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Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica. Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval's finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she's thriving. But al Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica. Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval's finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she's thriving. But all that changes when Jessie works an event where celebrities will be in attendance--including the one person from her past she must avoid at all costs: singer Shelly James. Jessie doesn't hate Shelly. Quite the opposite. One summer, she followed Shelly's tour everywhere. Only, Shelly wasn't flattered; she was terrified by Jessie's devotion--especially after Jessie was arrested. But after a year of therapy, Jessie understands what happened. She's not the same person anymore. Jessie keeps her head down, but when Shelly is found dead, Jessie's troubled past comes tumbling out and she quickly becomes a suspect in the high-profile murder. As the police close in on her, ignoring other credible leads, Jessie realizes Shelly's murder will be pinned on her--the perfect scapegoat--unless she finds the real killer. And no one knows Shelly's life and inner circle better than her. But she will have to go deeper into the dark--if ever she wants to find her way out.


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Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica. Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval's finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she's thriving. But al Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica. Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval's finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she's thriving. But all that changes when Jessie works an event where celebrities will be in attendance--including the one person from her past she must avoid at all costs: singer Shelly James. Jessie doesn't hate Shelly. Quite the opposite. One summer, she followed Shelly's tour everywhere. Only, Shelly wasn't flattered; she was terrified by Jessie's devotion--especially after Jessie was arrested. But after a year of therapy, Jessie understands what happened. She's not the same person anymore. Jessie keeps her head down, but when Shelly is found dead, Jessie's troubled past comes tumbling out and she quickly becomes a suspect in the high-profile murder. As the police close in on her, ignoring other credible leads, Jessie realizes Shelly's murder will be pinned on her--the perfect scapegoat--unless she finds the real killer. And no one knows Shelly's life and inner circle better than her. But she will have to go deeper into the dark--if ever she wants to find her way out.

30 review for Somewhere in the Dark

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    If you're looking for a unique thriller, folks, this is it. Psychologist/Author R. J. Jacobs has crafted a premise and plot that I haven't experienced yet; our protagonist is a young woman who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her foster parents, which caused permanent cognitive and developmental damage to Jess, both physically and emotionally. Based on the synopsis, I wasn't sure if our leading lady would be someone we are supposed to root for, or someone who would end up passing on t If you're looking for a unique thriller, folks, this is it. Psychologist/Author R. J. Jacobs has crafted a premise and plot that I haven't experienced yet; our protagonist is a young woman who suffered unimaginable abuse at the hands of her foster parents, which caused permanent cognitive and developmental damage to Jess, both physically and emotionally. Based on the synopsis, I wasn't sure if our leading lady would be someone we are supposed to root for, or someone who would end up passing on the cycle of abuse, which was the greatest thrill a reader can anticipate. The two-fold storytelling nature that vacillates between Jess's past and the current murder case at hand, coupled with the snappy, short nature of the book, really had my attention held from beginning to end, and the emotional component on top of the suspenseful story truly gave this book a compulsive nature. I really appreciated how the author chose to include, not only his knowledge of psychology to provide an authentic nature to the story, but also dove deeply into normalizing the importance of mental health care in a time where America still, unfortunately, considers such topics taboo. There are quite a few disturbing components to this tale, so those sensitive to disturbing content might want to pass, but if you enjoy a dark mystery with a unique spin, I highly recommend picking this one up! *Many thanks to the author for providing my review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debra (having surgery will be back in a few days)

    "Kindness can break your heart." Jessie Duvall suffered abuse and neglect as a child. As an adult, she is working to make a better life for herself. She has an apartment, a job with a catering company, and lives a quiet life. Everything seems to be going well for her until a catering gig takes her to the home of celebrities - including the one she has been ordered to stay away - Shelly James. One Summer, Jessie followed Shelly's country music tour everywhere. It wasn't flattery, Shelly James "Kindness can break your heart." Jessie Duvall suffered abuse and neglect as a child. As an adult, she is working to make a better life for herself. She has an apartment, a job with a catering company, and lives a quiet life. Everything seems to be going well for her until a catering gig takes her to the home of celebrities - including the one she has been ordered to stay away - Shelly James. One Summer, Jessie followed Shelly's country music tour everywhere. It wasn't flattery, Shelly James took it as stalking, and subsequently, Jessie was arrested. "It's always the quiet ones." Jessie has been working on herself, attending therapy, and working hard. But then Shelly James is found murdered and Jessie's past will come back to haunt her. Jessie knows the police will be looking at her and she takes it upon herself to find the real killer. I found this book to be enjoyable, but it failed to completely suck me in and blow me away. The premise is good. I even found it extremely plausible that Jessie would be looked at as the suspect. I do wish the author would have delved more into her difficulties that resulted from her abuse and neglect. At the beginning of the book, her therapist talks about her difficulties and struggles, and yet she can able to take on a search for the real killer. This one will take some suspending of disbelief, with her character. The writing was solid, and the pacing was spot on. Overall, an enjoyable book that many are enjoying more than I did so please check out their reviews as well. Plus, how about that cover? I received a copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    4.5 stars. This psychological thriller begins with a shocking premise and follows up with suspense through and through. Gripping from the first page to the last, this novel is a page-turner and had me wrecked in under 50 pages. Somewhere in The Dark tells the story of a young woman who has gone through the foster care system as a child and experienced extreme neglect - her foster parents kept her in a dark closet for over a year and she is now trying to integrate into adult life. Jessie Duval ha 4.5 stars. This psychological thriller begins with a shocking premise and follows up with suspense through and through. Gripping from the first page to the last, this novel is a page-turner and had me wrecked in under 50 pages. Somewhere in The Dark tells the story of a young woman who has gone through the foster care system as a child and experienced extreme neglect - her foster parents kept her in a dark closet for over a year and she is now trying to integrate into adult life. Jessie Duval has come a long way. In her little Nashville apartment, she has adapted to feel safe within her surroundings. With musicians sharing the apartment building, and the muffled voices on the other side of the walls, she manages her OCD around the daily rhythms of life. Ms. Parsons is her therapist at the Community Mental Health Center, and she knows Jessie best. Though it is hard to attain normalcy and not feel different or ousted by others who know of her story, she is faithfully going to her sessions but finds Ms. Parsons curious. "How do you talk about only being able to imagine the things around you, and never see them? When I lived inside the closet it was very, very important to keep my things organized so I could find them by feel in the dark. I only had a few possessions, so the world seemed tiny. But the space in my mind became huge. There isn't a good way to describe it." In that time in the dark, Jessie became obsessed with the country music records of Shelly and Owen James, since all she had was a little music player. Later, this obsession landed her in jail after she was stalking the music band behind the scenes. Today, Jessie is working tirelessly to have her life in order. She has a little car and works in the catering business always a bit short of making ends meet. Finally, with good progress and decisions, she is over the temptations of visiting Shelly James, but, when a catering job takes her exactly to the singer's home, she becomes suspect when Shelly James turns up murdered. And so, the suspense begins and throws this book into a rollercoaster of a ride with characters and situations that Jessie must weed through to prove her innocence and frame the real murderer. When she risks her life to uncover the mystery, she finds herself back in the dark, but that is where she is her best! Her amplified senses are what should keep her alive! *** This book was so engrossing and broke my heart from the start. Jessie’s mind makes the quiet scream and the dark echo as she sees it. Such a visceral and disturbing experience and yet that is exactly what trauma is. I completely understood Jessie’s overall naivety and her thought processes and believe they aligned perfectly with a person coping in a world that is much larger than their own after such horrific events. Not everything about this character was broken though. Jessie had an extreme sense of right and wrong and an inquisitive nature which led her to solve the case of the murder. It didn’t make her a hero, but it showed she had some real fight in her to defend what was right. A side character that I really enjoyed was Detective Marion. He had known Jessie since her time in jail, since he was the one who put her there. Yet, he sees something in that young woman that makes him risk everything to solve the murder. As he is taken off the case, it is his ideas that nudge Jessie in the right direction. Their interaction in the novel was a very endearing addition. I also enjoyed reading a novel in modern-day Nashville. I generally shy away from popular Southern-style fiction as I find myself simply not enjoying those. Though I live in the south, I am not from the southern states. However, the music scene in Somewhere in The Dark was of stark contrast and set a great atmosphere…from the little musicians everywhere on the streets, the bars, the restaurants, and the apartment buildings dreaming to make it big, to the successful rich and famous. The entire city is dowsed in Country music. For a page-turner that is as shattering as it is suspenseful, I highly recommend readers to pick this up. I loved it and will certainly read more books by this author. Happy Reading. More of my reviews here: Through Novel Time & Distance

  4. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4 Unique Character Stars Jessie makes this book! She’s a character you root for like crazy and hope that she can keep her act together. After overcoming a horrible childhood bouncing from foster home to foster home, including being locked up in a closet in the dark for over a year, Jessie is finally on the right track. She’s got a job she loves at a catering company preparing food, her own apartment that she keeps tidy as a pin, and a therapist that she likes. This one is set in Nashville and I r 4 Unique Character Stars Jessie makes this book! She’s a character you root for like crazy and hope that she can keep her act together. After overcoming a horrible childhood bouncing from foster home to foster home, including being locked up in a closet in the dark for over a year, Jessie is finally on the right track. She’s got a job she loves at a catering company preparing food, her own apartment that she keeps tidy as a pin, and a therapist that she likes. This one is set in Nashville and I really liked that setting. We learn more about the awful year in the closet and the fact that all she had was a discman and one CD to listen to over and over – the hit country duo of Shelly and Owen James. This CD is the only thing that helps her keep her sanity that year, so it’s not surprising that when she’s finally discovered in the closet and out on her own, she seeks out the James family following them on tour. The problem is that what she’s really doing is stalking the musicians and eventually it all falls apart at a concert. The book’s pace and tension really pick up when Jessie ends up catering at a party where the James couple shows up, she’s required to keep her distance by court order. Things take a tragic turn and soon Jessie is suspect #1 for the police. My anxiety for Jessie was ratcheting up with every turn of events. This one made me think about what early trauma does to a person and how hard you have to work to overcome that and find traditional success and happiness. Jessie was doing so well and had learned some great coping techniques from her therapist to help with anxiety. She had a job that really worked well for her and she was following all the rules. When something goes wrong, the system/the police seem to be very quick to forget about second chances for people. It’s also easy to target these folks and try to take advantage of them. There’s a great relationship with a detective that develops and I’m hopeful that Jessie finds some real happiness and love. I also hope that she keeps her catering job. This character really got to me if I’m wishing to know more after the book ends! I also enjoyed the author's first book "And Then You Were Gone." Thank you to R.J. Jacobs, NetGalley, and Crooked Lane Books for the copy of this one to read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Jessie Duval is a unique teenager. Just 19 years old, she's spend some time behind bars... not for the usual drugs or alcohol. When she was a child, she was locked in a room with no windows for over a year. Once a day, someone would bring her a plate of food and a clean pot. She slept on a concrete floor with only a disc player. She lived with the music of Shelley and Owen James .. a country music duo. In her mind, they became her family. When she was rescued and she spent some time with a therap Jessie Duval is a unique teenager. Just 19 years old, she's spend some time behind bars... not for the usual drugs or alcohol. When she was a child, she was locked in a room with no windows for over a year. Once a day, someone would bring her a plate of food and a clean pot. She slept on a concrete floor with only a disc player. She lived with the music of Shelley and Owen James .. a country music duo. In her mind, they became her family. When she was rescued and she spent some time with a therapist, she started following the James' .... not to hurt them or scare them, but just to be close to her 'family'. Her childhood abuse left her terrified of the dark and she couldn't stand to be touched ..especially if she didn't see it coming. One night, she was discovered as she made her way to one of their concerts. A detective who was working as security grabbed her and she went crazy, grabbing a knife she carried for protection and cutting his arm. But now she has moved on. She works for a caterer, has her own apartment, her own car. She still sees her therapist .. the one person she feels she can trust. When Shelly James is murdered, Jessie is the prime suspect .... she was on the job working at the home of the James'. She had tried desperately to get out of going, but her boss put her in a bad position ..especially as he has no knowledge of her background. Fearful of not being believed, she runs ... right into the very detective who arrested her the first time. She's wary, but he seems to listen to her, trying to understand. So what did happen to Shelly James that night? Who would have wanted her dead? A husband she no longer loved? A daughter she fought with constantly? An old boyfriend ...a new boyfriend .... a manager who may be stealing from her? Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? It's extremely well written, with lots of page-turning action. Characters are skillfully drawn. Twists and turns to keep you riveted to each and every page lead to an unexpected conclusion. Suspects are many and varied. This was a most interesting book. Many thanks to the author / Crooked Lane Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this psychological thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    I have to mention that this book started off quite slowly but then it got really, really good. Jessie Duval had a tough childhood. She cycled through a number of foster homes and at one stage spent 12 months and 9 days locked in a cupboard, her only company a country music CD by country legends Shelley and Owen James. It is therefore unsurprising that she became a little obsessed with the couple. She followed their most recent tour and a misunderstanding lead to her spending a year in prison. No I have to mention that this book started off quite slowly but then it got really, really good. Jessie Duval had a tough childhood. She cycled through a number of foster homes and at one stage spent 12 months and 9 days locked in a cupboard, her only company a country music CD by country legends Shelley and Owen James. It is therefore unsurprising that she became a little obsessed with the couple. She followed their most recent tour and a misunderstanding lead to her spending a year in prison. Now, out on parole with mandated therapy thrown in and a restraining order against her being anywhere near the couple, 19 year old Jessie is getting her life back on track. She has a place of her own, her own car and a job she loves doing food prep for a catering company. This suits her as she is not good with people and has plenty of anxieties. However, a chance intersection of circumstances finds her serving drinks at a party being hosted by the James’s. A party Shelley is never present at because she is dead. And Jessie, because her history, rockets to suspect number one. It was impossible not to like Jessie. She was awkward and shy yet determined to sort out her life. The other characters were not fleshed out as well, just enough for their parts in the book.. But Jessie carried this story. Her pain yet subtle strength were inspiring to read about. It’s just a pity it took so long to get to the meat of the story. Thanks to Netgalley, Crooked Lane Books and R.J. Jacobs for providing this copy for me to review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    booksNpenguins

    Even when your path seems to lose all light, know that darkness cannot endure forever. What makes this book so entertaining is the fact that it's very fast-paced and there are little if not any dull moments. Every line is an adventure filled with mystery and emotion. Not gonna lie, it made me a bit anxious, at times, especially when Jessie was describing her traumatic childhood. Jacobs was also clearly blessed by the gods of literature because his writing is simple, yet engaging. I couldn Even when your path seems to lose all light, know that darkness cannot endure forever. What makes this book so entertaining is the fact that it's very fast-paced and there are little if not any dull moments. Every line is an adventure filled with mystery and emotion. Not gonna lie, it made me a bit anxious, at times, especially when Jessie was describing her traumatic childhood. Jacobs was also clearly blessed by the gods of literature because his writing is simple, yet engaging. I couldn't stop reading this book and even if sometimes the plot fell a bit obvious and repetitive, I was interested from start to end. Jessie is an absolutely great character and I appreciate how real she felt. I also liked how the author managed to make her and her past trauma collide with the thriller aspect of the story. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: August 11, 2020 Jessie Duvall had a troubling childhood, and the music of Owen and Shelly James kept her from sliding into complete despair. After following them on tour for nearly a year, Jessie is arrested for stalking and is warned against going anywhere near the James family. Now, Jessie is slowly starting her life over, living in N Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication date: August 11, 2020 Jessie Duvall had a troubling childhood, and the music of Owen and Shelly James kept her from sliding into complete despair. After following them on tour for nearly a year, Jessie is arrested for stalking and is warned against going anywhere near the James family. Now, Jessie is slowly starting her life over, living in Nashville and working as a caterer’s assistant. When she is asked to work at a party hosted by another famous musician couple, and the James’ family show up as guests, Jessie does her best to keep her head down and get the job done. That same night, however, Shelly is found dead and all eyes turn to Jessie as the suspect. Now Jessie must try and prove her innocence and escape the mistakes of her past. “Somewhere in the Dark” by author and psychologist R.J Jacobs is a haunting tale of a mistreated youth who is trying to recover from the mistakes of her past. Jessie is naïve but harmless, an instantly likable character who you cannot help but root for. As various characters attempt to manipulate her and throw blame, it is always Jessie that the reader feels the most empathy for. “Somewhere in the Dark” had a little bit “Nashville” and a little bit “Country Strong” mixed into the plot, with a drug-addicted country singer who is trying to be kept in line by her superstar husband and lecherous producer. As a huge country music fan, I had a special connection to Jessie as she used country music to overcome her most trying times. The story started strong and the twists and turns throughout were not entirely predictable. I was impressed at the ending, as I anticipated a pat predictability and instead got quite a delightful conclusion that I could not see coming. Jacobs uses his psychological background and knowledge to portray Jessie’s challenges as honest and realistic, which just serves to enhance the entertainment factor of this novel. Jacobs has one other novel, “And Then You Were Gone”, which, after how much I enjoyed this novel, I will definitely be checking out.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    After falling in love with Jacobs's first book, And Then You Were Gone, I was leaping out of my chair in anticipation for his follow-up. I had no doubt that it would be another well-crafted mystery with captivating characters, but Somewhere in the Dark exceeded all my expectations. The plot summary by itself was enough to pull me in and not look up until I reached its thrilling conclusion. Jessie Duval may very well be one of the most compelling protagonists I've read about in a while. At ninete After falling in love with Jacobs's first book, And Then You Were Gone, I was leaping out of my chair in anticipation for his follow-up. I had no doubt that it would be another well-crafted mystery with captivating characters, but Somewhere in the Dark exceeded all my expectations. The plot summary by itself was enough to pull me in and not look up until I reached its thrilling conclusion. Jessie Duval may very well be one of the most compelling protagonists I've read about in a while. At nineteen, she had bounced from one foster home to another and endured a horrific year at age twelve where she was kept in a dark, locked closet with almost nothing - except for her Discman. The Shelly James CD she listened to during that year and the years afterward in the real world kept her grounded and focused. She still had difficulties acclimating to life outside and staying out of trouble, but she was getting by. And then, boom. Shelly James was found murdered, and Jessie became an immediate suspect. It was impossible not to root for Jessie as she faced every obstacle thrown her way. Though seen as vulnerable and obsessive by those she crossed paths with, she exhibited a quiet strength that made me cheer her on when she confronted a problem and sympathize with her when she found herself in a tricky situation. There were so many layers to her personality and backstory that kept me turning the pages well after my bedtime. Aside from my love of all the characters (Malik and Detective Marion are my other favorites!), the plot of Somewhere in the Dark was completely absorbing. A year of childhood vanished into the confines of a dark closet. An obsession with Nashville's biggest country stars. Secrets with woeful consequences. A shocking murder that rocks news headlines - every chapter felt like another adventure. This book was packed with action from start to finish, and I'm already debating how soon is too soon for a reread.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    This book was both everything and nothing I expected. Thank you so much to Crooked Lane Books, Netgalley, and R. J. Jacobs for this lovely ARC. The cover is stunning and drew me in right from the beginning. The book was about a stalker who had endured intense neglect and childhood trauma. A series of events leads her to be in the same place at the same time as her stalking victim years later, when she was trying to move on. That same person is found dead, and now she is trying to figure out what This book was both everything and nothing I expected. Thank you so much to Crooked Lane Books, Netgalley, and R. J. Jacobs for this lovely ARC. The cover is stunning and drew me in right from the beginning. The book was about a stalker who had endured intense neglect and childhood trauma. A series of events leads her to be in the same place at the same time as her stalking victim years later, when she was trying to move on. That same person is found dead, and now she is trying to figure out what happened and if she was framed. Thoughts: I thought this concept was very interesting and not like every other book. The idea of a stalker with a complex and troubled past made you second guess what was going on and what really did happen. I loved what a short and easy read this book was, and I was engaged with the story from start to finish. There were a few things I think the book needed to explain better and flesh out, but it was still a captivating story that I needed to finish. I couldn’t help but feel for the main character and what she was going through, and the setting was different and unique. This book was just over 200 pages and didn’t lose interest at all. I couldn’t wait to hear what happened, and I enjoyed the ending as well. 4 stars from me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Krystelle Zuanic

    Please note this is a 4.5. I didn't think the day would come when I would find a thriller that I could just sit there and tear through again- it has been a rather long time! I really enjoyed this read. Jessie, the protagonist, is a wonderful character, and the author did an incredible job of portraying her with all her flaws and difficulties. His portrayal of PTSD was really well done and didn't demonise or trivialise, and it was really nice to see this done properly. The storyline itself, while i Please note this is a 4.5. I didn't think the day would come when I would find a thriller that I could just sit there and tear through again- it has been a rather long time! I really enjoyed this read. Jessie, the protagonist, is a wonderful character, and the author did an incredible job of portraying her with all her flaws and difficulties. His portrayal of PTSD was really well done and didn't demonise or trivialise, and it was really nice to see this done properly. The storyline itself, while initially deceptively simple, got me in hook, line, and sinker. The eventual web of intrigue that establishes itself is a thriller of a read, and it was really fantastic. There were a lot of possible ends that it could've taken, and it keeps you guessing throughout the whole of the book. The story unfolds with incredible pacing, and it will really keep you on your toes the whole way through. I really enjoyed how the whole of the novel came together. The characters are pretty great too- I only feel like maybe the family at the centre of this could have been fleshed out just a tiiiiny bit more. It would have just brought that connection a little bit closer and made the eventual series of events all the more interesting. However, this was an incredible book, and a real page-turner. Well worth the read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This is a unique thriller with a very interesting protagonist. It’s no surprise this book is written by a psychologist. The narrator, Jessie, has a unique mental illness that I’ve never seen in a thriller protagonist before, which among other things causes her to lose words and to need constant music to connect with the world. In accordance with her love of/dependence on music, she develops a fixation on a popular band, who she follows on tour and eventually is accused of stalking. Soon after, a This is a unique thriller with a very interesting protagonist. It’s no surprise this book is written by a psychologist. The narrator, Jessie, has a unique mental illness that I’ve never seen in a thriller protagonist before, which among other things causes her to lose words and to need constant music to connect with the world. In accordance with her love of/dependence on music, she develops a fixation on a popular band, who she follows on tour and eventually is accused of stalking. Soon after, a murder occurs and she is once again implicated. I really liked being inside Jessie’s head. She was unique and very likable and her psychological issues were new and different and written in a very compelling voice that really made you root for her. I don’t know that the author ever gave her an official diagnosis, and maybe that was intentional, because you really don’t need one to know and like her. You just need to understand how she thinks and feels, and the author does a great job of that. It was a little too easy to figure out whodunit, but it was still fun going along with Jessie for the ride as she figured it out. I also really enjoyed her relationship with one of the detectives. The book was super fast paced and interesting and I look forward to reading more of R.J. Jacobs. In a very crowded thriller field, he brings a very unique point of view to the table. Thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books, and R.J. Jacobs for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Now, this is a modern murder mystery done right! This book went way beyond expectations and while I was reading it just kept unraveling faster and faster! This book brought my Agatha Christie critic side out while I tried to uncover who the killer was. All in all, this was so much fun. It follows all the rules of a normal murder mystery by setting up the murder, introducing good suspects, developed and interesting "detectives", twists uncovered along the way, and everyone's favorite part, the big Now, this is a modern murder mystery done right! This book went way beyond expectations and while I was reading it just kept unraveling faster and faster! This book brought my Agatha Christie critic side out while I tried to uncover who the killer was. All in all, this was so much fun. It follows all the rules of a normal murder mystery by setting up the murder, introducing good suspects, developed and interesting "detectives", twists uncovered along the way, and everyone's favorite part, the big reveal. Along with feeling like a murder mystery from the golden age in format and style, this book also excelled at being modern. It didn't feel like it was ever trying too hard and I think the protagonist's twist of being an obsessive fan of the victim really was the cherry on top plot-wise. If there were any flaws, I would have to say the sections of the book that started to slow were the very beginning and the very end. I can see a couple of people DNFing this one due to a pretty slow start to introduce our protagonist's struggles and make her likable instead of creepy, but it is worth it in the scheme of things. And at the end, I was getting a little anxious to get to the reveal when it almost felt like I was being cheated of the reveal! This goes up there as one of my recommendations for some new release murder mysteries. Super fun and a very unique mystery hitting shelves soon that you should definitely check out!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gillian Moore

    Somewhere in the Dark by R. J Jacobs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks @netgalley @rjjacobs75 and @crookedlanebooks for my arc. Publication date 11th August ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book as its a first from this author for me. This is an incredible book. Beautifully set in Nashville Tennesee, the story follows Jessie and her journey to reinvent her life following a harrowing child hood. Jessie is a lovely, relatable character bearing a huge amounts of scars, Somewhere in the Dark by R. J Jacobs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thanks @netgalley @rjjacobs75 and @crookedlanebooks for my arc. Publication date 11th August ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book as its a first from this author for me. This is an incredible book. Beautifully set in Nashville Tennesee, the story follows Jessie and her journey to reinvent her life following a harrowing child hood. Jessie is a lovely, relatable character bearing a huge amounts of scars, I was rooting for her the whole way. As a reader I could tell the author has a sound knowledge of psychology and mental heath while creating Jessie's character. And like all my favourite books this story is a little creepy with a little bit of stalking and obsession thrown in. I highly recommend this book for fans of dark psychological thrillers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayleigh 2babesandabookshelf

    Actual Star Review - 3.5 stars This is my first book by R.J. Jacobs and unfortunately, it did not hit the mark for me. For the most part it was enjoyable, but it it didn't grasp me the way that normal mystery/thriller novels do. I had a very hard time connecting with the characters and wasn't invested in the story line or how the plot would end. I would have preferred if Jacobs spent a bit more time on character development when Jessie was younger ... I think knowing more about her past would hav Actual Star Review - 3.5 stars This is my first book by R.J. Jacobs and unfortunately, it did not hit the mark for me. For the most part it was enjoyable, but it it didn't grasp me the way that normal mystery/thriller novels do. I had a very hard time connecting with the characters and wasn't invested in the story line or how the plot would end. I would have preferred if Jacobs spent a bit more time on character development when Jessie was younger ... I think knowing more about her past would have made her a more relatable character. She was very troubled and suffered a lot as a young child, but it was hard to connect with her in present day. Thank you very much, Netgalley, for the eARC in exchange for my honest review. I appreciate the opportunity to try a new book and author - I would be interested in reading more by RJ in the future!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    The experiences of Jessie’s childhood lead her to develop an unhealthy fixation with a country music duo, Owen and Shelly James. After an explosive incident led to criminal charges and a restraining order, Jessie grows in therapy and manages to maintain the appropriate distance from the singers. That sense of security is shattered when circumstances beyond her control put her back in Owen and Shelly’s life, and a tragic event causes Jessie to come under scrutiny by law enforcement again. I’m bein The experiences of Jessie’s childhood lead her to develop an unhealthy fixation with a country music duo, Owen and Shelly James. After an explosive incident led to criminal charges and a restraining order, Jessie grows in therapy and manages to maintain the appropriate distance from the singers. That sense of security is shattered when circumstances beyond her control put her back in Owen and Shelly’s life, and a tragic event causes Jessie to come under scrutiny by law enforcement again. I’m being as obscure as I can be with the summary. The Goodreads blurb tells you entirely too much and since it takes a lot of development before the actual thriller aspect of this novel takes place, I do think that blurb serves as a spoiler while creating much different expectations for the reader. When it comes to thrillers, slow burns are not my preference, but this book serves as one of the few exceptions. The first half of the book is more of a psychological drama, but suspense eventually made its way into the story. Jacobs did succeed in creating an interesting and sympathetic character in Jessie, which helped maintain my focus as I waited for the mystery to arise. The way the author captures the essence of Jessie’s trauma is truly remarkable. I understand his background in psychology, but to do what he did with her character requires more than just knowledge. It exemplifies empathy. Jessie’s story is incredibly sad, not just because of what she endured as a child, but because she suffered so deeply as an adult and was greatly misunderstood by society. This is another aspect that the author illustrated well throughout the novel. My only real complaints - and these are minor ones - are that I did think the character responsible for what happens in the second half of the book was very easy to identify and I did find the motive a bit underwhelming. I do understand that even in that, the author took a compassionate approach. It was just hard for me to fully digest the influence behind the action. Somewhere in the Dark is a well-written novel with a main character you can’t help but care about. I firmly believe that Jessie Duval is someone more readers should get to know!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    "Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life?" Foster homes, to country living, to therapists and finally a job as a caterer. Jessie's life is anything but mundane but it just became increasingly more unique in the fact that she's been secretly stalking Shelly (singer) whose been trying to avoid her at all costs. When Shelly is found dead -all eyes turn to Jessie- and she's now the main suspect. However, is she being scapegoated for someone else's actions? Could someone else -closer to the "Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life?" Foster homes, to country living, to therapists and finally a job as a caterer. Jessie's life is anything but mundane but it just became increasingly more unique in the fact that she's been secretly stalking Shelly (singer) whose been trying to avoid her at all costs. When Shelly is found dead -all eyes turn to Jessie- and she's now the main suspect. However, is she being scapegoated for someone else's actions? Could someone else -closer to the group- be involved? What about family, friends, acquaintances? Clearly someone has answers but not many are talking well maybe not everyone as the gates are closing in and fast! Stay tuned this is a buzzer of a read! Thank you to RJ Jacobs, the pub, NetGalley, and Kindle for this lovely ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bess

    *ARC provided by Netgalley.*

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Golding

    Read this book, people. You won't regret it Read this book, people. You won't regret it

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lou Jacobs

    Does anyone ever recover fully after being a victim? Jessie Duval has the dubious record of being held captive in isolation the longest in the state of Tennessee .... for over a year in a place of near complete sensory deprivation in a dark closet ... without sunlight ... without touch. Her foster parents allowed her to keep a Discman with a single CD ... containing the music of country singers, Shelly and Owen James. The music became her only lifeline to sanity ... the James essentially became Does anyone ever recover fully after being a victim? Jessie Duval has the dubious record of being held captive in isolation the longest in the state of Tennessee .... for over a year in a place of near complete sensory deprivation in a dark closet ... without sunlight ... without touch. Her foster parents allowed her to keep a Discman with a single CD ... containing the music of country singers, Shelly and Owen James. The music became her only lifeline to sanity ... the James essentially became her family. When this heinous act was uncovered and Jessie was released ... it was like being reborn. She had to relearn how to walk, after being forced to sit for more than a year. Her language skills were severely depressed .... everyday occurrences created anxiety and resulted in difficulty coping. She wore sunglasses and headphones everywhere ... to cut down the sensory overload. Jessie clung to her "family" ... she followed the James' concert tour around the country for months ... until one incident of misunderstanding led to a confrontation with the security staff ... it took three officers and a stun gun to subdue her. A short jail sentence resulted and afterward an order of protection was issued ... prohibiting Jessie to be near the Shelly and Owen James Jessie eventually is able to live independently in spite of her deficiencies ... she attends counseling sessions monthly ... and follows up with a parole officer. She was successfully holding down a job with a catering service .. mostly doing food prep. When one of the food servers suddenly quits, she is forced into this job with the attendant need to "meet and deal with the public". At the Sean Peterson graduation party there are many celebrities - including the one person from her past she must avoid at all costs ... Shelly James. This engagement leads to a subsequent party hosted by Owen and Shelly James. When Shelly is discovered murdered in the nearby woods ... Jessie becomes the perfect scapegoat and number one suspect. Jacobs weaves an immersive narrative with unbearable escalating tension. The main narrative is provided by being in the mind of this severely damaged soul as she attempts to cope with not only life but then having to sleuth her way out of the enclosing net of the law. The pacing of the plot is propulsive and results in a page turning mystery that is extremely enjoyable. As an aside, .... the story is infused with local Nashville culture. Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review. ( at readersremains.com )

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Read this book in one sitting. Don't think about it, just do it. Trust me. Somewhere in the Dark by R. J. Jacobs is one of the most stressful books I have ever read. I mean that in the best way possible. If you're an anxious person, this book reads like your worst nightmare. Set in Nashville, we meet Jessie Duval, an unreliable narrator that has a troubled past. Working her way through the foster care system as a child, by the time she is eleven, Jessie finds herself with a family who keeps her Read this book in one sitting. Don't think about it, just do it. Trust me. Somewhere in the Dark by R. J. Jacobs is one of the most stressful books I have ever read. I mean that in the best way possible. If you're an anxious person, this book reads like your worst nightmare. Set in Nashville, we meet Jessie Duval, an unreliable narrator that has a troubled past. Working her way through the foster care system as a child, by the time she is eleven, Jessie finds herself with a family who keeps her locked in a closet for nearly a year. In the dark of the closet, Jessie has a discman and an album by Shelly and Owen James, two of the biggest country music stars in Nashville. It’s an album that she plays on repeat. The James's music quickly becomes the only anchor that Jessie has in the dark. Years later, after Jessie is able to leave the foster care system, she sells what possessions she has, and follows Shelly and James on their tour across the U.S. She becomes their biggest fan. Until one night when something goes horribly wrong at one of the shows and Jessie is arrested and sent to prison for a year. The bulk of this story take place over the span of a few days with flashbacks of Jessie's life throughout the narrative. The pacing is quick, but Jessie's narration is slow and deliberate. It's executed beautifully since Jessie is an unreliable and unstable narrator. Through a series of truly unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances, Jessie finds herself entrapped in a web of deceit and murder. To say that Somewhere in the Dark is a great summer thriller isn't giving it enough credit. I will be honest, at about the halfway point my attention began to wain slightly because the murder had been committed and the fallout seemed slightly unbelievable. But if you've ever seen Psycho then you know to stick around until the end. Somewhere in the Dark *is* a great summer thriller, but aspects of this story will stick with you long after the pools close and your sunburn has paled.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Arabicbeauty

    •ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for my review• Let me start off with this book leaves you wanting more. Even though it is fast-paced, you cant seem to put it down. The main character. Jessie is someone you can’t help but to feel for even though she’s don’t some questionable things, but what’s she’s been through can’t really blame her. She was kept in a dark, small closet for a long period of time with only her thoughts to rely on. Music from this country duo was her reality and escape when •ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for my review• Let me start off with this book leaves you wanting more. Even though it is fast-paced, you cant seem to put it down. The main character. Jessie is someone you can’t help but to feel for even though she’s don’t some questionable things, but what’s she’s been through can’t really blame her. She was kept in a dark, small closet for a long period of time with only her thoughts to rely on. Music from this country duo was her reality and escape when in this locked closet. They almost became her family. So when she gets accused of stalking them, her life takes a downward spiral. This book dives into what psychological damage is caused when you are kept away in the dark for so long. The author did a wonderful job with this book. I enjoyed this book and would recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I really liked this. ✨✨✨✨ Jessie was the kind of character you feel for. She was troubled and had some run-ins with the law, but it seemed like they were because she was misguided rather than that she had ill intent. I have a soft spot for children in/young adults from the foster care system and I just really wanted her to find her way and be okay, and it warmed my heart that Ms. Parsons and Det. Marion took a genuine interest in her and her well-being. 💖💖💗💗💓💓 This was a quick, entertaining read. I really liked this. ✨✨✨✨ Jessie was the kind of character you feel for. She was troubled and had some run-ins with the law, but it seemed like they were because she was misguided rather than that she had ill intent. I have a soft spot for children in/young adults from the foster care system and I just really wanted her to find her way and be okay, and it warmed my heart that Ms. Parsons and Det. Marion took a genuine interest in her and her well-being. 💖💖💗💗💓💓 This was a quick, entertaining read. I always appreciate a good novel that is simply what a novel should be: fiction without an agenda, no mention of politics, etc. 👍👍👏🎉 Thanks, R.J. Jacobs! I am now going to look for everything else you've written. Keep up the good work. Recommended!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine Mott

    Somewhere in the Dark By: R.J Jacobs 4.5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jesse Duval grew up in foster homes and her last one had her locked in a dark closet with music as her only escape. The CD she had was by a famous Nashville Star Shelly James. 🎶 At 19 she get a job working for a caterer. She is seeing a therapist to help her with what she endured as a child and her obsession with Shelly, so much so there is a restraining order out on Jessie. 🎶 When Shelly turns up murdered she becomes a prime suspect because of her pa Somewhere in the Dark By: R.J Jacobs 4.5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Jesse Duval grew up in foster homes and her last one had her locked in a dark closet with music as her only escape. The CD she had was by a famous Nashville Star Shelly James. 🎶 At 19 she get a job working for a caterer. She is seeing a therapist to help her with what she endured as a child and her obsession with Shelly, so much so there is a restraining order out on Jessie. 🎶 When Shelly turns up murdered she becomes a prime suspect because of her past. Is she guilty? Who else has a motive to murder this beloved country star? #somewhereinthedark, #rjjacobs, #crookedlanebooks, #booksconnectus, #bookreview, #bookstagram, #murdermystery

  25. 4 out of 5

    Varshasri

    3.5 “This city has an invisible wind that carries ideas all around, everywhere.” Set in Nashville, Jessie is a girl with a simple life & a complicated past. She is striving in the city, hiding herself from people and any deviation from routine is a nightmare. She has a record of assaulting a man at a concert of Shelly and Owen James who are big names in Country music. She is forever banned from meeting her idols but what she did was unintentional and purely a reflux. So, when her profession collid 3.5 “This city has an invisible wind that carries ideas all around, everywhere.” Set in Nashville, Jessie is a girl with a simple life & a complicated past. She is striving in the city, hiding herself from people and any deviation from routine is a nightmare. She has a record of assaulting a man at a concert of Shelly and Owen James who are big names in Country music. She is forever banned from meeting her idols but what she did was unintentional and purely a reflux. So, when her profession collides with the big society, she comes in the vicinity of the Jameses. But things take a worse turn when Shelly James is found dead and all fingers point at her. All characters are solid and Jessie is particularly intriguing. A girl with such a past has come a long way and she is still struggling to adjust to society. She craves to be a normal girl with normal relationships. The journey she endures is the essence of the story. The other notable character is Shelly James and there are no other characters who are particularly focused on. Almost the entire story is Jessie centric. There is a lot of prelude in the story than the actual events leading to the murder mystery, but that is necessary and let’s the book down a bit. It is not boring but that’s just the way the story is being told. I wouldn’t have liked the book if the writing is not as direct as it is. Overall, the book is a murder mystery but it is only about 60-70% of the book. It’s a good book but not my usual type. But I wouldn’t pass the chance of reading his other books if given the opportunity. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for the book in exchange for a honest review. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Pub date: 11 August 2020

  26. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    Jessie’s horrific childhood shadows her still. Accused of stalking a famous country duo, her world shifts. She tries her best to live a normal life, but lands in an impossible situation. Written in first person, unreliable narrator style, but unlike a lot of current day thrillers, it’s not just plot-driven, Jessie is a well-fleshed character. Darkness knows her well. This is where Jacobs, a practicing physiologist, shines. Nashville people, support local authors! Thank you, NetGalley, for this A Jessie’s horrific childhood shadows her still. Accused of stalking a famous country duo, her world shifts. She tries her best to live a normal life, but lands in an impossible situation. Written in first person, unreliable narrator style, but unlike a lot of current day thrillers, it’s not just plot-driven, Jessie is a well-fleshed character. Darkness knows her well. This is where Jacobs, a practicing physiologist, shines. Nashville people, support local authors! Thank you, NetGalley, for this ARC in exchange for my review.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    When life turns on its end and you "have nothing to do", superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. When life turns on its end and you "have nothing to do", superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Exploring lives on the brink of disaster, R. J. Jacobs returns with another compulsively readable novel of suspense for fans of B. A. Paris and Mary Kubica. Do the mistakes of the past mark us as guilty for life? After a childhood marred by neglect, Jessie Duval's finally got it together. With an apartment in Nashville and a job with a catering company, she's thriving. But all that changes when Jessie works an event where celebrities will be in attendance—including the one person from her past she must avoid at all costs: singer Shelly James. Jessie doesn't hate Shelly. Quite the opposite. One summer, she followed Shelly's tour everywhere. Only, Shelly wasn't flattered; she was terrified by Jessie's devotion—especially after Jessie was arrested. But after a year of therapy, Jessie understands what happened. She's not the same person anymore. Jessie keeps her head down, but when Shelly is found dead, Jessie's troubled past comes tumbling out and she quickly becomes a suspect in the high-profile murder. As the police close in on her, ignoring other credible leads, Jessie realizes Shelly's murder will be pinned on her—the perfect scapegoat—unless she finds the real killer. And no one knows Shelly's life and inner circle better than her. But she will have to go deeper into the dark—if ever she wants to find her way out. I love R.J. Jacob's books and this one was decidedly awesome and did not disappoint. He is a psychologist as well as an author so he aces that medical and psychological side of things. The characters have layers and layers to them that is fun to read about and the storyline taught and terse and the great mystery of who the killer is not obvious the second you meet them. (Sorry to slag your legacy Mary Higgins Clark but yours were no-brainers!) I loved how twisty the story was and the ending. I think I can say it in very few words: READ THIS BOOK. Take this book to the beach with a tonne of SPF1000 sunscreen as you will lose track of time and end up fried to a crisp as a result. (or better yet, read it on the porch!) As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🌃🌃🌃🌃🌃

  28. 5 out of 5

    ginathebibliohoe

    Have you ever been forced to live in a closet for THIRTEEN MONTHS? Can you imagine the psychological effects that would have on a young girl? SOMEWHERE IN THE DARK is a story about that girl, Jessie, who had a rough life in foster care. Her last family locked her in a closet for over a year. during that time in the dark all she had, besides limited food, was her Walkman with 1 country CD that got her through. She would pass time telling herself stories, feeling like she was part of the music. Pa Have you ever been forced to live in a closet for THIRTEEN MONTHS? Can you imagine the psychological effects that would have on a young girl? SOMEWHERE IN THE DARK is a story about that girl, Jessie, who had a rough life in foster care. Her last family locked her in a closet for over a year. during that time in the dark all she had, besides limited food, was her Walkman with 1 country CD that got her through. She would pass time telling herself stories, feeling like she was part of the music. Part of their life. I think it’s really cool that the author is a psychologist and uses so much of that experience in his books. Jessie has so much trauma. So much doubt, trust issues. All she knew was this country duo that felt like home. But when she gets in trouble at one of the concerts during a panic attack - it lands her in jail and labeled a stalker. After she gets released she’s determined to leave her past behind, she’s getting counseling and got herself an apartment and a nice catering job. She keeps her nose down, works hard, and tries not to think about Owen and Shelly James, the duo she loves. But when her catering job throws her back into the James’ lives - and Shelly is found murdered- Jessie’s mental health spirals as she tries to prove her innocence. This story has so many twists and turns, I thought I had it figured out and I was way wrong! I absolutely loved it and if you’re in the mood for a fast paced thriller that will leave you second guessing everything you know and give you all the feels about life, deception, and redemption- you need to read this! It’s out 8/11/20! I’d like to thank the author for the ARC - I was so honored! I’m pretty sure I emailed crooked lane books as soon as I finished his first book,AND THEN YOU WERE GONE, to request whatever his next book was. I didn’t even care what it was, I was hooked. Jake does a great job with telling a story and I can’t read them fast enough!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonna Feliz

    Another thriller! Okay, I’m recommending this one because the MC is someone with mental health issues, and Jacobs was able to write her in a very humane way. “She wasn’t cruel,” I say to Ms. Parsons, a week later. “She was afraid.” I understand her fear. – Somewhere in the Dark by R. J. Jacobs Somewhere in the Dark gives us Jessie Duval, an individual longing for a home and trying to move forward despite how much of her past continually shapes her present and future. She experienced traumatic situ Another thriller! Okay, I’m recommending this one because the MC is someone with mental health issues, and Jacobs was able to write her in a very humane way. “She wasn’t cruel,” I say to Ms. Parsons, a week later. “She was afraid.” I understand her fear. – Somewhere in the Dark by R. J. Jacobs Somewhere in the Dark gives us Jessie Duval, an individual longing for a home and trying to move forward despite how much of her past continually shapes her present and future. She experienced traumatic situations. She is aware of her obsessions. She provides a voice to someone easily misunderstood by the society. I love it. I know that we still have a long way to go in removing the stigma against mental health and normalizing the conversations surrounding it. Nonetheless, I consider this a step towards overall progress. I enjoy reading thrillers, but I despise how much authors use mental health issues as a scapegoat for the logic behind whatever occurred. With this book, Jacobs shows us that it’s possible to do no such thing. Initially, I had doubts and wondered if I’m setting myself up for disappoint, but god, those thoughts were wrong. I found myself immersed and unable to put this book down. It’s Wonderful, with a capital W. Those last three lines were full of healing and magic, and I truly hope we get more books like this. Thanks to R. J. Jacobs and Crooked Lane Books for providing me an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! Expected publication: August 11, 2020

  30. 4 out of 5

    bookswithchaipai

    Imagine being trapped in a place of near-complete sensory deprivation and isolation for over a year, and being thrown scraps from time to time by foster parents. Jessie Duval had to suffer through this and more at the tender age of 12 and as a result, suffered from language deficit and developmental delay. Through this year, the country music of Owen and Shelley James was her only solace, which she listened to on repeat. After being rescued, Owen and Shelley become a fixation in her imagination, Imagine being trapped in a place of near-complete sensory deprivation and isolation for over a year, and being thrown scraps from time to time by foster parents. Jessie Duval had to suffer through this and more at the tender age of 12 and as a result, suffered from language deficit and developmental delay. Through this year, the country music of Owen and Shelley James was her only solace, which she listened to on repeat. After being rescued, Owen and Shelley become a fixation in her imagination, to the point of stalking them, and an ugly incident leads to a restraining order. After many years, just when she gets back on her feet, circumstances make her cross paths with them again and eventually Shelley James is discovered dead. As each revelation comes to the fore, the plot thickens and, the most unsuspecting person comes out as a devious personality. I pitied Jessie, her difficulties seemed to have no end, but despite her traumatic childhood and disability, she tried very hard to get to the bottom of matters and get herself in the clear. She was so strong. Alone, with not a person whom she could call her own, she didn’t have anyone to turn to except for her mental therapist. I loved the style of writing, especially the depiction of Jessie's speaking disability where she cannot grasp the right word for something she is trying to explain. For eg - "the word for very, very sad - pathetic". This was a perfect whodunnit for a rainy day ensconced within blankets with a hot cuppa, guessing who the killer could be.

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