Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Review: "Find You in the Dark" by Nathan Ripley

I had this feeling of pervasive dread while reading Nathan Ripley's Find You in the Dark, kind of like watching a horror movie. I wasn't exactly sure what would happen but the tone of the book was so creepy that I kept reading while waiting for something bad to occur.

Martin Reese is a technology executive who was able to retire very early in order to spend more time with his wife and teenage daughter. But he fills his days in a very unusual way—using police files on serial killers that he buys illicitly, he finds long-buried bodies of their victims and unearths them. Then he calls the police anonymously and lets them know where they can find the bodies, although not without taunting them a little.

He doesn't do this for the glory or for some kind of weird or sexual urge. He does this simply to help the families who have spent years, perhaps even decades, without being able to put their loved ones to rest to get some closure. The only souvenirs he takes from his "digs" are photos, photos which he includes in a computer scrapbook that gets locked away.

One police detective doesn't see Martin's "work" as magnanimous; she thinks that if he's digging up these bodies there must be something else wrong with him. Will he soon lead them to bodies he murdered and buried on his own? She wants to apprehend this individual she has dubbed "The Finder" before he gives them something inexplicable to find.

And that's not the only attention Martin is getting. When he buys the file of infamous serial killer Jason Shurn, whom he believes might have abducted and murdered his wife's sister nearly 20 years ago, and he locates a body, he finds a recently murdered corpse in the same gravesite. It turns out that Martin may be uncovering someone else's kills as well—and they're not too happy about it. How far will they go to get him to stop?

While comparisons to Dexter are inevitable, Find You in the Dark is totally different. It does have a dark, creepy tone, and while it has a similar feel to many other thrillers out there, it definitely has a somewhat unique concept. Ripley knows how to ratchet up the suspense, and even though in the end things turned out a little more predictably than I expected, I definitely wondered where he would take the plot.

I thought this was a good read, although the pacing moved a little slower than many other thrillers. This isn't a book that will leave you breathless, but it definitely will leave you wondering what happens next.

NetGalley and Atria Books provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

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