The Familiar Dark

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I really enjoyed Amy Engel's previous novel "The Roanoke Girls" and have been looking forward to her next novel ever since.

It was worth the wait!

"Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it's better not to know."

Thirty-year-old, Eve Taggert can't wait for her shift at the local diner to be over. Eve promised her twelve-year-old daughter, Junie that she'd be home early so they could order a pizza and watch a movie. Junie had spent the previous night at her friend, Izzy Logan's house. Just then Eve sees her brother, Cal pulling up in his police car. Eve is surprised as Cal doesn't come to the diner on Saturdays. Eve and Cal are very close. He's always been there for her and together they survived a traumatic childhood. As Cal gets closer, Eve notices a strange look on his face. She thinks about the sirens she heard earlier. She reassures herself that they had nothing to do with Junie. But now she can see that Cal has been crying. Cal NEVER cries.

"It's Junie, Eve"

Since her daughter's birth, Eve has expected that something would happen that would tear Junie away from her. She worries about accidents or terrible diseases. But she never thought something like this could happen.

Why would someone murder two innocent twelve-year-old girls

Though she hadn't seen her mother in years, her mama's voice was always in her head . "Ain't nobody gonna give a shit about who killed Junie except you."

When Eve finds Junie's journal she realizes her daughter had been keeping secrets. She's surprised by what she reads but it gives her a place to start. It gives her a reason to get up. A reason to keep going. She is devastated by her loss but she needs to know what happened.

This means Eve may have to visit places and people she NEVER wanted to see again. The anger Eve kept in control since her daughter was born is burning hotter now and she makes a promise that she will find out what happened and she WILL make the person or persons responsible pay dearly. No one is going to get in her way.

An addictive read that pulled me in right from its heartbreaking start.

The story is told from a grieving mother's point of view. It's a dark and compelling read with subject matter that isn't always easy to read. However, I thought the author handled it well. This was a riveting story with many unforgettable characters. A novel that deals with family relationships including the complicated bond between mothers and daughters.

An emotionally powerful and chilling story about grief, heartbreak, betrayal, and vengeance.

With an excellent combination of complex characters and a gripping plot, "The Familiar Dark" is a novel I won't soon forget.



I'd like to thank the publisher and author for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.


Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

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