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Dark Currents

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No one ever talks about what happens in Little Compton... When David left home three years ago, he never looked back. Now, the only connection to his tiny New England hometown is his grandmother Maggie, whose mind is unraveling as she slowly succumbs to dementia. But when her best friend turns up dead and she may be the sole witness to the crime, David has no choice but to No one ever talks about what happens in Little Compton... When David left home three years ago, he never looked back. Now, the only connection to his tiny New England hometown is his grandmother Maggie, whose mind is unraveling as she slowly succumbs to dementia. But when her best friend turns up dead and she may be the sole witness to the crime, David has no choice but to return to a place that never accepted his trans-identity and only ever wanted him gone. Maggie's testimony is shrouded in doubt--in between moments of lucidity she talks about things that never happened, about apparitions, disappearances, and murders. But are they really only stories? After a man's death sets off a hauntingly familiar chain of events, it seems there's some truth to Maggie's words. With a body count on the rise, David begrudgingly plugs back into the tight-knit community to seek out the truth. And while David returns home a changed man, he finds that the ghosts of his past have waited for him. He'll have to face them head-on before he can begin to unravel his grandmother's story and finally put to rest the mysteries of this little town, lost in the fog.


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No one ever talks about what happens in Little Compton... When David left home three years ago, he never looked back. Now, the only connection to his tiny New England hometown is his grandmother Maggie, whose mind is unraveling as she slowly succumbs to dementia. But when her best friend turns up dead and she may be the sole witness to the crime, David has no choice but to No one ever talks about what happens in Little Compton... When David left home three years ago, he never looked back. Now, the only connection to his tiny New England hometown is his grandmother Maggie, whose mind is unraveling as she slowly succumbs to dementia. But when her best friend turns up dead and she may be the sole witness to the crime, David has no choice but to return to a place that never accepted his trans-identity and only ever wanted him gone. Maggie's testimony is shrouded in doubt--in between moments of lucidity she talks about things that never happened, about apparitions, disappearances, and murders. But are they really only stories? After a man's death sets off a hauntingly familiar chain of events, it seems there's some truth to Maggie's words. With a body count on the rise, David begrudgingly plugs back into the tight-knit community to seek out the truth. And while David returns home a changed man, he finds that the ghosts of his past have waited for him. He'll have to face them head-on before he can begin to unravel his grandmother's story and finally put to rest the mysteries of this little town, lost in the fog.

49 review for Dark Currents

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Does anybody else ditch the synopsis and go into a book blind? I did with this book and the main character, David came as a complete surprise. A transgender protagonist, yes please! After leaving his New England hometown three years ago, David hasn't looked back. That is until he receives a voicemail from his grandmother, Maggie ... "...Gotta come over here and help me, there's blood everywhere, on the sink and countertop and all over the floor, I don't know what to do I just found him and I'm s Does anybody else ditch the synopsis and go into a book blind? I did with this book and the main character, David came as a complete surprise. A transgender protagonist, yes please! After leaving his New England hometown three years ago, David hasn't looked back. That is until he receives a voicemail from his grandmother, Maggie ... "...Gotta come over here and help me, there's blood everywhere, on the sink and countertop and all over the floor, I don't know what to do I just found him and I'm sure he's dead and the lobsters and it looks like his head is..." The thing is, Maggie has dementia. These calls are frequent and aren't taken seriously. And when David is unable to reach his grandmother he races back to his hometown, a place he's done his best to avoid. I enjoyed Dark Currents. A solid cast and a character driven plot. Good pace, a whole lot of suspects and an ending I didn't see coming. Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press & Sourcebooks for my review copy!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    After being gone for three years, David is returning to his hometown. He received a call from his grandmother, Maggie, babbling about a dead body, blood everywhere, and a lobster. Dementia / Alzheimer's is taking control of Maggie's mind. Rushing to his grandmother's, she seems just fine. At first she doesn't remember making the call, then she says she called the police and they ignored her. She's prone to memories that aren't ... hallucinations .... and of course, memory loss. David thinks Maggie After being gone for three years, David is returning to his hometown. He received a call from his grandmother, Maggie, babbling about a dead body, blood everywhere, and a lobster. Dementia / Alzheimer's is taking control of Maggie's mind. Rushing to his grandmother's, she seems just fine. At first she doesn't remember making the call, then she says she called the police and they ignored her. She's prone to memories that aren't ... hallucinations .... and of course, memory loss. David thinks Maggie has just had another pseudo-memory until he goes next door to check on her good friend and neighbor ..and finds her dead on the kitchen floor. Who would have wanted to kill the elderly woman, who by all who knew her, was a sweet woman who would do anything to help them. Did Maggie see the killer? Was she next door to see her friend on the floor? Maggie's testimony is shrouded in doubt—in between moments of lucidity she talks about things that never happened, about apparitions, disappearances, and murders. But are they really only stories? After a man's death sets off a hauntingly familiar chain of events, it seems there's some truth to Maggie's words. This has a well written plot, filled with intriguing characters amid the swirling mists of mystery, murder, and dark secrets. David is a unique character ... he left town as a woman and returned as a man. His historical based vocation makes him perfect for this story, as he records his grandmother and her friends about the past ... and the present. These are not your ordinary senior citizens ...they are funny, smart, and tough ... and they can take care of themselves ... and each other. There's plenty of action, plenty of suspects .. all leading to a surprising conclusion. Many thanks to the author /Poisoned Pen Press / Netgalley for the digital copy of this small town mystery. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    I’m delighted to be the first person to rate and review this book. Actually, I’m kind of surprised to be, it’s a thriller from a proper publisher, in fact a reworking of an earlier shorter work and it’s really good, with a nice cover even. I didn’t even expect it to be this good, hoped it would be, but you know how it is with trying new authors and thriller genre is way overpopulated now and all that. Plus it featured a trans protagonist and oftentimes such things can steal focus, but here it w I’m delighted to be the first person to rate and review this book. Actually, I’m kind of surprised to be, it’s a thriller from a proper publisher, in fact a reworking of an earlier shorter work and it’s really good, with a nice cover even. I didn’t even expect it to be this good, hoped it would be, but you know how it is with trying new authors and thriller genre is way overpopulated now and all that. Plus it featured a trans protagonist and oftentimes such things can steal focus, but here it was actually done right. Which is to say it was an aspect of the narrative and an aspect of the protagonist, but not the entire thing nor even the main thing. Because no one should be defined by any single thing about them, even if it’s an unusual or less conventional of a feature. So yes, David is a trans man, he left his small Rhode Island town as a woman and came back transitioned, a fact that some of the locals are dealing with easier than others. For the local sheriff who used to date David before, it’s all kinds of difficult. For David’s grandma Maggie it’s an on and off process, like most things, since her mind began to unravel. But her best lifelong friends, David’s aunts as he calls them, it’s totally fine, they are as accepting as can be. In fact, they are as golden as golden girls can be. Until one of them is found dead. Possibly murdered. David would have come back anyway, having gotten fired from his teaching position on discrimination basis, but it’s the urgent call from his grandma that speeds up the process. Now he’s back as a caretaker and finds himself embroiled further and further in the investigation. And then the body count goes up. And winter surrounds the small peninsular insular community, like the grey waters of Narragansett bay. It’s a proper New England mystery in that way. It’s a proper mystery is many ways, actually. There’s lots going on, plenty of players, variously entangled, both in past and present. In fact, some of the novel’s best stories are set in the past and recorded by David, whose historical based vocation makes him in a way a perfect detective to solve these crimes. And while the plot is excellently elaborate, what really sang for me were the characters, specifically the older ladies. David’s nice, Billy’s nice, but nice only goes so far. The ladies were fun, smart, tough, surprisingly able for their advanced years and very good at taking care of their own. No quiet retirement for them, they’ve been operating a local salvaging service for decades. Each of them a very different personality, but together they were the four musketeers of Narragansett bay…until they weren’t. So I very much enjoyed them as characters, especially Connie. Mystery wise, the novel presented an excellent number of the prerequisite plot turns and twists, right up until a gutpuncher in the very end. There are even slight supernatural aspects to it or maybe ghosts are just too inextricable from the fabric of old New England. Tone wise it varied, overall it’s fairly dramatic, it got pretty heavy at times, but then there were all these humorous times, mostly courtesy of Maggie’s dementia addled brain and there was even some romance thrown in. Something for everyone. And a great atmospheric location to frame it all. It almost would have been/might have been cozy what with the small town and grandmotherly characters, but it was definitely (fortunately) too dark for that. Plus technically not all ladies of a certain age are grandmotherly. Some are positively piratical in their bones. At any rate, I really enjoyed this book, from the story to the storytelling. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darcia Helle

    Dark Currents is a difficult book for me to review. I’d expected a dark and maybe a little eerie murder mystery, but this is more an in-depth exploration of characters and emotions. The plot is secondary, sometimes feeling like an afterthought. I love a good character study, so that would’ve been fine, except some indefinable thing didn’t quite click for me. David, our main character, is problematic. He’s transgender, which I thought was handled quite well. But he’s a college professor with a Ph.D Dark Currents is a difficult book for me to review. I’d expected a dark and maybe a little eerie murder mystery, but this is more an in-depth exploration of characters and emotions. The plot is secondary, sometimes feeling like an afterthought. I love a good character study, so that would’ve been fine, except some indefinable thing didn’t quite click for me. David, our main character, is problematic. He’s transgender, which I thought was handled quite well. But he’s a college professor with a Ph.D., whose emotional intellect is more like a young college student. I had to keep reminding myself that he was an adult male, at least a decade older than he behaved. I loved the grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s. Her character is quirky and real. The assortment of aunts are all a little too over-the-top, and the town’s only detective doesn’t appear to be much of a detective at all. Like David, the detective also feels immature. Pacing is extremely slow and the plot’s scope limited, so we don’t have many twists or revelations along the way. This story is more about David’s journey of acceptance of his own situation and his grandmother’s decline, as well as coming to terms with long-hidden secrets kept by the people he loves. *I received a free copy from Poisoned Pen Press.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Morgan

    3.5 stars Not quite a cozy but quaint nonetheless. David gets a call from his dementia addled grandma that there's a body and a lobster. Having just lost his job he quickly goes back to the small coastal town he left as a girl a few years ago. When he gets there he finds his grandma's next door neighbor dead on her kitchen floor with a lobster loose and this begins the mystery, did his grandma witness a murder? With her unreliable memories it's hard to tell. As this slow burn, character driven sto 3.5 stars Not quite a cozy but quaint nonetheless. David gets a call from his dementia addled grandma that there's a body and a lobster. Having just lost his job he quickly goes back to the small coastal town he left as a girl a few years ago. When he gets there he finds his grandma's next door neighbor dead on her kitchen floor with a lobster loose and this begins the mystery, did his grandma witness a murder? With her unreliable memories it's hard to tell. As this slow burn, character driven story continues we meet David's aunt's as well as an ex-boyfriend police chief David had a history with before he transitioned. Filled with wit and humor, primarily with his elderly aunt's, as well as the issues a trans person must confront, this one held my attention but didn't have what it takes for me to love it. It's very well written, the plot flows evenly and the conclusion does come as a surprise but I'm finding it hard to put my finger on what was lacking. I did find the aunt's profession (running a wrecking and salvaging operation) and involvement in the case improbable but that is just a minor issue for me. All in all this is a fun mystery with compelling characters and while entertaining it just left me uninspired.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Dark Currents is definitely more character driven, rather than the plot driven books I prefer. The first half was incredibly slow and didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. There was a lot of focus on David and his transgender identity and less about a murder. I thoroughly enjoyed David’s character and the reality of dealing with transition and hateful slurs. It really meant a lot to me, to read about the transgender issues that are prevalent in to This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Dark Currents is definitely more character driven, rather than the plot driven books I prefer. The first half was incredibly slow and didn’t seem like it was going anywhere. There was a lot of focus on David and his transgender identity and less about a murder. I thoroughly enjoyed David’s character and the reality of dealing with transition and hateful slurs. It really meant a lot to me, to read about the transgender issues that are prevalent in today’s society. The book definitely took an adventurous turn for the better, though. I did not see that ending coming, at all! It was quite a fun surprise. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this book was certainly different than any others I’ve read. I’m giving it 3.5 stars because the book focused more on characters, rather than a thrilling and suspenseful plot. It was still a good, worthwhile read, nonetheless.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Perry

    When David moved away from the tight-knit town of Little Compton years ago, he didn't expect to return so soon. But after receiving an alarming and confusing call from his grandmother, Maggie, who lives with dementia, he knows he has to go back and face the town that has never accepted his transgender identity. Maggie's best friend Emma is found dead and Maggie may know what happened, but things are complicated by her dwindling memory. David is left to pick up the missing pieces while dealing wi When David moved away from the tight-knit town of Little Compton years ago, he didn't expect to return so soon. But after receiving an alarming and confusing call from his grandmother, Maggie, who lives with dementia, he knows he has to go back and face the town that has never accepted his transgender identity. Maggie's best friend Emma is found dead and Maggie may know what happened, but things are complicated by her dwindling memory. David is left to pick up the missing pieces while dealing with all of the people he left behind. Doug Burgess is a great writer! I found the first part of this book to be slower paced, focusing on introducing readers to the history behind David's hometown and his previous experiences there. The characters were endearing with just the right amount of mystery. This was my first time reading a book with a trans main character, and I appreciated the insight into the challenges that transgender people may face. I've been looking for books with more diverse characters and a mysterious plot, and this one hit the mark for me. I loved the intergenerational aspect of this story. The parts when David really connects with his aunts and grandmother really stood out for me. I enjoyed learning more about each character's past and liked that they kept me guessing, especially Maggie since her memory was unreliable at times. The last part of the book was a page turner for me. By about 2/3's of the way through I didn't want to put this down. I really wanted to see how it ended and how the story came together. The ending was completely unexpected for me and I will definitely be looking for more from this author Thank you to Poisoned Pen Press for a complimentary ARC to review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Hanson

    Terrific book, much better than I expected. The main character, David was great. And he has come back home to care for his grandmother, Maggie, who has dementia. I don’t want to give anything away because there is so much going on. But, there are murders uncovered, and family history unfolding in this small town of Little Compton, RI. And I do love maritime history, pirates, and old New England tales. Some of my favorite topics.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Gaglio

    Didn’t read the whole book cover when I picked up this novel so the main character came as a complete surprise. The story is interesting but the ending is a let down. The novel works best when the author is describing the village and nautical aspects.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Autumn R

  11. 4 out of 5

    Soofa Dix

  12. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Eklund

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linkru

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Saskia

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lillian

  17. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kally Parker

  20. 4 out of 5

    hilindseymarie

  21. 4 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chandni

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Bianchi

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jaime at Bound by the Book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lou

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lane

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jaime Aziraphale Winchester

  32. 5 out of 5

    Hunter Johnson

  33. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

  34. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  35. 4 out of 5

    Paige

  36. 5 out of 5

    Papen

  37. 4 out of 5

    Dorota

  38. 4 out of 5

    ethan

  39. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  40. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

  41. 4 out of 5

    Katie Armstrong

  42. 5 out of 5

    Allison Gladney Bolin

  43. 4 out of 5

    Shannon L.

  44. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

  45. 5 out of 5

    April Sidoti

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kim Novak

  47. 4 out of 5

    kathleen nugent

  48. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Bailey

  49. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Watkins

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