Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
All the Dark Places by Terri Parlato – Book Details
TITLE – All the Dark Places
AUTHOR – Terri Parlato
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2022
PAGE COUNT – 304
MY RATING – 4 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 3.95 of 5
What It Is About
On a cold, quiet night at the beginning of January, a group of close friends are gathered to celebrate one of them’s birthday. Jay Bradley is a forty-year-old psychologist and one of the group’s favorites. But the next morning, Jay’s wife Molly finds him dead on the floor of his office.
Jay has been brutally murdered and no one has any idea why. Detective Rita Myers who is in charge of the case seems to think one of the birthday guests has killed him. But they were all close friends and everybody loved Jay; why would someone do that?
Molly misses her husband a lot, as he was her rock, the only one who knew about the horrors from her past that she tries to keep hidden at all costs. But new revelations make her question how well she truly knew her husband. And whether it’s possible that someone else knew about her past too.
Themes and vibes:
- early January, just after the holidays setting;
- likable 40-year-old psychologist ends up brutally murdered;
- his wife desperately trying to hide her past from everyone;
- tight group of friends that might be hiding a murderer;
- a cute “support” dog
All the Dark Places by Terri Parlato – My Review
Nothing like listening to a fun, entertaining thriller while doing the chores around the house 😉
All the Dark Places is Terri Parlato’s debut novel and all things considered – she’s done a pretty good job. The writing was accessible; simple in a way that makes you forget someone is telling you a story.
And though I usually don’t like thrillers written from the detective’s point of view, here we also got the wife’s perspective, which did make the story feel more personal.
The setting and premise were great. Early January, right after the holidays. Fresh snow on the ground. Nice neighborhood. A close group of friends gathered to celebrate one of them’s birthday. Mysteries from the past. Seemingly unimportant inconsistencies of that evening.
Molly – there was something so fragile about her. The whole time she seemed to me like she could fall apart at any moment. I felt like – if she snaps, it could go either way.
On the evening of the birthday party, Molly retired to bed early, not even all guests gone. The next morning, everything seems peaceful and quiet. A fresh layer of snow has covered everything. But something feels off.
She goes to the detached garage-turned-office and finds Jay on the floor, brutally murdered.
And there was just something about the contrast between a peaceful suburb scenery, the remainings of the last night’s friendly party in the kitchen, a pretty much idyllic marriage, and then the horror of a slashed-throat dead body.
The whole time I had this beautifully horrific picture in my head, like a piece of art. Lots of white with a slash of vivid red. It completely immersed me into the read.
The story unfolds from then on pretty much like most thrillers would. As I’ve mentioned, we got two POVs, Molly’s and detective Rita’s. Short chapters alternating between them. Clues that cast different shadows on what happened. Suggesting one of the birthday party guests might be the killer. Making you question what you thought you knew about each of the friends. About Molly. About Jay.
All the way to the inevitable ending that provides some more thrills and brings everything together.
So yeah, a typical thriller in many ways. But a solid, well written one. It didn’t read like a debut to me.
I can’t say All the Dark Places was the best book ever or even the best thriller I’ve ever read. But it served its purpose. It was entertaining enough to hold my attention. Made me go through the clues, wondering what was really going on.
The ending wasn’t my favorite, although it wasn’t bad either. I just thought the author could have followed one of the possible threads more closely and make something way more impressive out of the story. This way, it felt a bit safe.
But all in all – I was happy with what I got.
I’d definitely recommend listening this book on audio. Although, I prefer listening to all my thrillers as audiobooks, so it might be just me. But the dual narration did add a nice touch to the story and both narrators did a good job.
I’m sure many people would enjoy All the Dark Places by Terri Parlato just as much as I did. Especially if you get into it not expecting perfection, but an engaging, intriguing story to kill some slow time with.