In Dark Places is a pretty decent thriller about a psychiatrist who is on the verge of having technology that may finally be key in helping criminals who were victim of past violence to break the cycle and keep themselves out of prison and be productive members of society. Her research brings her to Los Angeles where she has been given permission to try her treatment on a serial killer, Justin Gray. A man who killed 5 teen-aged girls before being caught. Dr. Robin Cameron wants to see if she can help Justin and maybe even cure him. She’s also asked to take on a police officer as a test subject, a man suffering from what seems to be PTSD after being involved in a shooting where he took the life of another man.
The characters are fairly unsympathetic and for the most part, difficult to relate to. You know that there’s something not quite right when you start to root for the convicted serial killer. There were several times where I just wanted to smack Dr. Cameron upside the head and call her a naive idiot. It’s okay to have an optimistic outlook and to believe in your research, but when all signs point in one direction and you’re stubbornly going the other way? That’s just looking for trouble.
Some of the other characters have absolutely no redeeming qualities and others just seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought and lent nothing to the story itself. There were also points where the point of view got lost, it reached a point where it was nearly impossible to figure out who was doing the talking. But…
The story is fast paced and there are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book. I didn’t see many of the twists that came about at all. So definitely a thumbs up in that regard. Too many suspense novels are formulaic to the point where you can guess what’s going to happen and who is going to do it. I was surprised several times through the story with where the story arc went. If you’re looking for a decent suspense novel with good twists, pick this one up.