#allthebookreviews – Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day

Anyone else have a crazy week? I know Chandra and I did!

Thanks to William Morrow for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

UNDER A DARK SKY – Lori Rader-Day (out now!)

We were both part of the TLC Book Tour schedule for this one – so you can see more about the book and author on our blog posts 🙂


Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars

Eden has lost her husband in a tragic accident and finds that he has secretly booked a surprise trip to a fairly isolated place they’ve spoken about in the past.  Maybe this is the trip she needed to find some closure.  Unfortunately, the trip turns into a nightmare – one in which she learns things about her husband that are worse than what she already had found out and becomes a suspect in a murder from the co-guests she also didn’t expect.  PHEW.

There are a lot of characters in this and we get a glimpse into every one of them.  When there’s a group like this, typically (but not always) you find that there is overlapping of relationships, sordid pasts and an inability to really welcome anyone new into the fold.  When the seemingly most liked person gets murdered… well, pure chaos ensues from there with accusations being thrown left and right.  Seriously, with friends like this you definitely do NOT need enemies.

To me this read somewhat like a game of clue – except you know where and what with – now it’s just a matter of who.  I think claiming this to be a “terrifying twist on a locked-room mystery” is the wrong way to market this particular book.  I didn’t particularly find anything terrifying about this book.  What I DID find was this to be a moderately paced whodunit type mystery where everyone seems to have a motive.  At times I felt things got a bit repetitive and I just wanted it to move forward.  I also felt that too many characters were introduced which made the book a tad bit crowded.

I did find Eden’s nyctophobia to be one of the most interesting things about the book – I wish we knew a bit more about where this came from as while it’s a front runner for the book, I felt it also took a bit of a back burner role when it came to the meat of the story.
This was more a murder mystery dealing with different stages of grief from Eden’s past and the murder that occurs, how the characters deal in their own ways and how it slowly unfolds to the why.  Eden’s snarky responses during some of the scenarios were my favorites to read.  Be careful who you choose to be your friends and whatever you do, do not go to a remote location with them if there are tough waves in the water… this seems to be where all the red herrings live.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

This book was read in the 3.5 hours I was stuck at an auto shop. Yes, you read that right, 3.5 HOURS! At least I had UNDER A DARK SKY to keep me completely occupied. This psychological suspense had a great pacing that kept my attention the entire time and I was able to fly through it.

Eden is off to spend her 10th wedding anniversary at a secluded cabin out in Michigan. Only, there’s something very unique about this trip – her husband Bix has been dead for almost nine months and he was the one that made the reservation. So against her better judgment, Eden ventures out to this resort that is well-known for it’s viewing of the stars at night to honor the surprise reservation her husband had made. Upon arriving, there seems to have been a mix up with the reservation because there are already people piling into the guest house she assumed she had alone.

Turns out, the guest house has two portions. The main house and then a suite with it’s own entrance on the back. Eden has to share a night with a group of six twenty-somethings that are having an anniversary celebration of their own. We are quickly introduced to Paris and Dev (engaged), Martha, Sam, and then Malloy and his new girlfriend Hillary. The five of them are connected through college and they have a shared secret that was tearing their friendship apart and creating distance.

In the middle of the night, Eden hears a scream and paralyzed by her fear of the dark she waits in her suite. Dev comes running to her and brings her downstairs – Malloy has been murdered. This turns into a “whodunit” suspense with everyone being a suspect. Was it the new girlfriend? Was it one of the jealous friends? Was it the stranger that didn’t even want to be apart of their group? So many questions and so many red herrings throughout.

This definitely kept me guessing and there were plenty of twists thrown in to keep me on my toes! Considering I devoured this in 3.5 hours I would say that this can be classified as a binge-worthy read. This is all told from Eden’s point of view, which I was happy about because there were so many core characters that it would have gotten confusing if we had the multiple POV style. There are a couple parts where it felt slightly repetitive for me, but nothing major and at first I had some issues keeping the characters straight. Other than those minor things, I really enjoyed Rader-Day’s newest release!


What did you think of this one?


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