After The Darkness

Author: Honey Brown
ISBN: 978-0-670-07597-3
RRP: $29.95

After The Darkness was very different to a lot of what I have been reading lately and took me back to my teenage days. Very early on I got a distinct Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses type feeling.

Happy couple on a lovely romantic holiday drive past a secluded art gallery, the sign is one they’ve never seen before and they only spot it this time because they slowed to watch the flight of two majestic wedge-tailed eagles. Curiosity gets the better of them and they stop for a look.The gallery is deserted, not a car in sight and there is an atmosphere of unease but still they venture in to take a look.

The events that take place next set the tone for the rest of the novel and certainly set the gears to turning. It’s creepy, suspenseful and edge of your seat. It’s a dark place our lovely married couple find themselves in and it takes sheer determination to escape, though far from unscathed. The hours Trudy and Bruce spend in the gallery are sure to colour the rest of their lives, but how to keep it from tainting the lives of those they love is a question with no right answer, but plenty of wrong ones.

after the darkness

After The Darkness is an intense psychological thriller focusing more on the after effects of the traumatic experience than the incident itself. It’s in the lingering effects that follow them home and direct their every move thereafter.

The experience that Trudy and Bruce live through in the gallery is enough to scar anyone, and it’s a position you are going to do everything you can to get out of so I was sympathetic to their actions.

From the time they leave the gallery the decisions get a little more difficult to understand, a little more twisted and the web becomes that bit more tangled. What started as understandable reactions to a life threatening situation quickly start on a path that could end extremely badly.

There are enough tidbits scattered throughout to really get the imagination working, raise the heart-rate and make you wonder, but it remains to be seen just how many of them actually lead you to the right conclusion.

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, it made me think and it kept me at the edge of my seat hoping to stay one step ahead. Although, a lot of the characters seem a little shadowy, they weren’t brought completely to life for me, in some instances I can see that this would be intentional but even Bruce and Trudy were a little shadowy. I didn’t really get a strong sense of who they were before so it’s hard to know what you believe they might be capable of after.

Creepy and suspenseful, it kept me flicking pages to find out how it all came together, and it had me firmly in its grasp right to the very end. Until it very almost lost me when everything was too neatly wrapped up in the epilogue, I think I would have preferred to stop at the epilogue and not see what happened after. That is a strange reaction for me because quite often when I close a book for the last time I am left wondering what comes next and wishing I knew.

Overall a read I found to be engaging and a real page turner, certainly enough to make Honey Brown one of my authors to look out for.

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