Thrill of the Week: Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

What is going on between the covers

Paris Peralta, married to a celebrity, has tried to keep a low profile and stay in the shadows of her famous husband. She is worried someone will recognize her and expose her dark past. Pairs has secrets she wants to be kept buried, but after she is found holding a knife over her dead husband, she has become front page news.

What made this one a thrilling read for me? The thrill is trying to figure out who Paris really is and the secrets she is trying to hide.

My Two Cents

The story is told from three different perspectives and two timelines, beginning with Paris’. Then after about 20%, it switches to Drew, a former investigative journalist in Toronto who now hosts a true-crime podcast. I loved that it was set in Canada, and that always gives me a thrill when something feels familiar. The switch feels disjointed and throws off the pacing, and then another character’s POV is added, and it does start to flow better. It doesn’t take long for the pieces to come together with those twists and turns in the story. There are a few red herrings to throw us and keep us guessing.

Jennifer Hillier adds some diverse characters while she weaves in themes of racism, classism, and identity. There are some dark themes that are disturbing but do not overwhelm the story.

Overall: Things We Do in the Dark is a thrilling but flawed psychological thriller. The story is engaging and exciting, but with familiar tropes, compelling characters, and the emotional pull drives the story forward, but their actions are questionable and take away any believability elements to the story.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

More thrilling books by Jennifer Hillier

Little Secrets

What is going on between the covers

Three days before Christmas, Marin is at a busy shopping centre with her four-year-old son Sebastian. Marin lets go of her sons’ hand to answer a phone call only to realize her son is gone when she hangs up a minute later.  Security is notified and comes back from their search empty-handed with video surveillance showing her son being lead out of the mall with a stranger.   Marin cannot forgive herself for losing Sebastian and falls into a deep depression.  Consumed by her need to find answers, Marin hires a private investigator to look into Sebastian’s disappearance.  What the investigator discovers provides more questions than answers. ~ Lindsay

Our two cents

Another thrilling yet flawed psychological thriller. Jennifer Hillier bravely touches on some uncomfortable dark realities that are easy to ignore while exploring loss and grief, obsession, betrayal, and revenge. The little secrets here with the messy affair storyline didn’t catch my attention, and I struggled with some believability issues with the missing child storyline. The depth of Marin’s character and her not-so-little secrets won me over. Jennifer Hillier delves into her mindset, and we see her downward spiral as she deals with her pain and grief over her missing son, making her an interesting character. That overthinker in me was thrilled to delve deeper into the story, and I was one happy reader after finishing it ~ Brenda.

I had an immediate connection to this story being the mother of a four-year-old boy.  I felt Marin’s shock, anger, stress and grief.  Those opening chapters were emotional and pulse-pounding for me, creating an intense investment with the storyline.  The writing was excellent and I enjoyed the pace, flow and prose. As the story progressed, my intense connection faded slightly as the novel focuses on things that the private investigator discovers rather than solely on the missing child.  I still felt engaged and invested, just not as intensely as when the novel began. ~ Lindsay

Jar of Hearts

What is going on between the covers

Jar Hearts is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth

My Two Cents

My favorite from Jennifer Hillier, and everything about this one was thrilling. It is a chilling, intense, dark, compelling story with a dark crime. The descriptions are disturbing and uncomfortable, but the story is fascinating, well-plotted with flashbacks, and skillfully paced with perfectly timed reveals and rewarding twists.