September 18

In the Dark by Chris Patchell


In the Dark by Chris Patchell
Published in 2015
Publisher: Kindle Press
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 426
Source: Review Copy

When the worst happens and her daughter goes missing, a mother will do anything to find her…

In the fast-paced suspense novel, In the Dark by Chris Patchell, Marissa Rooney’s daughter, Brooke, has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. Standing in the middle of her daughter’s dorm room with a half-used vial of insulin clenched in her hand, Marissa comes to the terrifying realization that if she has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.
The missing person’s investigation takes a sudden and deadly turn when the police discover the body of another college student who went missing a week before Brooke. Desperate to find her daughter, Marissa fears time is running out.
But she isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from Marissa’s past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…In the dark. 


In the Dark by Chris Patchell is a novel riddled with suspense that will keep you reading from page one! I read into the early morning hours and dreaded having to leave it at home when I went off to work.

It tells the gruelling story of a mother, Marissa Rooney, who will do anything to find her missing daughter. Along the way Marissa manages to get the support of a high profile lawyer, Elizabeth Holt, and that of Seth Crawford, the detective in charge of her daughters’ case.

Patchell uses several viewpoint characters to tell its story, one of which is the culprit. I always enjoy reading from the culprit’s perspective, especially if they are some kind of socio- or psychopath. I just love to see them slowly unravelling, their minds deteriorating, as the story progresses. Even though the culprit was my favourite, probably hinting towards my own psyche, Patchell gave each of the other viewpoint characters their own unique voice and I really enjoyed them all.

Quote2The plot is well defined, dark and keeps you guessing all the way. Not necessarily about who the culprit is, that you find out pretty quick if you are observant enough, but more about their motivations. Why each character acts the way they do? How their past shapes and influences their futures? It’s these motivations that kept me reading, and having a type 1 diabetic girl kidnapped and left in a dark room with little to no insulin, didn’t hurt either.

I also loved Patchell’s use of the weather, such as dark clouds and skylines, rain and floods with a little bit of arson in between just to change things up. It just drives home the darkness of it all and links up beautifully with the whole setting and the title, In the Dark.

While reading In the Dark I was reminded of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, not that the plots are similar at all, but rather just the same kind of dark feel. I can say with certainty that if you enjoyed Gone Girl, you will most definitely not be disappointed with In the Dark. It is a dark thriller that will keep you wanting more even after you’ve put it down.

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Posted September 18, 2015 by Natasha B in category "Chris Patchell", "Mystery Book Club


  1. By Elmien on

    The weather is definitely something I can relate and “imagine” the plot even better….

    1. By Natasha B (Post author) on

      I can quite believe. I also just love the use of environmental elements in novels to carve an additional layer of complexity whether intentional or not.


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