BOOK REVIEW: What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh

What’s Done In Darkness by Laura McHugh

If you want a book you can’t put down, then read a novel by Laura McHugh! What’s Done in Darkness is a riveting psychological thriller that traps the reader on page one and doesn’t let up until it’s over.

What’s Done in Darkness is the story of Sarabeth, a teenager who lives on a remote farm in the Ozarks with her parents and siblings. They used to live in the city, but, following an indiscretion, her father got religion and moved them to the farm and into a cult-like religious community. Sarabeth is forced to give up all her worldly goods (cell phone, TV, books), become home-schooled, wear long dresses that cover her from neck to ankles, and never, never cut her hair. 

Rebellious, she dreams of leaving the farm, but just before her eighteenth birthday, she is brutally accosted, abducted, imprisoned, and then finally, dressed in only a bloody slip, released. Her abductor is never caught. Five years later, living in the city, Sarah (no longer Sarabeth) is trying to survive. Employed at an animal shelter, she copes until one day she receives a phone call from an investigator wanting to interview her about what happened five years before. Another girl has gone missing and the officer believes that this new case and Sarah’s cold one are related. Reluctantly, Sarah agrees and, thus, sets out on a journey to rediscover her roots and the malignancy that lies within.

A compelling and dark read, What’s Done in Darkness is steeped in secrets, some benign and others, deadly. The character of Sarabeth (Sarah) is beautifully drawn and the reader can’t help but to become immersed in her story. I could not put this book down. Author McHugh has crafted an intense psychological thriller and earned every one of the five stars in this rating. Highly recommended for lovers of thrillers, mysteries, and character-driven stories.

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