Dark Corners
August 1, 2023

Book Review

Dark Corners

reviewed by Carolyn Scott


 “The scariest monster is the one that hides in plain sight”

Popular true crime podcaster Rachel Krall, has solved several cases and freed an innocent man from jail, but she is still surprised when the FBI asks her to fly down to Florida to speak a prisoner in a Correctional Facility near Daytona. Terrence Bailey is about to be released on bail after two years jail for B& E, followed by a further four years for fighting with another prisoner. The FBI also suspected he is responsible for several murders of young women, but with only circumstantial evidence could never charge him. They will, however, be watching him closely when he’s released.

In all his time in jail, Bailey has never received a visitor, until recently when Maddison Logan came to see him. A highly successful social media influencer, Maddison blogs about her nomadic lifestyle and travels in her van and is currently in Daytona to attend BuzzCon, a convention for influencers. A few days after visiting Bailey, Maddison disappeared without a trace and the FBI is concerned that this is no coincidence.

When FBI agent Joe Martinez scrutinized the video recording of Maddison’s meeting with Bailey, he could tell they were having a disagreement and as she was leaving Bailey wrote on the desk “Bring Rachel Krall to me”.  Unfortunately, when Rachel meets Bailey, he doesn’t tell her anything, but warns her that “the scariest monster is the one that hides in plain sight”. With what sounds like a veiled threat, Martinez tells Rachel she should return home, but with the scent of a good podcast in the air, she decides to attend Buzz Con undercover. Maddison appears to have had no history before she burst onto the influencer scene six years ago and Rachel wants to find out more about her and where she’s come from.

I enjoyed this second outing with Rachel Krall. She is just as tough, tenacious and resourceful as she was in ‘The Night Swim’ and not fearful of the risk to herself, although perhaps she should be. The world of influencers that Goldin immerses us in is a very unpleasant one filled with narcissistic, arrogant people more interested in outdoing their rivals in photographing their food, clothes and poses for their blogs than in connecting with others at BuzzCon. However, Rachel is able to blend in and find out information about Maddison that the FBI can’t access. She generously passes this onto Martinez, who gradually changes his opinion of her as stubborn and difficult to one of respect and even attraction.

The well written and carefully paced plot unfolds gradually with a few false turns along the way, so it’s not until the second half, when all the pieces are falling into place, that the suspense starts to build to the tense climax. The voice of of a ride share driver occasionally interrupts the narrative, leaving the reader wondering how he could be connected to Bailey. An entertaining and engaging novel, with perhaps more than you wanted to know about the world of influencers, this can be read as a stand-alone novel.

With thanks to St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for a copy to read.

Dark Corners is available at:

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