Book Review: Secrets in the Shadows by T.L. Haddix

After surviving a traumatic attack as a teenager, as well as a disastrous first marriage, Lauren Taylor Grant is content with her life. So what if she gets lonely from time to time? With a healthy, beautiful daughter, and a successful coffee shop-cafe, the divorced single mother convinces herself she doesn’t have time for love. When she gets her first glimpse at her parents’ handsome new neighbor, though, she starts reconsidering her stance. Once Charlie Clark begins breaking through her defensive walls, Lauren finds him hard to resist.

Just as Lauren is learning to let go of the past and embrace the future, her personal demons rear their ugly heads in the guise of a vandal hell-bent on destroying Lauren’s happiness. When another local businesswoman is brutally murdered, the investigation into the crime reveals an unexpected connection to Lauren’s past. The message is clear–the past has come calling, and it’s out for blood.

Note for Readers: This book does deal with the issues of incest and sexual abuse, more with the effects on the victims than the abuse itself. Reader Discretion Advised.

Rating:

B+

No matter how many horror stories I read, nothing frightens me as much as people do. I never find any creature of the dark nearly as monstrous as I do humans. And Secrets in the Shadows only served to drive that truth home.

Fair warning, this book is not for the faint of heart. This book is fucking heavy, man. Even though I can’t recommend it enough, I understand that the subject matter might be off-putting or triggering for some readers. Therefore, I suggest downloading the sample. The shit hits the fan in the very first pages, and your ability to stomach it will serve as a good indicator as to whether or not you’ll manage the rest.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to find a book that does justice to such strong themes, instead of using them as a bullshit plot device to keep the male and female leads apart. That is until their past trauma can be resolved through oftentimes violent “sexual healing”.

Goddamn New Adult abominations.

So, if you’re looking for a darker read filled with gripping suspense and solid, well-crafted characters, I suggest giving this a try.


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