11 May 2018

The Dark Path

Psychological Thriller

By Michelle Sacks

Paperback 400 pages
Publisher HQ (28th Jun 2018)
ISBN-13 978-0008261221

‘A chilling, gut-wrenching thriller.’ Helen Fields

📕My Review

American couple Sam and Merry move to a  house in the Swedish countryside to start a new life. Fired from his previous job in New York, and with the arrival of baby Conor, Sam is trying to make amends. But old habits die hard.

When Merry's closest friend Frank (Frances) comes to visit, she realises all is not as it seems. Frank witnesses Merry doing things that others, who know her less well, wouldn't notice. Events take a tragic turn and it becomes apparent that everyone has a secret to hide - some of which are about to be discovered.

This is the first novel by author Michelle Sacks and what a fine book it is too! It's excellently written; so eloquent and flowing. It's unsettling, tense and foreboding. None of the characters have any redeeming qualities which, in my opinion, works extremely well. I felt vindicated in my loathing; proof that a dysfunctional childhood can, and does, lead to an even greater dysfunctional adulthood.

The story is emotionally charged and won't be for everyone. I've had time to think and my own conclusion is that it's an uncomfortable read. I appreciated it for it's bleakness; the uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach; knowing that whatever happened, it would be disconcerting.

Overall, it was a really good read. I felt it lacked the final killer twist at the end, but for a debut novel I was more than pleasantly surprised.                       

My thanks to Michelle Sacks, NetGalley and HQ for providing a copy of this book.

Barnsey's Books Rating 

📗The Blurb

Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores baking, gardening, and caring for her infant son, while Sam pursues a new career in film. In their idyllic house in the Swedish woods, they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they've built for themselves, away from New York and the events that overshadowed their happiness there.

And then Merry's closest friend Frank comes to stay. All their lives, the two women have been more like sisters than best friends. And that’s why Frank sees things that others might miss. Treacherous things that unfold behind closed doors.

But soon it's clear that everyone inside the house has something to hide. And as the truth begins to show through the cracks, Merry, Frank, and Sam grow all the more desperate to keep their picture-perfect lives intact.

📘The Author

Michelle Sacks was born in South Africa. She holds an MA in Literature and Film from the University of Cape Town, and has been shortlisted twice for the South African PEN Literary Award, as well as the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Her debut collection of stories, Stone Baby, was published by Northwestern University Press in 2017, and her first novel, The Dark Path, will follow in Summer 2018 from Little, Brown.

She currently lives in Switzerland.

Michelle Sacks' website

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