The more I think about this book, the more I realize that there are many aspects of it that separate it from others. There is no romance and it focuses on the middle class rather than the upper class. These two facts alone separate it from many other thriller novels.
The Darkest Corners follows Tessa as she returns to her hometown to say goodbye to her dying father in prison. Tessa is reluctant to return home because as a child she testified in a high profile serial killer case with her best friend. Secrets are unearthed and memories become blurry as the past slowly starts to take place in the present.
The main character Tessa reminded me very much of a Gillian Flynn style character; meaning she’s incredibly flawed and doesn’t try to hide it. Tessa isn’t as evil as some of Flynn’s more notable characters, but there’s a grittiness to her. This grittiness isn’t just present in Tessa’s character, but within the entire story because of the writing style. Every scene is vivid and the emotions of the characters leap off the pages.
As I mentioned previously, there’s no romance in this novel. Tessa doesn’t fall in love while she’s investigating her past. She investigates her past with her ex-best friend Callie, which creates an amusing dynamic between the two friends. It’s awkward, tense, and hostile at times. Their friendship is strained and is about to collapse.
What made me ultimate rate The Darkest Corners 3.5 stars instead of something higher is the very slow pace of the book and its seemingly almost perfect conclusion. The book takes about 100 pages to get going, but even after it quickly returns to a slow pace. I think that if the pacing of the story was a little bit faster I would have enjoyed it much more. The conclusion at the end was interesting and I enjoyed reading how everything played out, but I wish the author had showed the ending rather than tell it. Give us readers a little more credit; you don’t have to directly tell us what happened in bullet point fashion so we understand.
Overall, The Darkest Corners was an interesting read that only becomes more interesting after you’ve sat and thought about it. The unique elements the author decided to include set this thriller apart from others and makes it worth the read.