Thursday, March 29, 2018

Darkness Sing Me a Song by David Housewright

First Sentence:  She was tall, slender, impeccably tanned; strawberry hair fell in waves to her shoulders.
      
Wealthy and socially important Eleanor Barrington has been arrested for the murder of her son Joel’s fiancée, Emily Denys.  PI Holland Taylor has been hired to help the defense law firm by investigating Emily’s background, only to find she doesn’t have one.  That’s not the only mystery.  Bigger questions revolve around the relationship between the mother and son, and where, if at all, does Joel’s sister Devon fit into things, and whether a controversial business deal is involved.  This case is much more than Taylor, still recovering from the death of his wife and daughter, and the breakup of a recent relationship, expected.
      
The best story is one which starts on page one, although I was amused by the typo on page six in the hardcover copy, and dives right it.  It is a classic story for a reason.  What also works is the reader being set up with one expectation and then story taking a twist within the first two paragraphs.
      
Housewright weaves the backstory of the characters into the text and dialogue in a manner where it is intriguing rather than disruptive.   While some of the characters are quite disturbing, Ogilvy the rabbit, Mandy Wedermeyer, the 14-year-old neighbor, her mom Claire, and Taylor’s parents add balance and made Taylor more real. 
      
Taylor is a great character and one that is fully developed.  He has a past impacts which present.  He is a person one would want to know, and there are some nice moments of realization—“I don’t think she was interested in me so much as she craved human contact, which seemed to prove that it isn’t how many people you meet, it’s how many you connect with that matters.”
      
There is a very well-done inclusion of environmental issues related to fracking, water, and land usage which bring contemporary relevance to the story.  One minor criticism is that there are times when following a conversation can become confusing as to whom is speaking.
     
 “Darkness Sing me a Song” includes relationships which are uncomfortable, has very effective plot twists, and a powerful, rather sad, ending.


DARKNESS SING ME A SONG (PI-Holland Taylor-Twin Cities-Contemp) – G+
      Housewright, David – 4th in series
      Minotaur Books – January 2018 

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