REVIEW – The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

{Available March 31, 2020} Less than a thriller and more of an examination of familial relationships (primarily mother/daughter and brother/sister), The Familiar Dark is a gritty story with an of-the-moment setting. Anyone who has watched Ozark on Netflix will easily be able to picture Eve’s tiny, poor town in Missouri. The book gives off the same gray, unsettling vibe as the show, too.

After Eve’s daughter and her best friend are murdered on a run-down playground, Eve takes it upon herself to investigate the murders and exact revenge on the killer. What she uncovers is more horrific than she could have ever imagined.

There are some heartbreaking twists/reveals in this story, and the entire thing feels very desolate and hopeless. I wasn’t impressed with the ending when I first read it – some of it seems very out of character and almost like a stretch. But the more I think about it, and the more I think about the setting and the personal background of each character…i’m not ENTIRELY convinced that it’s plausible, but i’m starting to come around that maybe it was an inevitable conclusion for these characters. Just be forewarned: it’s dark and it’s sad and there are no winners in this book.

Thank you Dutton Books for the NetGalley ARC!

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