4 out of 4 stars
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In the Dark by J. Scott Matthews is a mind-bending psychological thriller. The story starts with a man who wakes up lying on the floor in a dark bar. He doesn’t remember anything, his name, who he is, or what happened before waking up. He sees three dead bodies on the floor, two of which were shot and one who had his face caved in after being beaten relentlessly. He notices blood and viscera on his own hands and face. He is not sure if someone attacked him and left him for dead, or if he himself killed the dead men on the floor. He searches his pockets for clues to his identity but he cannot find a driver’s license or any other identifying information. He just has cash and a phone with two unlisted numbers saved in his contacts list. Scared that the cops would come and pinpoint the murders on him, he swipes the car keys from one of the dead bodies on the floor, takes the car and flees the scene.
As the man ponders his next steps, he receives a phone call from one of his contacts, a mysterious woman who calls herself Five. Five says it is dangerous to exchange names or other information over the phone, but she assures him, who she calls Nine, that they know each other. Five feeds information to Nine over the phone. Nine is not sure if he can trust this mysterious woman who he has no memory of ever meeting, but so far she is his only connection to the past.
There are two different timelines in this novel. One timeline occurs in the present in which Nine tries to find answers. This is extremely difficult given that he cannot recall his past and he suffers from debilitating hallucinations. Not only does he not remember anything, but he can’t even trust his own senses. The other timeline occurs in the past, in which a group of doctors perform an experimental operation on former soldiers. The soldiers were told that the operation would help cure their PTSD. Unfortunately the experiment goes horribly wrong and bad things start to happen. It is hard to further summarize this story without giving too much away. The story eventually comes full circle and you find out the events that lead to Nine waking up in the bar and the fallout.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. The words and sentences flowed together so well and the detailed descriptions of certain events were so vivid and full of imagery that it was very easy to picture the scenes in my head. This novel could actually be a really great action flick and it definitely keeps you on your toes. This book was also extremely hard to put down. Each chapter ended on a cliffhanger that makes you want to tear your hair out wanting to know what happens next.
This book is a psychological thriller and it really messes with your mind sometimes. There are so many twists and turns and events that happen that leave you speechless. This was also cleverly written. There are certain nuances throughout the book that do not make sense at first but everything comes together at the end. I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys suspense and thriller. I also recommend this book to horror fans because there are a couple of scary, spine-chilling scenes. This was a very well-written, creative story and I really enjoyed reading it.
In the Dark
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