Catching up on some reviews from last week!
Thanks to Harper Paperbacks for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review
DARK AUGUST – Katie Tallo (Releasing June 30th, 2020)
An electrifying, page-turning debut about a young woman haunted by her tragic past, who returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death—and last case—than she ever could have imagined.
Augusta (Gus) Monet is living an aimless existence with her grifter boyfriend when she learns that her great grandmother—her last living relative—has just died. Ditching her boyfriend, Gus returns to the home she left as a young girl. Her inheritance turns out to be a dilapidated house and an old dog named Levi. While combing through her great grandmother’s possessions, Gus stumbles across an old trunk filled with long-lost childhood belongings. But that’s not all the trunk contains. She also discovers cold case files that belonged to her mother, a disgraced police detective who died in a car accident when Gus was eight. Gus remembers her mother obsessing over these very same documents and photographs, especially a Polaroid of a young ballerina.
When Gus spots a front-page news story about the unearthing of a body linked to one of the cold case files from her grandmother’s trunk, she can’t resist following her mother’s clues. As she digs deeper, determined to finish her mother’s investigation, her search leads her to a deserted ghost town, which was left abandoned when the residents fled after a horrific fire. As Gus’ obsession with the case grows, she inadvertently stirs up the evils of the past, putting her life in danger. But Gus refuses to be undeterred and is committed to uncovering long-buried secrets, including the secrets surrounding a missing geology student, the young ballerina in the Polaroid, a prominent family’s devastating legacy, and a toxic blast that blew an entire town off the map.
But is Gus ready to learn the truths that culminated on one terrible August night, more than a decade earlier, when lives were taken, and secrets were presumed buried forever…?
Dark August introduces a bold new voice and will leave readers guessing until the final startling conclusion.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
This year just keeps on hitting us with great debut novels! DARK AUGUST by Katie Tallo is a new thriller/suspense and I already can’t wait to see what she’ll release next. I will say that the beginning started out pretty slow for me, but it was worth pushing through. In the first 20ish% of the book, Tallo is creating the characters and setting the scene for us before plunging you into the mystery and suspense.
Augusta has been called back to her grandmother’s home after Rose passes away. Gus discovers that she was left everything Rose had – her home, car, and dog, Levi. As she goes through the house she discovers things that belonged to her mother (who had died in a car crash over a decade prior). Her mother was a police detective and Gus uncovers some information on a case she was working on, and now Gus is determined to solve the cold case.
Once the pacing picked up, it didn’t stop! That was something that definitely redeemed it from the slow beginning. I absolutely love Tallo’s writing style and how she wove this mystery together for us. I’m always impressed with thrillers/mysteries when I can’t guess where it’s going, and this one definitely shocked me in the end. I highly recommend this if you want a new thriller for the TBR, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more from this author in the future.