After the Darkness

Honey Brown

After the Darkness
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After the Darkness

Honey Brown

Trudy and Bruce Harrison have a happy marriage, a successful business, and three teenage children. One fateful day they take the winding coastal route home, and visit the Ocean View Gallery, perched on the cliff edge. It’s not listed in any tourist pamphlet. The artist runs the gallery alone. There are no other visitors. Within the maze of rooms the lone couple begin to feel uneasy and with good reason. Trudy and Bruce will be ripped from the safe, secure fabric of their life and will have their world turned upside down and shaken. Attacked, trapped and brutalised, they barely escape the gallery with their lives only to find there’s no real getting away.

Review

Trudy and Bruce take a deserved holiday by the Victorian ocean: time for them to relax, their children left behind. Of course, a detour on the way home to a cliff-top gallery seems like the right, spontaneous thing to do. However, their misgivings when they enter the cold, glass-filled home are proven right and the following attack leaves them battered mentally and physically, with more to hide than to reveal ­– and someone out there knows about it.

This vivid, taut story of the aftermath of Trudy and Bruce’s experience left me short of breath, as anxious as they were about every moment that followed. After the Darkness, told from Trudy’s point of view, takes many of the male/female clichés of crime and turns them on their head, as she toughs it out through Bruce’s shackling, both literally and metaphorically, during the book’s progress. A story as psychologically chilling as it is physically frightening, it is a dark look into the trauma of violence changing an everyday happy couple into one wracked with paranoia, regret and simmering violence of their own.

fiona-hardy-picFiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly. She blogs haphazardly about movies and books (and sometimes music) and you can follow her on twitter - @readwatchtweet.

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