We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin, 4 Stars

There’s something about the legacy of the prom queen. Especially in a small town, especially when she’s gone missing. And that’s just one of things that is compelling about Heaberlin’s newest book, We Are All the Same in the Dark. We’ve got an eyeless girl, a golden boy turned insane, and much more!

It’s not just the plot that’s compelling, this one also comes with a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, who said, ““Exceptional . . . After a devastating twist halfway through, the intense plot builds to an emotional finale. Heaberlin sensitively addresses issues of survival and vulnerability in this heart-wrenching gothic tale.”

Add to that the fact that Elin Hilderbrand, who writes super addictive beach reads (in my humble opinion) also praised the book saying, “If you only read one thriller this year, let it be this one. Psychologically absorbing, original and atmospheric. I could not turn the pages fast enough,” and I was sold!

From the Publisher:

It’s been a decade since Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen on the posters on the walls of the town’s Baptist church, the police station, and in the high school. They all promise the same thing: We will find you. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives as a pariah in the desolation of the old family house, cleared of wrongdoing by the police but tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion and in a new documentary about the crime.

When Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, making silent wishes, he believes she is a sign. The town’s youngest cop, Odette Tucker, believes she is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. But Odette can’t look away. She shares a wound that won’t close with the mute, one-eyed mystery girl. And she is haunted by her own history with the missing Tru.

Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and to dig up the shocking truth about a fateful night in the past—the night her friend disappeared, the night that inspired her to become a cop, the night that wrote them all a role in the town’s dark, violent mythology.

In this twisty psychological thriller, Julia Heaberlin paints unforgettable portraits of a woman and a girl who redefine perceptions of physical beauty and strength.

My Review:

When we first meet “Angel,” I thought she was dead. And I don’t think I’m giving anything away because that could really be cleared up in the description of the book. Still, she is embraced and protected by first Wyatt, then Odette, while they all try to figure out where she came from.

And that’s not even the most interesting part of the story. See, there’s this whole backstory of the night that Wyatt’s sister Trumanell went missing, his father died, and Odette, his girlfriend, lost her leg in a rollover crash. Small towns are good at keeping secrets, and there is not exception here.

This one took me a while to get into. I think at first glance I thought it was one of those thrillers I could finish in one sitting. It’s not. And that’s not a bad thing. But it is a book that you start reading in a much different place than you started.

There’s secrets. And lies. And betrayal. And bad memories. And lives that could have amounted to so much, or could they? Because in a small town, sometimes those who are so golden in high school, fizzle quickly immediately following. So it’s hard to say.

But Heaberlin has written some strong female characters who are running from something but still have strength to stand up for what is important no matter the cost, and no matter what anyone thinks. We Are All the Same in the Dark is an extremely compelling read. One not to miss.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advance e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out today – August 11! Get your copy.


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