Review – What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh

Posted June 22, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 8 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHughWhat's Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh
ISBN: 9780399590313
Published by Random House Publishing Group on June 22, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Psychological, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 256
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher
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Abducted as a teenager, a woman must now confront her past and untangle the truth of what really happened to her in this dark thriller from the author of The Wolf Wants In“Laura McHugh expertly delivers a harrowing tale of a world where little is what it first appears to be.”—Ron Rash, bestselling author of Serena

Seventeen-year-old Sarabeth has become increasingly rebellious since her parents found God and moved their family to a remote Arkansas farmstead where she’s forced to wear long dresses, follow strict rules, and grow her hair down to her waist. She’s all but given up on escaping the farm when a masked man appears one stifling summer morning and snatches her out of the cornfield. 

A week after her abduction, she’s found alongside a highway in a bloodstained dress—alive—but her family treats her like she’s tainted, and there’s little hope of finding her captor, who kept Sarabeth blindfolded in the dark the entire time, never uttering a word. One good thing arises from the horrific ordeal: a chance to leave the Ozarks and start a new life. 

Five years later, Sarabeth is struggling to keep her past buried when investigator Nick Farrow calls. Convinced that her case is connected to the strikingly similar disappearance of another young girl, Farrow wants Sarabeth’s help, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, even if that means dragging her back to the last place she wants to go—the hills and hollers of home, to face her estranged family and all her deepest fears. 

In this riveting new novel from Laura McHugh, blood ties and buried secrets draw a young woman back into the nightmare of her past to save a missing girl, unaware of what awaits her in the darkness.

I really enjoyed reading this book! This is the second book by Laura McHugh that I have had the opportunity to read but I have quickly become a big fan of her writing. I live in Missouri and the fact that a large part of this book was set in my home state had its appeal. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the Ozarks but there were some parts of the book that described places that I am very familiar with which was kind of fun. This is a relatively short book but it tells a big story that I found almost impossible to set aside once I started reading. I am so glad that I made the decision to pick up this book.

This book is told from Sarahbeth’s point of view. Sarahbeth was raised in a family that became very religious during her childhood. She was forced to wear her hair long, wear long dresses, and leave school to be home-schooled and wasn’t always happy about it. As a teenager, she was abducted and held captive for a week but not everyone believes that is what really happened. She was never reported missing and no leads were ever found. Five years later, there are some similarities between Sarabeth’s story and the cases of several missing girls. The investigator, Nick, convinces Sarahbeth to come with him to get her input on the current cases. She will also get a chance to confront her past and see her family again for the first time in years.

I was hooked by this mystery. I wanted to know more about what happened to Sarabeth and I was really curious about the current cases. I hated that some of the girls didn’t seem to be missed just like nobody looked for Sarabeth during her ordeal. I liked Sarabeth a lot. She has been through some terrible things and was incredibly strong. Getting involved in this case was tough but she handled herself very well. It was very eye-opening to see her with her family and the community as a whole. When pieces of the puzzle really started falling into place, I was amazed by just what was going on.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I found this to be a very compelling and unique story that featured a very courageous main character. I cannot wait to read more of this talented author’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley.

8 responses to “Review – What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh

  1. My heart goes out to her and the other girls who had no one looking for them. This does seem like a captivating mystery. I’ll have to give her a try.

  2. Oh this sounds really good! I haven’t come across this one and it sounds a bit different from anything I’ve ever read. Definitely adding to my TBR! Thanks for sharing!