Told in the form of letters to a woman the reader knows only as Lucy, This Little Dark Place is, at its core, the story of how seemingly small, everyday things can build and build into an actual psychotic break. How that break plays out and who is affected is really little more than the luck of the draw.
At the beginning of the book, Daniel is living a very ordinary sort of life. Living with his girlfriend Victoria, they are trying for a baby in hopes this will fix the ‘something missing’ in their relationship. This part may be painful to read for anyone with triggers relating to conception issues and miscarriage, it should be noted. Struggling with a difficult reality, Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners and starts communicating with Ruby, who he begins to feel is the only person who really understands him. Unsure if her version of the events which led to her being incarcerated is the absolute truth, though, he never really trusts her, which leads to his eventual downfall.
I did figure out fairly early on where Daniel ended up; considering the time frames involved, it was fairly obvious, but there were a lot of twists and turns to the story and Lucy’s identity did remain a mystery to me until the big reveal. This is a classic ‘unreliable narrator’ novel, but Daniel does come clean in his letters with the entire truth eventually being revealed. The action is pretty slow to build and to be honest, the prose often felt pretty overblown for, supposedly, what someone would write in letters, but I did enjoy the read. Four stars.
This Little Dark Place is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley.