Week Three: When the Stars Go Dark

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

This book, y’all.

So, a little bit about me—I’ve been reading 3 books a week this year. I have been inhaling books, like I’m getting paid for it or something, which I totally am not. But still. I’m reading for hours a day. And this book, this little 360 page book, took me NINE DAYS to finish.

To say it was a slog is kind of an insult to slogs.

Once I got to the halfway point, things got easier, but it took me a full week to even get that far because every time I picked it up, it put me to sleep almost immediately.

I consider myself a mystery girl. I usually tell people that if there’s not someone dead in a dumpster by about the fifth page, I’m out. Now for the last two or three years, I’ve been reading more urban fantasy, but still, mysteries are my thing. And I was really looking forward to this, because I LOVED McClain’s The Paris Wife.

But it just didn’t grab me. She used oh-dear-lord too many words. There were too many characters. I was constantly stopping to look someone up because I couldn’t remember who they were. Anna, Brendon, Will, Caleb, Hap, Eden, Wanda, Gray, Emily, Cameron, Shannan, Jenny, Amy, Beth, Matthew, Sarah, Troy, Tally, Frank, Lenore, Clay, Lydia, Drew, Hector. Gray has a mother whose name is lost to the mists of time, as does Shannan, and I think that there also might have been a Jake? Just too many.

She also weaves in some real-crime elements which I just found distracting. I probably spent as much time reading about Polly Klaas and Jaycee Dugard as I did reading the book.

There is also the subplot of the “very bad thing” that happened to Anna, a thing that is talked around for the entire book, but only actually revealed in the last chapter. This detail has everything to do with Anna’s mental state, but nothing to do with the actual plot.

Finally, in the end, I just didn’t care. I hoped that they’d find the kidnapped girl in time, but I didn’t really care who kidnapped her, and I didn’t care about the relationship between Anna and Will and I didn’t care if Anna’s marriage could be repaired, and I didn’t care about the kidnapped girl’s uncle, and his freaking grape harvest, which, again, had nothing to do with anything.

It wasn’t…awful. It had all its commas and semi-colons in the right place, and the dialogue wasn’t painful. But overall, it was just…meh

2 thoughts on “Week Three: When the Stars Go Dark

  1. I think atmospheric mysteries can be very slow going. They aren’t my favorites usually. Every once in a while I find one that I like. I didn’t have the slogging problem with this one but I do have it with so many others. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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