The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
Published by Delacorte
Published on April 19th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
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The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.
Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.
Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.
But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.
Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.
I don’t know if you have heard me say this before or not, but after horror, thriller is probably my favorite genre. Also, I live on Investigation Discovery. I find many true crime books to be long and dull, but watching the shows and movies is my jam. In The Darkest Corners, Kara Thomas created a very realistic criminal monster and terrifying situations that left me hanging on every word. This was more mature than many YA thrillers I have read, and I greatly appreciated that.
One detail can change an entire story. A necklace. A phone call. The smallest things could mean the difference between a man’s life and death.
I have noticed that some people felt that this book started off slow – but I didn’t have that experience. I was pretty captivated right from the beginning. We quickly come to realize that Tessa is a girl consumed by her past. As a child, her testimony helped put a murderer behind bars. But as she grew up, she couldn’t help but think back to that night, and the case and the secrets she held for years. While it seems on the surface that her childhood best friend, Callie, had moved on, we also quickly learn what the situation has done to her beneath the surface. Once the two are thrown back into each others lives and a new death rocks their fragile worlds, they start to question everything and everyone involved in the old case of The River Monster Murders.
This story is filled with red herrings, secrets, and lies. I love that we slowly gained small pieces of the puzzle and had to wait to see of they were relevant or not. It was like we were being lead in 10 different direction in a desperate search for answers. Another thing that really stood out for me was the complete lack or romance in the story. There was no boyfriends or love interest at all. There were references and allusions to guys they had dated or had a thing with, but those relationships were only barely related to the story. Instead, the story focused on the bond between Callie and Tessa.
It turns out there are actually two separate story lines that get resolution in this novel. I can say with honestly that I did not see either of them playing out that way. There is only one portion of one of the stories that has a seed planted for you earlier on. Other than that, this ended with surprises I wouldn’t have expected. It was so refreshing to not have guessed it all and to be shocked by the end.
You can easily see where some of the crimes and stories are based on real life cases. For example, there is one story that heavily reflects the Caylee Anthony case. I might only know that because of how closely I followed that tragic case, though. I know she was inspired by The West Memphis Three case (which she wrote in her acknowledgments), and everyone in the world has their own opinions abut that (myself included) and she references Paradise Lost, which I personally believe left out many things that pointed to guilty. It was very one sided. Either way, the situations and crimes she created are very reflective of real life cases, and I think the author did an amazing job of making this feel dark, scary, and so realistic.