I’m off back home to Cork today to bring you my latest review. I better avoid the dark room though…
The Dark Room by Sam Blake
Rachel Lambert leaves London afraid for her personal safety and determined to uncover the truth behind the sudden death of a homeless man with links to a country house hotel called Hare’s Landing.
New York-based crime reporter Caroline Kelly’s career is threatened by a lawsuit and she needs some thinking space away from her job. But almost as soon as she arrives, Hare’s Landing begins to reveal its own stories – a 30-year-old missing person’s case and the mysterious death of the hotel’s former owner.
As Rachel and Caroline join forces, it becomes clear that their investigations are intertwined – and that there is nothing more dangerous than the truth…
I loved the ghost story/history aspect of The Dark Room. I found it to be very Irish. But it wasn’t the only element of this book I felt attached to. Beyond the story itself, I was able to relate to Rachel and Caroline’s feelings of returning home as emigrants; the feeling that you’ve changed, the country has changed, and that nothing has changed at all. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this book. In fact, I would say that Irish culture and mannerisms don’t play as big a part as they do in say, a Graham Norton book, which makes this story more accessible for international readers.
The main characters in The Dark Room are likeable, even if at times Caroline was presented as somebody who has “notions” about herself (used to describe anyone who is a bit full or fond of themselves). Still, I liked how herself and Rachel worked together as a team to get to the bottom of what was going on. In terms of what is going on in Hare’s Landing, I’ve read a few reviews that have called The Dark Room a cosy mystery. I would disagree with this. Now, that’s not to say that this is the darkest book either, but there are parts that leave you with goosebumps, especially in the way the author describes the location and the story of Honoria, former owner of Hare’s Landing.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, more than I originally thought, actually. And if you think you will enjoy The Dark Room too, pick up your copy of the book here.
I was sent a copy of this book in return for an honest review.