I read and reviewed Doug Magee's debut novel Never Wave Goodbye last year. He's back with his newly released second novel Darkness All Around.
Risa's husband Sean disappeared eleven years ago, leaving her to raise their son Kevin alone. Risa moved on, after having Sean declared dead, marrying Alan, a friend they both knew. Except.... Sean's not dead. He's returned to town, determined to turn himself in - for murder. Risa's best friend Carol was killed eleven years ago and Sean believes he did it...or did he?
Sean's memory is suspect - he suffers blackouts from alcohol abuse coupled with a brain injury. As Sean remembers bits and pieces, we slowly piece together what might have happened eleven years ago. But Magee is tricky, populating his novel with many possiblities, keeping us guessing until the end. Risa remembers the past as well and is torn between protecting her son and supporting her new husband but also remembering the love she once felt for Sean. Darkness All Around is a mystery but also explores of the emotions of the characters, adding another layer to the story.
A new genre heading perhaps - the thoughtful thriller. Read an excerpt of Darkness All Around. A reading group discussion guide is also available.