Book Review: Kara Thomas’ THE DARKEST CORNERS is a Super Suspenseful and Satisfying Thriller

THE DARKEST CORNERS is a YA mystery filled with thrills and chills!

Hi, my name is Kait and I’m a crime story addict. True crime! Fictional mysteries! It all works for me. The creepier, the better. I can’t quite pinpoint when it all started, but for a long time, there’s been nothing quite like reading or watching the fallout of a crime, how the evidence stacks up, how the suspect list winds down, and how the killer is caught– or maybe isn’t.

If you’re like me, let me assure you: Kara Thomas’ The Darkest Corners is the YA read you’ve been waiting for!

In the wake of her father’s death, Tessa Lowell finds herself back in her hometown of Fayette, Pennsylvania; back in the waiting arms of all her darkest demons.

Cayjr3rW0AAC7o1When Tessa was just seven years old, she and her best friend Callie were the key witnesses in the capital murder trial of Wyatt Stokes aka the “Ohio River Monster,” who brutally killed a string of young women in the area including Callie’s cousin, Lori. Wyatt Stokes is fast approaching execution when Tessa and Callie meet again, shaky at best in their long-forgotten friendship. When another young woman is killed in a very familiar fashion, Tessa and Callie must face the horrific truth: All these years later, they’re not quite sure who they saw that night. They may be responsible for leaving a killer on the loose.

With doubts nearly destroying their lives and the recent death weighing on them, Tessa and Callie begin a dangerous journey to discovering exactly what happened to Lori and the other girls a decade prior.

When it comes to setting up a killer story (pun intended,) Kara Thomas is an absolute champion. You can feel the quiet hopelessness of the impoverished small town of Fayette and it’s easy to understand why four killings a decade ago still haunt the residents. The unique environment has very obviously shaped Tessa, even in ways that aren’t related to the Ohio River Monster.

From the get-go, not one character feels completely trustworthy or reliable– not even Tessa herself. The children of her youth are rowdy teens with bad habits. Her former best friend’s parents are fidgety about her return. Her own family has dispersed and lost touch, leaving Tessa searching for answers. The police officers on the local force remember her all too well. And then there’s the violent figures from her youth. Everyone is suspect.

As for the caliber of mystery? The Darkest Corners absolutely keeps you on your toes, presenting question after question, multiple dilemmas, and lots of red herrings. Even in the novel’s quiet moments, you mind will race because every interaction, every gesture, every observance could mean something.

The big “I NEVER EVEN SAW THAT COMING” moments are there in spades. There’s more than one, and they hit you like a ton of bricks. One in particular felt a little out out-of-left-field than we would have liked, but we can handle that given the cleverness and intensity of the story. The book’s ending is both shocking and extremely satisfying, which is a rare combination.

If you’re not afraid to dive into the mysteries of a shady past, then The Darkest Corners is definitely the thriller you’ve been waiting for!

RATING: 4.8 out of 5 stars

The Darkest Corners hits shelves on April 19, 2016. You can pre-order it now.

the darkest corners kara thomas

By Molly

Molly is a proud Canadian who is currently attending university in Scotland. She loves to read, write, watch films, and talk about Sarah J. Maas books. If not snuggled up with a book, Molly can usually be found tapping at the dance studio, or writing yet another essay.