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Thursday 26 July 2012

Something In The Dark by P. J. Cowan

This was a compelling thriller that draws you in right from the very beginning and has you firmly in the palm of its hand until the end.

Austin suffers from achluophobia—an irrational fear of the dark—or rather of what imagined dangers the dark may hold.  In Austin’s case, a traumatic experience when she was seven triggered her condition, one that follows her into adulthood, and when she is locked into a room with no light, she is finally compelled to seek treatment in therapy.  Despite her initial reluctance that’s peppered with a smattering of cynicism, she succumbs to the realisation that help is at last going to come in the form of her somewhat good-looking therapist, Mark. 

But the path to a cure is violently and shatteringly thrown off course by the murders of those near and dear to Austin. She is committed to finding the killer of those she loved, but the dead ends she encounters fill her with some doubts…who wants to do this to her and why?  Or, what exactly are the effects of her condition when it takes hold?

This is a thriller with a capital T.  It’s pointless thinking you’ve got the answer, because you are sent down so many cul de sacs only to find yourself having to do countless U-turns. 

Cowan’s characters are all well drawn, and she does a wonderful job of describing an idyllic area in Oregon:  the beautiful, serene backdrop is a perfect and striking contrast to the darkness and tragedy.

A tense, convincing and powerful psychological thriller.  I’m certainly going to read more from this author.  

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