November 24, 2020

We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin


Michael Joseph | 6 August 2020 | 352 pgs
Source: Library 

"We are all the same in the dark.
My mother said that to me when she kissed me good night.
She meant that in the dark, all that's left is our souls." ~ Pg 215

Julia Heaberlin really knows how to write a gripping atmospheric suspense. Not only that, her writing has a literary prose and there's an edge and depth in her characterisations that makes this thriller such an exceptional reading experience.

Told from three narratives, this is a slow burn mystery that demands the reader's attention and patience and let me just say it's all worth the wait. The reader is first introduced to Wyatt Branson, who lives alone in the desolation of his old family house. Once tried and sentenced for his sister's disappearance, he is later cleared of wrongdoing due to lack of evidence but he'll be forever associated with the case and remains a suspect in the eyes of the people in his town. His isolated life is then disturbed when he finds a girl dumped in a field of dandelions. Wyatt believes she's a sign from his missing sister, Trumanell; and the more he's some bittersweet sentiments about dandelions. He knew there's only one person whom he could tell about the girl.

And this leads the reader to the next narrative of young police officer, Odette Tucker. Odette and Wyatt have known each other for years and given different circumstances they might still be happily in love with each other but sometimes, things aren't what you expected and unfortunate incidents could tear a person and relationship apart. Odette still think of Trumanell and seeing the girl Wyatt brought to her has once again reminds her of Trumanell and the unsolved case. On top of it, she feels a bond with this girl considering of their handicap - she having lost a leg and the girl an eye. She makes it a mission to unravel the mystery surrounding the girl and why she seems to be fleeing from someone. 

Five years have passed then and Angel/Angie is thankful of Odette for her kindness and for getting a prosthetic eye through her help. In this last narrative of Angel, the reader finally get to know about her past and how the long-buried secrets of the legendary cold case would eventually unearth throughout the years. 

Julia Heaberlin is a new-to-me author and I fell in love with her writing style and her storytelling skills after reading this book. She knows how to get your attention from the beginning and her characterisations are simply outstanding, never mind if they're flawed. Despite the slow burn, there's still an edge of suspense and intensity which makes you curious and feel connected with the characters as the story progresses. Julia's writing is beautiful and poetic at times and she's defined beauty and strength at its best through the portrayal of Angel and Odette. A twisty and an extraordinary psychological thriller which would make you think long after you close the book. 
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  1. I'm intrigued by both book and author. Will have to give them both a try. :)

    1. Lark - Hope you'll enjoy it if you get to this book, Lark. :)

  2. I have been impressed by each of Heaberlin's novels, but this one had something a little different and special. The first sentence was certainly a hook and a reference.

    1. Jenclair - Totally agree with that first sentence! Such a great opening and I'm glad the story continues to deliver. Will definitely check out her other books!

  3. I tried reading one of her books a while back but think it was a case of right book, wrong time. Definitely want to give her another try and this could be the one!

    1. Iliana - That does happens sometimes, don't they? Right book but wrong time. Hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it, Iliana.


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