Friday, June 4, 2021

When the Stars Go Dark

 When the Stars Go Dark


Author: Paula McLain

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Year: 2021

A detective reeling from a family tragedy returns to her hometown & becomes involved in the investigation of a missing teenage girl. 


I should have really liked this book. It’s a police procedural with a strong female main character. It had an interesting case- the adopted teenage daughter of a Hollywood star has gone missing. Did the girl run away or was she kidnapped? I liked the setting- a small coastal California town. 


But for me, the tone of this book was suffocatingly dark. I think every character in this book suffered from some kind of trauma - from childhood abuse, to bad marriages, to poor relationships with parents. Anna, the main character, is obsessed with finding missing kids. An obsessed & driven detective is standard in the mystery/thriller genre. But usually, there’s a wisecracking colleague or some kind of absurd subplot or character to add a smidge of levity. But not in this book. It’s like a massive black cloud of trauma hung over all the characters and the entire story. It was too much. I thought the only positive light in the book was a dog. But the whole tone of the book was so dark and depressing that I worried the dog was going to be killed off. 


I prefer my thrillers/mysteries with more action. This book reads more literary than thriller and maybe that’s another reason why it didn’t click with me. But I did enjoy the #betweenfriendsbookclub discussion for this book. I’m glad other people in our chat enjoyed the book more than I did, but this book just wasn’t for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️


Happy Friday y’all! I’m reading The Glorious Guinness Girls this weekend. What are you reading this weekend? 


#whenthestarsgodark #ballantinebooks #literarythriller  #missinggirl #kidnapping #thrillerbooks #mysteryfiction #bookstagram #betweenfriendsbookclub #readreadread #policeproceedural #detectivefiction




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