Book Review: The Girl in the Dark (Marion Pauw)

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Iris, a feisty lawyer with a young son, discovers a secret about her family that shakes her to the core. She has an older brother, Ray, which she was never told about. A brother her mother kept a secret from her. This brother is in prison for murder. Iris begins to pry and the family secrets begin to unravel into a classic tale of whodunit…

If you have read any of my previous reviews (or know me, personally) you know that I am “ride or die” for split narratives. I love being able get both characters perspectives. This story gives us the narration from Iris and from Ray.

Both of these characters are complex and well developed. They really are “real” characters. Iris is overworked and stressed as she raises her son on her own. She gets wrapped up in some family drama and begins to look for the truth.   I especially loved the chapters surrounding Ray. Readers are left wondering if he is actually mentally unstable or simply misunderstood.

The plot itself is told slowly and meticulously but then unravels quickly at the end. I usually am not a fan of this. Usually, when this happens in other novels, I feel like the ending is being rushed. However, with this novel it works. I truly was left wondering what was going on until the very end. It was a true suspense novel.

My only complaint, and this is purely being picky, was that I would have appreciated a perspective from the mother. It would have been interesting to hear her rational every few chapters to how she came to decide to keep Ray a secret or how she was handing his murder charges as she kept them a secret from her new family.

Nonetheless, I loved Marion Pauw’s debut American novel and I will for sure be reading more!

 WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK? Yes. It was a smooth read with a fantastic ending.


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