By Rod Reynolds
Published by Faber & Faber (3 September 2015)
1946, Texarkana: a town on the border of Texas and Arkansas. Disgraced New York reporter Charlie Yates has been sent to cover the story of a spate of brutal murders - young couples who've been slaughtered at a local date spot. Charlie finds himself drawn into the case by the beautiful and fiery Lizzie, sister to one of the victims, Alice - the only person to have survived the attacks and seen the killer up close.
But Charlie has his own demons to fight, and as he starts to dig into the murders he discovers that the people of Texarkana have secrets that they want kept hidden at all costs. Before long, Charlie discovers that powerful forces might be protecting the killer, and as he investigates further his pursuit of the truth could cost him more than his job...
The Dark Inside is a great 'modern classic' thriller. It's written at a fast pace in an authentic 1940s voice, which really brings the book to life.
Reporter Charlie Yates has a difficult job ahead of him, when he's sent (in disgrace) to cover some brutal murders in the remote Texarkana. His New York boss thinks it's a good way to get rid of him, not believing these crimes to be particularly newsworthy.
Charlie soon discovers that the local reporters don't want him there. The local police aren't very forthcoming with information and it seems that the local community has plenty to hide. There are lots of suspects and plenty of corruption, and Charlie has no idea who can be trusted. Then there's the beautiful and mysterious Lizzie, sister of one of the victims.
I found myself fully immersed into the story, surroundings and characters' lives. I loved the language and dialogue. It reminded me of black-and-white private eye films.
While the murders are at the centre of the plot, the story is really more about Charlie, his past and his future. For Charlie, this is a crucial case - is it going to relaunch his career and get him back in favour with his boss or is his life as a New York reporter over?
This is a highly atmospheric debut that will keep you guessing until the end.
I received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.