes his perspective. There was an intensity throughout the book that was just enough to keep me reading throughout the night. I honestly had no idea who might have committed the murder, broke into the homes or did countless other questionable items. Gray unfolded the story at just the right pace and provided enough description to give the reader information on a need to know basis. I like that she laid everything out for me at the end of the novel. There were some items that I wouldn't have been able to piece together on my own. Fun read!

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I absolutely demolished this book! Read it in a day and my only regret… there’s not another or a follow up on NetGalley for me to read.

Lisa Gray is a new author to me and omg am I pleased I requested this book. It was absolutely brilliant. So easy to read, absolutely captivating and thrilling and yet so believable.

Right from the off we have a very interesting situation… what would you do if you discovered evidence of a crime? And would that reaction change if you knew the victim?

This book and the way in which it unfolds is simply a masterful bit of writing - let alone planning. I loved how as a reader you’re questioning everything and yet not really looking. The twists, turns and developments within the ‘case’ are so thick and fast you can’t help just taking everything found at face value. It’s only when you get to the end and there’s nothing left that you truly question what you read - and that my friends is brilliant writing! Not something you get very often and not that easy to pull off without giving away too much.

Needless to say I loved this mystery and I loved Lisa Gray’s writing style. So easy on the eye and every chapter is well constructed with good pace and each revealing a new ‘truth’. The whole book just drags you through it’s slip stream of big reveals and new dilemmas and spits you out the other end - reeling with excitement of what you just read and wanting more!

Absolutely brilliant. Preorder/Buy it now!!

Thanks to NetGalley for my advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Ex–crime reporter Leonard Blaylock spends his days on an unusual hobby, developing strangers’ forgotten and discarded rolls of film. He loves the small mysteries the photographs reveal to him. Then Leonard finds something no one would ever expect, or want, to see captured on film—the murder of a young woman. It’s very well written and definitely worth a read.

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I absolutely LOVE Lisa’s Jessica Shaw series, so when I spotted The Dark Room I was super excited. Even better it was a stand alone. It was almost an addiction, unable to actually put it down until I was done. What a plot! What a twist! By the end you’ll see that everyone has something to hide and no one is ever truly innocent,

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Amazing. Really twisted... couldn't put it down.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. This was an excellent read.
Thoroughly recommended

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Leonard Blaylock has never rebounded from the night he accidentally killed a woman. His guilt led to the end of his engagement, a lost journalism position, and a regular life. While writing on a unique hobby, Mystery Film, where one develops random film rolls he finds a photo which changes everything.

I liked the character development (not the characters as people) and the choices made were understandable. Good set up of events and unraveling of the plot. The chapters have a variety of character viewpoints to help understand the "why".

I finished The Dark Room last night and was stunned. The story veered left. I had to stop to re-read several sentences again as my brain rearranged the facts. It was so good!

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I did enjoy this yarn. I engaged with the two lead characters believable and likeable even though you knew most of their faults early om in the book. There were a few turns that didn't appear to go anywhere but overall it was a well thought out book with just the right amount of pace.

My main criticism is that the ending was a bit rushed - I think that could have been fleshed out a bit. It could have been a bit more suspenseful at the end and left the reader wondering what would happen next rather than tying it all up neatly.

It was a good read that I wanted to pick up and get to the end of as soon as I could; always a good sign.

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3.5, really. A little bit simplistic, but not offensively so. Reads super fast, which was for the best.

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“Anything could be on those rolls, and that was the thrill of it.”
The Dark Room is the fifth thriller by Lisa Gray and her first standalone – following the hugely successful Jessica Shaw series. This is the first book I have read by the author, but I have heard the series mentioned by friends who enjoy thrillers as much as I do.
“Anything could be on those rolls.”
The novel is set around Leonard Baylock, an ex crime reporter who’s life was ruined in a mysterious incident several years prior. Now he works on a freelance basis, one of his projects being finding and developing film from strangers. One day, he sees something that scares him.
“Even so, Leonard knew he was wise to take precautions; that there was a chance he could come across a roll of film one day that contained something so damaging, so shocking and horrifying, that the police would be called, no doubt about it, if anyone other than Leonard was responsible for developing it. Today was that day.”
Now, heres my issue. I didn’t like Leonard. At all, throughout the book. Sometimes I enjoy a good morally grey character but Leonard was so self serving and indignant that I must say I struggled, although the plot did keep me going. It is a carefully woven mystery although I found the ending to be somewhat predictable.
All in all a three star!

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First book I’ve read from Lisa Gray and I read it in one sitting thoroughly good murder mystery.
Leonard Blaylock was a crime reporter for a New York paper, was engaged to be married, socially active before his nervous breakdown. Now he does freelance work, his fiancé is married to an older man and he no longer socialised with friends.
His one joy in life is finding old cameras and undeveloped spool’s which he develops in his own dark room in his apartment He developed one of the spools he recently bought at a flea market and was shocked to find a photo of a murdered woman but he was shocked and confused because this woman had died five years ago and he was there when it happened !!!!
What happens next will keep you reading until the end.
Highly recommend to all murder mystery lovers.

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This was an interesting read, the whole story gets unfolded from different perspective, the ex-journalist Leonard whose hobby of developing old film reels which he picks up from curios and other shops , the photographer friend whom he befriends online and then gets her entangled in solving a mystery, his ex-fiancee, the person whom his ex-fiancee had succeeded and last but not least the mystery woman who was the cause of his breakdown. Lots of twists and turns with a surpise ending, this was an enjoyable read.
Thank you Netgalley for sharing a copy of this book for my unbiased feedback,
Overall Rating 3.5 stars
Worth a read once.

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A man is intrigued by lost rolls of film and develops a photo which sends him reeling. A photo of a woman he recognises.
A tale of lies and photographs, of deception and betrayal, of revenge and redemption.

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This was an intriguing mystery, plot was a little different than most. I did have a hard time connecting, or even liking, the characters, so it did make this book read a little slower than others by this author. Overall a good book with a great ending.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Question Everything..
Question everything and believe nothing in this tense thriller. Leonard has an unusual and unexpected hobby. He develops strangers old, discarded film reels. Odd. However, from these he can create mysteries of his own making. He enjoys this, until one day he develops a film that makes him stop dead. An intriguing premise and an interesting mystery within but with a cast of mainly unlikeable characters, with few redeeming features, although some nicely done plot twists.

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I’ve persisted in trying to read this book despite its formatting issues however, I have given up at 53%. There is a ‘strangeness’ to the story that is quite unique: did he/ didn’t he.commit murder? His devastation and despair is understandable. Less understandable is his willingness to engage a stranger in his search for answers…. A book that I would have relished in its difference has been spoilt by the formatting. Not the fault of the author or the content and my rating reflects that fact.

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For a book with such a promising and exciting premise, Lisa Gray’s upcoming novel, The Dark Room, missed the mark completely for me. You can’t tell me that coming across old film of a murder isn’t a plot you’d eat up. I don’t think I’m the only one who disliked it either, so I don’t feel as bad as I usually would for such a low rating. A strong start went downhill a lot quicker than I though possible, which resulted in me taking so much time to read this book, which could also be an element that contributed to the low rating. There just seemed to be a lot of unnecessary filler for my liking, and I will admit that I expected a lot more action and police drama than we get.

Leonard Blaylock is a long time developer of what is called “mystery film”; undeveloped camera film which he develops at home, basically for the thrill of having a window into a complete stranger’s life, that is until one day, the film he develops contains murder scene photos of a girl he saw die 5 years earlier, so what happened?

Personally, I thought the plot had so much potential, but it was executed terribly, and to go along with this, I didn’t find any of the characters likeable. Usually I can withstand disliking one or two characters, but none of them in this book grabbed me and held my attention; there was never really any interest after I’d been introduced to them all.

I know it seems that this book was abysmal, but I actually had hope in the beginning and then it went downhill, and as for the reveal, I will admit I didn’t expect it and found myself wondering who could have actually done it, so, this book does deserve me saying that the twist was great; probably the best thing about the book in general.

Thank you to Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC!

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This is the first novel that I have read by this author. I enjoyed the book, and I could see what she was trying to do however there was some issues with the unfolding of the story. The author tried hard to build the characters and make the storyline exciting, however the book became a little dry in the middle. This was still an enjoyable read and would recommend. I would certainly be prepared to read another by this author.

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This book was a definite departure from the Jessica Grey series. I'm still not sure what my thoughts are about this book even after reading it! I think if you go into it not expecting it to be like Jessica's story then you will quickly get into the story!

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy of The Dark Room, a stand-alone thriller set in New York.

Leonard Blaylock has an unusual hobby - he searches out undeveloped 35mm film and develops the pictures. One day develops a film which has images of a murdered woman, a woman that Leonard saw die five years ago and not in the same way, a woman whose death and his guilt cost him his life as he knew it.

The Dark Room has an interesting premise - it is crime fiction so coincidence isn’t usually a feature and that begs the questions of who set Leonard up 5 years ago and why do they (if it’s the same person(s)) now want him involved (if it’s not another setup)? These questions persist throughout the novel, but the execution lacks the spark and excitement that would turn the novel into a compulsive read. I never heard the siren call luring me back when I put it down.

To be fair to the novel this lack of excitement on my part may be down to my mood and other things I have going on, because it is full of twists and has an unexpected solution, which surprised me. I liked the format, although it takes away a certain amount of immediacy. It is told mostly in the present from Leonard and his friend Martha’s points of view, but whenever they make a new discovery the novel goes back to the past to explain what happened from more than Leonard’s point of view.

Leonard reached out to Martha for help after discovering the photos, until then she had been an unidentified contact on the missing photo forum. I don’t pretend to understand why he would immediately trust her or she would want to help him when they are essentially strangers. Anyway, the bottom line is they both have secrets. I don’t think their characters are well enough drawn for the reader to invest in their quest.

The Dark Room is an easy read.

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I think the book had amazing potential, but the only problem with the book was the characters. I like unlikable characters as much as the next reader, but when you take it to the extreme, the reader no longer cares about what happens.

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The Dark Room is a stand-alone thriller set in New York.
Leonard Blaylock is a NY crime reporter who buys undeveloped 35mm film spools and develops the pictures. One day he develops a film which has images of a murdered woman on. Leonard recognises the woman as he witnessed her death five years previously but not in the same way. The film is dated beyond this date so how can this be?
To find out, read the book, it is a twisty, dark tale with a cast of characters you will love to hate and a plot which will have you guessing through out.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Leonard is a freelance journalist who buys undeveloped film and develops it and allows himself to imagine back stories for the people in the photos. One day he develops some new film and finds a murder scene with a woman he thought died in his presence years back, but this is a completely different scene. So he starts to investigate with the help of another woman with the same undeveloped film interest, whom he met online.

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was an interesting premise. I felt like there were enough twists and turns to keep my attention. I really thought I had the whole thing figured out and thought the outcome would be pretty obvious and therefore a little disappointing, but I was wrong and definitely did not see the actual outcome coming. I love the Jessica Shaw series and thought this was one notch below that but still very good. I really like this author's writing style and look forward to more from her.

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Wow! A fantastic book with a dark and twisted story line and an amazing ending. I love Leonard as a character and I would love to read more

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I so wanted to love this book as the premise sounded amazing! Firstly it is told from MULTIPLE perspectives some of which add zero value and some try to explain actions and motives that I felt would be better left for us as readers to decide for ourselves (dear auhtor you don''t need to explain every characters thoughts!) For example the detective really didnt need a voice (I can;t say more without spoilers) but I felt her chapters were just padding trying to wrap everything up with a bow tie. Ditto woth Boby and Caroline. I think it should have stuck to being told from Leonard and Martha's POV.

The plot itself undfolds way too neatly and methodically - although I understand why it was written this way. I will say I thought the ending was great plenty of twists and layers upon layers of deciet although definitely overkill with wrapping everything up with a neat bow.

Lastly, the charcters were all fundamentaly flawed and hiding numerous secrets - not one had any kind of redeeming quality that made me want to root for them so I did lack a little in the engagement. Sadly awith such a cool premise this just fell flat for me.

Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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The Dark Room is a great twisty revenge tale for all! Leonard Blaylock is still recovering from his fall from grace as a star reporter. Now he spends a lot of time obsessing on his hobby of developing strangers' abandoned rolls of film. When he finds a potential picture of a snuff murder, he isn't sure who to talk to or who to turn to because he recognizes the women!

Reaching out to his buddies on his hobby chat, he utilizes his research skills to track down the truth. In this case however, the truth might too much for anyone to handle! If you like quick thrillers, revenge stories and great twists, The Dark Room is for you! #LisaGray #TheDakrRoom #amazon

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The constant switch between the POV and the timelines makes it difficult to get into the book. Though there are some twists it didn’t come to the level of Jessica Shaw series.

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I thought the plot idea about seeing something bad on a camera film was a very good idea and makes its stand out from other thrillers, yet the characters aren’t very likeable so it is difficult to feel empathy and relate to them. There were some interesting twists and turns throughout this story, although I felt it was a little slow in some places, however the end was exciting with several more twists happening that I didn’t see coming. The story becomes more fast-paced as it plays out. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.

Thank you you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the ARC for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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This was my first read by the author and I loved the writers writing style. I loved the plot twist and there were many in this story which made it very interesting especially when the characters and their twisted ways. I really enjoyed the ending and was quite surprised at how it turned out. All in all, I can’t wait to read more from the author.

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I like Lisa Gray and her Jessica Shaw series. For those reasons, I decided to try a stand alone novel. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC and the chance to offer my thoughts.

In a way, The Dark Room, was a throw back to film noir days for me. It had a dark, dreary atmosphere inhabited by secret-keeping characters, Leonard, Martha and Caroline to name three. Each holding onto something detrimental to the other’s lives. Of course, there’s the old-fashioned reporter, doing anything to get his story, Bobby, and a gumshoe, Jackie, using whatever means to solve a murder. Do any of them get it right? Did I? You will need to read this one to find out.

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Never disappointed with this author. Suspenseful and twisty plots keep you guessing and surprised at the twists and turns. Strong characters you fall in love with.

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This book was a slow start for me, but then it picked up and became interesting,. Lots of characters, no one innocent as a photograph of a recently murdered one falls into the hands of a man who thinks he accidentally killed her five years before. this would have worked well as a movie, particularly as a period piece.

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The plot reminded me of some 70s movies and I tound it entertaining and welll plotted. it's got the right pace and the characters are interesting.
A solid thriller, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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The Dark Room was a first time read for me by the author, so I didn't go in with huge expectations. The synopsis sounded super interesting; Leonard has a really great hobby of finding old, discarded films (Camera films) and developing them to see what's on there. On developing some new images on films he picked up at a flea market he finds photos of a murder scene, what's worse he knew the victim 5 years ago and thought she died then.

From the get go this book was a little back and forth, there's a lot of information thrown at you and looking back on this book having finished it I did wonder why some things happened and why we were told them. The story has a relatively decent pace although is also fairly repetitive. This is one of the first books I've read in a long time when I can honestly say I didn't like any of the characters in it. I wasn't rooting for anyone and didn't really care who was setting up Leonard. Leonard was a cheating ass and as for Martha she didn't really have any redeeming qualities in my eyes either. There are so many lies in this book with the characters and their lives. The only thing this book really had going for it was the end which had some nice twists and I didn't see them coming.

I would class The Dark Room as an 'ok' read. It wasn't great when I feel it really could be. If we had been told this just from Leonard and Martha's points of view I feel it could have been better. I finished it but barely and at times my mind did wonder. Maybe it is just the writing style of the author that didn't mesh with me or maybe my dislike for the characters - I need to like at least someone, even if they are a villain.

This book is available late October on Kindle Unlimited, so free to those who subscribe.

Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, Thomas Mercer for this ARC of The Dark Room in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a great book. I loved every paragraph, every sentence and every word of this masterpiece! I read it in 12 hours, which is a lot for me to do! It had everything and more laid out in the novel! I sure hope she writes more! I am totally hooked!

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Leonard Blaylock's life was ruined, he lost his fiancee, his job and felt responsible for the death of a woman. Haunted daily by his guilt for walking away from a body without reporting it to the police, he loses hope for any chance of finding happiness.
His hobby is to buy undeveloped film. One day, he develops a film only to find gruesome photos of a murdered woman who happens to be the woman he thought he had killed.
He has an online friend who he meets in real life and together they investigate the images, working back in time to discover who the beautiful woman actually was, and who was responsible for her death.
Shocking twists in this story, and an even bigger shock at the end!

Really did enjoy this book, it was well thought out, and had a bit of everything, romance, intrigue, murder, blackmail, and twists and turns all the way through.
I would definitely recommend this book, and give it a solid 5 stars!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Lisa Gray writes the excellent Jessica Shaw series but The Dark Room is a stand alone thriller – something I did not immediately appreciate as I don’t read the blurb when I read Lisa’s books – I just jump straight in! It took a couple of chapters for me to realise Leonard was the star of the show in The Dark Room – mark that one down to me being a dozy reader.

Fortunately Leonard is a great character and I wanted to read more about him, particularly when he sees a murder. Well let me rephrase that slightly…particulary when he discovers a photograph of a dead body which can only have been taken by a killer. How could I (the son of a photographer) resist a crime story where cameras and photgraphs play such a pivotal role?

Leonard, you see, has a fascinating hobby. He likes to buy undeveloped film from old cameras and then, in the privacy of his dark room, discover what pictures may have been snapped on these old film spools. Family snaps, holiday vistas or perhaps even a “ruined” film – the excitement of discovery for Leonard makes his hobby a constant sequence of discoveries. But his world is going to be rocked to the core when the latest film he develops uncovers the image of a dead woman. But is it a woman Leonard knows?

Lisa Gray takes the reader on a twisty and unpredicatble journey into Leonard’s life. The discovery of the “murder” photograph brings Leonard back to face a period in his life he would rather forget. His relationship ended, his job changed and he had to make significant adjustments which left him somewhat beleagured and low spirited. But could this discovery give him a chance at a fresh start? It seems unlikely but investigating how he came into posession of the picture of a dead woman will open up some new opportunities for Leonard and possbily even the chance to correct some past wrongs.

I had great fun reading The Dark Room. Lisa Gray nails the pacing and the drama and I zipped through this book in just a couple of days. I have tried not to talk too much about Leonard’s predicament and the discoveries he makes in this story as the delight in discovering these for yourself is not something I should take away from you. Get The Dark Room pre-ordered – this is a good’un.

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Lisa Gray's The Dark Room is a twisty story of lies and revenge.

Synopsis:
Leonard Blaylock is a down and out ex-crime journalist. He now spends his time pursuing an unusual hobby. Leonard buys and develops old rolls of film to find rare pictures. He is shocked when he finds a recent picture of a murdered woman. The catch, however, is huge. Leonard knows this woman and she died five years ago in a different manner. He knows because he was there when she supposedly died the first time. The guilt of her "death" destroyed his life. Something is strange about this situation. Can Leonard find the truth?

The Dark Room by Lisa Gray is a slow burn thriller with shocking plot twists. While the book held my attention, one must suspend belief to fully embrace the story. This is my first read by Lisa Gray and I look forward to exploring more of her books.

The Dark Room is available on October 25th.

Thank you, NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK, for sharing this interesting book with me. I appreciate your kindness.

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This was actually a very interesting thriller.

Leonard Blaylock is an ex crimes reporter who develops the forgotten and discarded rolls of film. So he gets a shock when he discovers one of the film rolls contains a picture of a murdered woman. But five years ago, Leonard had seen this woman dying in front of him which cause him to lose his job and fiancee. But if the woman did not die, what really happened back then?

In my opinion, this was a good thriller. Not too fast paced but not a slow burn either. To me it got more interesting by the middle of the book and then started becoming more interesting and intriguing with shocking plot twists. There were also too many suspects as well with a motive to kill. The ending was what actually twisted me in a complete surprise and I actually did not see that ending coming at all. Neverthless, I actually enjoyed reading this book and this is one of the rare thrillers that the main protagonist was a male and a potential villain as well.

So if you like plot twists, then I recommend this book--worth four stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opionin only.

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A mysterious title, interesting synopsis, and a bestselling author. Are these reasons sufficient to pick up a book? Well, sometimes yes, and sometimes no. But these are the reasons that tempted me to request the ARC of The Dark Room by Lisa Gray.

Sadly, I realised these reasons aren’t good enough. *Note to self-*check reviews by trusted reviewers. *

Story description
Ex–crime reporter Leonard Blaylock spends his days on an unusual hobby, developing strangers’ forgotten and discarded rolls of film. He loves the small mysteries the photographs reveal to him. Then Leonard finds something no one would ever expect, or want, to see captured on film—the murder of a young woman.
But that’s impossible because the woman is already dead. Leonard was there when it happened five years earlier.
He has never been able to shake his guilt from that terrible night. It cost Leonard everything: his career, his fiancée, his future. But if the woman didn’t really die, then what actually happened?


I loved the premise of developing undeveloped film rolls and discovering the stories behind them. But the pacing was too slow for my liking. I like fast-paced mysteries. In this book, the words were crawling even slower than ants. It took me a couple of chapters to get into the book, but I was never completely hooked on it.
Why didn’t I DNF it, you ask? Well… no reasons!

The main characters haven’t been flushed out to the core. They could have been developed further. I felt Leonard was despicable to the core. Unfortunately, I can’t recall liking any other character either, even remotely! Their miseries, anxieties, sexual tension, chase or discoveries… I couldn’t bring myself to care about whatever was happening in their lives… Nada! Zilch!

There is a lot of back and forth, and at one point I struggled to remember what had transpired a few pages ago and, much to my horror, had to go back and re-read to connect the dots.

And the narration drags unnecessarily and is repetitive. The story could have been 30 pages shorter easily.
The ending was good, quite good. It made a lot of sense and plugged the plot holes to quite an extent. But it was flat. I would have loved a dramatic finish.

Despite the intriguing premise, The Dark Room lacks excitement and fails to leave a mark.
Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, and Thomas Mercer for this ARC of The Dark Room in exchange for an honest review.

Wordsopedia Rating 2.4/5

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This was a new author for me . I never read anything from this author before but for the most part I really liked this book. I thought the whole story was amazing. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with on the next book they write. I usually judge a book from the cover because for me it shows if it’s going to be interesting or not and I loved the book

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Highly recommend this one! This was my first book to read by this author but definitely won't be my last. The characters will stay with you long after you finish the book and you will find yourself wishing the story would never end.

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Like other books from this author, this one is well written, with excellent characters and a very good plot. The problem is all the jumping back in time, which leads to repetition and should be left out.

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The premise of developing undeveloped film rolls and discovering the stories behind them is fascinating. Lisa Gray understands how to structure a story, and the first quarter and final chapters had me turning the pages. While I assumed a few things correctly, I was genuinely surprised by the end, which isn't easy to do.

It's a strong, propulsive mystery; well written and a delightfully quick read. What keeps this from being five stars is how the characters didn't feel real. Plot took centre stage while characterization faded into the background.

Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Leonard Blaylock loves developing discarded camera rolls but when he discovers a photo of a woman dead in a hotel room he's puzzled as the woman in question died 5 years previously. With the help of an online friend he attempts to discover the truth behind the photo with some surprises along the way.
This is a twisted tale of betrayal and revenge, with an ending that may surprise you.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the advanced copy of which I'm under no obligation to review

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Intriguing concept and engaging book. Quite a few surprises as you go through. Enjoyable and recommend as a good holiday read.

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A good thriller,engaging and intriguing…..wasn’t too keen on either of the main characters but the story was good enough to get past that,a final twist that didn’t expect,altogether it was an enjoyable read

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
"The Dark Room" by Lisa Gray was an original, exciting, intriguing & addictive thriller.
It pulled me in rightaway & didn't let me go until its final page.
The ending was a jaw dropping surprise.
I will definitely be on the lookout for Miss Gray's next novel.

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I thought the idea behind this book was great, really original, and different. I wish the pace of the book had not been so slow, it really didn't work, for an impatient reader like me, sorry.

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Great thriller with a interesting concept. Could be a tad slow at times, but overall a great read!

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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So Much Trouble From An Anonymous Photo

Leonard Blaylock took up a new hobby. He would buy undeveloped exposed film that who took the pictures is unknown. He joined an online group of people with the same hobby. He receives a tip from another hobbyist where he could find some undeveloped exposed film. He purchases it and develops it. One of the pictures is of a dead woman on a bed covered in blood. There was a knife near her body. He was shocked but not just because of the picture, but because he thought that he had killed her five years earlier.

The main storyline is one thread narrated by Leonard Blaylock. As Martha Weaver becomes more than an anonymous online hobbyist, they proceed to sleuth the truth about the recently murdered woman who Leonard thought that he had murdered. After the euphoria of realizing that he had not killed the woman, he becomes afraid that someone might be framing him for her recent murder. As the main storyline develops, there are minor supporting threads narrated by other characters, but these other narrators added to the story and did not distract from its flow. Each new fact or connection uncovered and, especially, when the police become involved, increased the danger and suspense that captured and maintained my interest all the way to the end. Some well-placed literary grenades added new and interesting twists.

With flashbacks and Leonard’s discussions with Martha Weaver, the reader learns about his life before the incident and why his actions are what they are. As the relationship between Leonard and Martha deepens, the reader learns more about what makes Martha tick and, especially, the motives behind her actions. The author weaves these threads well with the main storyline. My reading enjoyment was enhanced.

For the aspects of novels that some readers object, first is that there are not any descriptions of intimate scenes, but mild starts of entrapment are included. Violence is described mostly after the fact, and the descriptions of violence as it happens are short, quick, and not graphic. There is some use of vulgar and rude language, but not to a level that should be objectionable to most readers. This is a new effort and appears to be a standalone novel, so there is not any worry about missing something from a previous novel.

Overall, this novel kept me delightfully off-kilter. I liked this constant changing of the story’s complexion as Leonard feared arrest for murder to relief and back to fear as he and Martha learn more. The literary grenades occurred much more often as the end approached, they kept my full understanding of what had happen in question until the end. The end that was quite unexpected to me also was my biggest problem, I had two issues, but you will have to read to find them as they would be spoilers. Even though this novel for me was just a little below those of her Jessica Shaw series, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this novel and do recommend reading it. The author has sustained my Must-Read rating. I do look forward to reading any further books by this author. I rate this book with five stars, up from an actual 4.5-star assessment.

I received a free e-book version of this novel through NetGalley from Thomas & Mercer. My review is based only by my own reading experience of this book. I wish to thank The Dark Room for the opportunity to read and review this novel early.

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This book was a real struggle but I perservered as thought I owed it to the author. Slow, disjointed and the premise has been done so many times before and better. Definitely not for me. I hope other readers will enjoy it more.
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.

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Lisa Gray is consistently entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where crime fic is popular.

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Ex-crime reporter Leonard Blaylock spends his days on an unusual hobby, developing forgotten and discarded film. He loves the small mysteries the photographs reveal to him. Then Leonard finds something no one would ever expect, or want, to see captured on film - the murder of a young woman. But that's impossible, because the woman is already dead. Leonard was there when it happened five years earlier.

This is a quick and easy to read, well written book. I was quickly pulled into the storyline with its intriguing, original and gripping plotline. There's lots of twists and red herrings to keep your interest. This is a story of betrayal and revenge. The pace is slow to begin with, but it soon picks up. The story is told from multiple points of view and timelines. I wasn't keen on any of the characters. Definitely never saw that ending coming.

I would like to thank #NetGalley #AmazonPublishingGroupUK #ThomasandMercer and the author #LisaGray for my ARC of #TheDarkRoom in exchange for an honest review.

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This book drew me right in and once I started I didn't finish until the book was finished. Such a good read full of mystery and intrigue. Highly recommend!

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Lisa Gray's The Dark Room, is a well thought out psychological thriller, that keeps you on your toe, making you think, from almost one page to the next. I have to admit, Ms. Grays' writing style is a bit slower than I usually prefer, and it took me a little longer to get into, but once I really gave the book a chance, it started to get interesting, and I am thrilled I stuck with it!

The characters like to draw the descriptions for almost everything around them out., so you know exactly where you are and what is going on. You are literally right in the middle of the story.. By the last quarter of the book, you will probably be getting attached to the main character, if not already attached, but the twists and turns will still be coming for the male protagonist. And the woman he claims to love? All I can ask is, do these people really feel love? Or is it a narcissistic need to have other people always around them and under their control that fuels their desire, and they just call it love?

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Hard book to get in to Characters were a bit uninspiring and the story very slow to get interesting.

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This one will be sticking with me! The premise is completely unique and the characters are complex. I was engrossed in the unfolding of this mystery. And just when I thought I had the answers....... nope! Once the reveals started happening it was one hit after the other leaving me completely stunned. And those last couple chapters. Wow! I admit at the end I had to laugh at the genius of it all. What a read.

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DNF at 24%

I really liked the premise of this book and thought I'd enjoy it but unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the writing style and found Leonard Blaylock to be a extremely grating. I'm sorry but I did try to read as much as I could.

Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the e-copy.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Lisa Grey book but I am so glad to have had this opportunity. Doesn’t disappoint at all. Great story well written.
Highly recommend and now off to find more that I need catch up on of this author!

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I've read Lisa Gray from her very first book, Thin Air from the Jessica Shaw series and I was hooked! She is one author that I always recommend to any and all of our patrons at our library when they can't decide what to read and just happen to love a good mystery. While this book is not a part of the Jessica Shaw series, I can say that it was just as good! I know I'm constantly saying that the twist got me, but let’s be honest, the twist is what every reader waits for and this twist, or should I say twists, did not disappoint.

Leonard is a reporter, down on his luck, who loves to buy unprocessed rolls of film. After processing a roll of film and making a discovery that shake’s his world, Leonard turns to Martha for help in cracking the mystery about what really happened and why. Leonard and Martha team up and together they’ll discover that everybody has secrets, but somebody is always watching, even when you think they’re not.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This was a very enjoyable novel. I was drawn into the story fairly quickly and there was enough going on that I wanted to keep reading, consequently getting through the book in no time at all. Plenty of twists throughout and for the first time in a while an ending which wasn't signposted long before the conclusion.

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Oh this was good! Mysterious photos, bribery, surveillance, romance…There’s a big twist that just absolutely changes everything! Just loved it!

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I will leave a review on Amazon and B&N on Oct. 25th

The Dark Room by Lisa Gray is filled with twists and turns, lies and revenge. Leonard's life has spiraled out of control after believing he was responsible for the death of a woman only to find out years later she wasn't dead at all. He spends his days obsessing over his hobby of developing rolls of film that no one seems to want. After developing a picture of a murdered woman, he goes in search for answers. What follows is a convoluted storyline that leads to the final conclusion of the storyline. Sadly this book wasn't what I had hoped it would be, but I am sure others probably will enjoy it much more that I do. Having said that I would suggest others read the book, because I realize not everyone enjoys the same books.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Leonard Baylock was a crime reporter back in days gone by, but now spends his time buying old film reels and developing them. When he develops one, he brought at a flea market, he finds a murder scene of a woman stabbed to death. And has a recent date on the film. But what shocks him that this woman five years ago in a different matter and he was involved in his death. This affected him badly which he lost his partner and job over it. What the hell is going on?
Thank you, Amazon Publishing, for a copy of ‘The dark Room’ I liked the premise of this story. I thought I it was full of twists, but I found this slow and is not a story that will blow you away. It stayed at the same pace throughout. After reading this and I got to the conclusion at the end I found it to be very disappointing and thought what was the point of it all? 3.5 stars from me.

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I remember adding The Dark Room to my shelves on a whim mostly because there was something about the blurb that intrigued me. I loved the sound of the main character's hobby of developing forgotten rolls of film as well as the mystery around the murder of the woman... And I fully expected to have a great time with this story. I'm not sure if it was simply the wrong time for me to read this one, but the fact is that I ended up having mixed thoughts instead.

First of all, I do have to say that I still love the premise of this story, and I really like the idea of the mystery rolls of film and the surprise of what you will find when you develop them. The mystery around the death of the woman had great potental as well, and the New York setting did make for a perfect backdrop for this story. There is also no denying that The Dark Room executes more than one successful plot twist, and there were parts about the ending that I never saw coming. BUT. There were also a couple of things that I really struggled with.

I think that one of the main issues I had with this story is that absolutely none of the main characters were likeable AT ALL. Not only did they feel a tad underdeveloped, but they also had no redeeming qualities whatsoever and I really couldn't care less about what happened to them. Leonard himself is particularly despicable, and I kept wondering how somebody would actually care about this cheating piece of garbage being framed. Martha on the other hand is basically a stalker, and I guess the two deserve each other... I can't say that I enjoyed spending time with either POV, and the fact that the story went for a multiple POV structure with even more unlikeable characters only made things worse.

I can't put my finger exactly on the why, but there was also something about the writing style and tone that simply didn't sit right with me. Apart from the blatant cheating (and the main character not even feeling guilty about it), the pace was a bit all over the place as well and there were parts that started to get repetitive. There wasn't really anything overly intriguing to keep me reading and even though the ending did provide some clever twists, I do think they came too late to fully save this story for me.

All in all The Dark Room ended up being a story with a lot of potential, but the execution ended up being a bit of a mixed bag for me. And since the writing style was part of the problem, I'm not sure if I would try this author again any time soon.

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Leonard has just developed a picture of a woman who’s been stabbed. But he’d been there when she died – from a blunt force trauma! How does that make sense? Five years ago, Leonard, a crime journalist, had picked up the girl in a bar, got her drunk, gone back to her hotel room and given her a couple of lines of coke although she claimed she had never done drugs. He was on the bed anticipating a great time, while she’d gone into the bathroom to get a condom, when there was a crash. He’d rushed into the bathroom to find her on the floor, motionless and not breathing, with an obvious headwound, surrounded by a large pool of blood. Envisaging his fiancée dumping him and his career in ruins, he cut and ran. However, his guilt gets him anyway – bye-bye fiancée and full-time career, hullo loneliness. His only escape, and his only companionship comes from a new hobby, which involves buying (eBay, boot sales, bric-a-brac stalls) lost or discarded film cassettes and developing them. He imagines the lifes of the people in the pictures and discusses the hobby on-line, but never meets any of the other hobbyists. The picture of the dead girl was taken recently but he’s not sure where he got the film from. Perhaps it was in a batch that he’d bought from a stall – a batch that he’d been steered to by an online friend. He contacts her, Martha, they agree to meet and a platonic relationship develops quite quickly. Ruling out coincidence, they suspect a set-up. But who and why? The investigation takes up the rest of the book.
The plot works extremely well, perhaps a bit too linear if you read it fast and unthinkingly. However, there are lots of subliminal things going on, always a feeling that no character is quite what they appear to be; always a suspicion that not all is being revealed because no one is ever telling the whole truth. Speaking of characters, the old Leonard is really quite an unlikable fellow, although he seems to be redeemed during the investigation, and the old Martha seems to be too vanilla, but does have hidden depths. An unlikely couple, with unresolved issues, but I think we may be in line to find out more about them and their relationship. As regards the writing style, I found it quite refreshing with a light touch and very easy to glide through, although the author is perhaps a bit enthusiastic about similes. The double twisted ending is surprising, a function of that subliminal feeling I mentioned above. Overall, I don’t think it’s a perfect 5 but equally it’s a solid 4.5.
I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

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Loved the idea of old films being developed and never knowing what you will see.
Leonard finds a picture of a dead body that brings back images of something that had happened earlier. Trying to find answers with help from an online friend Martha.
Loved the premise of the book but personally had a hard time getting into it. The characters just didn't pull me in.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.

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I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a very twisty read that had my guessing at times to try and work out how Leonard saw someone murdered a few years earlier than saw her murdered in the present day!.

I also loved the idea of the old school camera films as that brought back a lot of memories from growing up as that’s all we had and I loved it.

This is a thrilling book that I’ll recommend to others .

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This book was very different from any of Lisa Gray's work I have read in the past. It almost has a crime noir feel, I was expecting Humphrey Bogart to turn up any minute. This is not a criticism, far from it. This is probably the most exciting book I have read this year. It has so many really tense moments and more twists and turns than a labyrinth. This is a book that absolutely cries out to be made into a film and I for one would be first in the queue in the cinema .

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The Dark Room was a fantastic thriller, that I enjoyed reading with my spooky collection in October. I was shocked at the ending, one I was not expecting at all, and yet it fit into the story line flawlessly.
Between Lisa Gray’s writing style and the intriguing concept of developing “mystery film” I was hooked on the story. This was my first of Gray’s novels, but will not be my last.

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A brilliant thriller, literally on the edge of my seat. Also a great insight into the minds of strange hobbies. Brilliant dark story

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance read of this book.
Wow, this was amazing! A quick read, so hard to put down! My first book by Lisa Gray and i loved it. Dark and thrilling to the end. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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I really enjoyed 2 of Lisa Gray’s Jessica Shaw PI mysteries (Dark Highway and Lonely Hearts, so I jumped on this opportunity to read another mystery by this writer, a standalone this time. A plot revolving around amateur photo processors seemed very promising, but I didn’t quite warm up to it. I’d prefer Jessica Shaw any minute!

I remember back in the days before digital photography how you’d give your rolls to a specialist, and wondering what those people saw every day (of course there were machines, but in theory the person would still be able to see whatever private secret you’d capture on your old Leica, Rolleiflex etc….). Apparently some people have the hobby to buy old analog film rolls (in flea markets) and to develop them, just to get a kick of the surprises they’ll find there. Why not? But what to do when you develop a roll of a crime scene?

Up till this very sentence I was all for it. But then when you add the information that the person actually knows the victim, and that the victim is supposed to have died several years before, I was… wait, what? Isn’t that a little bit over the top? I think the author asked too much suspension of disbelief from her readers. I didn’t really like any of the main characters, and there were just too many twists and lies to my liking. Too many coincidences, too many implausible situations. Lisa Gray is still a master of suspense and so you can’t really abandon this one mid-course, but by the end of it, I was underwhelmed.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. I received a free copy of this book for review consideration.

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The summary of this book sounded interesting and I have read other books by this author that I enjoyed. The story was confusing (to me) and unfortunately not as interesting as the premise. Leonard Blaylock has gone from a relevant crime reporter to collecting and viewing abandoned rolls of film. He never knows what could be on the film and establishes his own processing lab. Lucky for him, as on one of the rolls there is a picture of a woman who had been murdered, a woman who he believes he watched die of an overdose five years ago. He was cheating on his fiancée at the time, so of course things go from bad to worse. I finished the book, but truly couldn’t recommend it. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (paytonpuppy)

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I’m a big fan of Lisa Gray’s Jessica Shaw P.I. series and so was keen to read her first published stand-alone thriller. It’s a great read.

Leonard Blaylock used to be a crime reporter and now he spends his days trawling sales and fairs for used rolls of 35mm film taken by strangers, which he develops. He’s fascinated by other people’s photographs and loves to think about who the people might be and what they were doing when the unknown photographer caught them on camera.

But he’s taken aback when he develops one roll of film only to find that it has been recently taken and that it shows the body of a young woman – a woman who has very clearly been murdered. Leonard is shaken. Finding a photo like this is bad enough, but he knows this woman. He knows her because five years ago he was there when she died.

It was, unsurprisingly, a night he will never forget. As a crime reporter he was riding high. He had a great career, was in love with his beautiful fiancée. And one terrible night changed all that for ever. It’s a night Leonard has never recovered from.

So how on earth has this photograph now emerged? If the woman wasn’t dead five years ago, what happened? And how did she come to be dead now?

Lisa Gray takes us through Leonard’s grisly recollections of that night 5 years ago when the woman he knew as ‘Red’ died. She’d been a casual attraction and what was an unplanned one night stand went horribly wrong. Leonard ran and never looked back, but his life was never the same again. His fiancée, a rising star in television, presenter Caroline Cooper ditched him unceremoniously and his career tanked.

Leonard turns to photographer Martha Weaver to help him figure out what has happened. She shares his fascinating with abandoned rolls of film and the two have become online friends in a forum for those who share this hobby.

Lisa Gray’s story is beautifully rendered. It twists and turns and keeps us endlessly captivated as new angles emerge and Leonard gets closer to finding out what happened the night he fled from a murder scene.

The Dark Room is told from a number of points of view. As the story unfolds we begin to see that this is a story as coiled as a python and just as likely to squeeze the life out of any of its characters. Not everyone is telling the truth and there are layers of deceit which build into a huge pyramid of lies that is in danger of toppling and bringing everything down.

Verdict: I really enjoyed the layering in this story and the way Lisa Gray slowly unfurls the truth, leaving us gasping right to the end. This is a terrific, well-paced read which will keep you guessing all the way through.

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Secrets, lies, betrayals, and revenge…

Five years of guilt have tormented Leonard Blaylock, once a crime reporter for a major publication now a freelance journalist, a man just surviving the loss of his career and his fiancé by an act he committed that he cannot forget.

Leonard has a unique hobby that gives him some pleasure, buying and developing discarded rolls of film. The photographs provide a glimpse into the lives of strangers, a mystery to be solved by his imagination but there is a danger to such a pastime that he has now learned. On his latest roll of developed film can be seen the murder of a woman, a woman he’d known five years ago when he’d seen her die yet the picture in this film is not years old. If she didn’t die then, then what really happened the night his life went into a downward spiral? Someone wanted Leonard to think that the woman had died then but who? And what are the chances that five years later Leonard would find a picture of someone he’d known let alone thought he’d killed? Quite an amazing and unlikely coincidence.

Having pushed away all his real-world friends Leonard turns to an online buddy on a photography forum for advice, Martha Weaver, who agrees to meet with him. She’s intrigued by what he’s found and also appalled by the story he relates but she’ll help him and so begins their investigation into the truth of what happened five years ago. This reader wondered why a woman would agree to help a man who is basically a stranger after the story she’d been told, the answer to that question lies within the story.

This was an intriguing and unusual tale riddled with twists, secrets, and lies. The protagonists and others you meet along the way are not the most likable of people yet the author makes you feel for what some have been through but not totally because they did deserve some of what they received. It’s also a tale of revenge multiplied but whose ultimate revenge is the question to be solved. The book is well-written and suspenseful, beware of the unreliable narrator that this reader did not see coming, the unseen manipulator. There’s a great twisted different kind of ending, it’s told to the readers by the main protagonists, and I have to say that Leonard and Martha truly deserve each other.

This book is different from the author’s Jessica Shaw series which features an intelligent, likable, relatable, private investigator solving cases. This is a stand-alone novel filled with unusual off-kilter individuals whose sense of morality is questionable as is their psychological state of mind. The plot holds the reader’s attention easily, and is unraveled through the use of multiple points of view and jumps in the timeline. There is no lack of suspicious characters, betrayals, and blackmail abound and there’s an underlying perception of deception throughout the book which keeps the reader guessing.

An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.

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As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to read it.

It was a fantastic read, well fleshed out characters and a good, engaging storyline. A red herring here, a red here there - keeping the reader guessing all the way. I read it in one day - enjoying it throughout, I was pleasantly surprised by the writing and how this wasn’t exactly what I would call your run of the mill thriller.

Overall it was a great read, and I would be very interested to read more from this author.

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The Dark Room by Lisa Gray is a highly recommended thriller full of lies and betrayal.

Leonard Blaylock was a crime reporter before he cheated on his fiancée, Caroline Cooper, which ended very badly for his relationship and career. Now he freelances and spends most of his days buying and developing mystery film, the forgotten and discarded rolls of film of strangers. When he develops one roll, he finds pictures of a murdered woman. Leonard recognizes the woman as "Red," a woman he had a one-night stand with five years earlier, the night he thought she died, the night Leonard lost his fiancée and career. If she didn't die five years ago, then what really happened and who was she.

Leonard is an unappealing character, however readers will be sympathetic to his current situation, when he realizes he was deceived five years earlier and it was certainly a planned event. But it is also clear he was using drugs, cheating on his fiancée, and fled the scene when he thought Red had died. He contacts Martha Weaver, a woman he knows who is also into mystery film. The two begin to work together to try and figure out what happened five years ago,

The plot unfolds through the point-of-view of several different characters, and also moves in different timelines. This allows tension to build because you don't know exactly what happened and who did what. Leonard may have been behaving badly five years earlier, but he wasn't the only on harboring secrets and schemes. Oh, the darkness that hides in the human heart. There are multiple suspects and duplicity is prevalent at every turn. With the disclosure of new information uncovered during the investigations by Leonard and Martha, the narrative includes plenty of twists and surprises.

The story line moves forward at a steady pace as the new clues and information are revealed. At times you will have to suspend some disbelief, but this is an entertaining thriller. 3.5 rounded up.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.
The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Edelweiss, and Amazon.

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I really enjoyed The Dark Room. The title, cover and blurb made me want to read the book. I read a lot of thrillers. The Dark Room ticks all of the boxes for the things I enjoy; fast pace, complex characters and plenty of twists and turns. This is a good thriller, similar to other titles I’ve enjoyed. The pace of the book is perfect for a thriller. I liked the way the book is paced, and the big reveals come at the perfect time. This gets a thumbs up from me.

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This was a mystery set in a dark gloomy background, it enthralled me from the start and made me feel uncomfortable whilst reading, which is good as it sets the tone of what’s to come

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I really enjoyed The Dark Room. It had plenty of twists, turns and red herrings that kept me gripped throughout meaning I could not put it down.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.

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Lisa Gray has succeeded in creating an engaging thriller, with a twist I never imagined!

The story begins with a cheating fiancé, approaching his wedding date, but contemplating his one last fling.
From that point on, we learn about people who buy old, “mystery” undeveloped film cannisters as a hobby, and
“Honey trapping”, a form of surveillance used by private detectives. ( both things I’d never heard of)
As the plot develops, we are thrown into the lives of five characters, who play significant roles in the story. Entire chapters tell each character’s story and how they interact in the plot.

The story has murder, revenge, love, hate and a giant twist at the end!

This was an enjoyable book, well written and easy to read!
5 stars!
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer publications for the ARC, in return for my unbiased review.

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I've often wondered how an author takes an idea and develops it into a book length story.
In THE DARK ROOM, Leonard was once a successful member of society. But his involvement in the death of a young woman was essentially a land mine that once he stepped on it, everything he touched turned to loss and failure. So Leonard spends his time buying and developing old rolls of film, looking for unusual pictures he could sell to raise money. The story takes a HUGE jump when one of the photos is that of a woman's murder BUT, the woman is the same one Leonard saw die five years before this picture was taken. The death that bombed Leonard's life.
This is definitely an original plot line. I'm sure there are people who collect old film canisters and develop them, but I've never met anyone who does. What Lisa Gray has skillfully woven the concept into a mystery/ thriller that pulls several "what if" scenes together into a pretty good " i didn't see that coming" book. Definitely should be read when you have more than 30 minutes to read because you are not going to put it down. Just a few more pages is going to keep you up very late to finish.

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