“I understand that there’s something even more unsettling than being alone in the dark. It’s realizing that you’re not really alone at all.”Stacy Willingham, All the Dangerous Things
Title: All the Dangerous Things
Author: Stacy Willingham
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Contemporary Fiction
Length: 9 hrs, 55 mins
Published: January 10th, 2023
My Rating: ★★★★¾
Read: 1/14/2023 – 1/17/2023
For the past year, Isabelle Drake hasn’t had a good night’s sleep. Really, she’s lucky when she manages to get an hour or two. It started when her son, Mason, was taken and has yet to be found. She doesn’t care what measures she has to go to find the culprit be it attending true crime conventions or investigating her neighbors. But as memories of her childhood begin to surface, she starts to wonder if maybe she is the one to blame.
The book jumps around three key points in Isabelle’s life: Her childhood with her sister Margaret, meeting her now ex-husband, Ben, and the present day where she meets a true crime podcaster whom she eventually agrees to do an interview with. The timelines are woven together wonderfully and are full of suspense.
I found the characterization to be rich and the most enjoyable part of the story but I loved the plot as well. Though there were certainly predictable moments, it still had a twisty vibe and little details were placed well that they can get pushed to the back of the mind until they’re brought up again. Super atmospheric, too.
The writing style isn’t my favorite but I didn’t notice the over-description so much on the audiobook version. However, I did find the narrator a little bit overdramatic. Not in the sense where it was read more like a drama, but rather that so much of it was read in a half-whisper. It distracted me. Otherwise, she did a good job.
I read A Flicker in the Dark last year and found it just okay. All the Dangerous Things greatly surpasses it in my mind and I’m very excited to see what Stacy Willingham has in store for us next.
Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a free audio copy of the book to listen to and review!
Likes & Dislikes:
What I liked:
- The different mental illnesses covered throughout the book.
- The characters. They’re not super likable aside from maybe Margaret, but they aren’t particularly unlikable either.
- Twists that I absolutely should have seen coming but let myself get distracted in other parts of the plot. Well played.
- The atmosphere and tone.
What I didn’t like:
- Too much description and focus on insignificant details.
- It could be slightly less predictable.
I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I was a little bit apprehensive given I wasn’t impressed with A Flicker in the Dark. The issues I had with that book weren’t as glaring this time around. I’m glad because what I did enjoy about A Flicker in the Dark was the story itself.
I like books like this because they’re dark in a little twisted without being scary or over the top. There’s a strong psychological element as well that I love. I might pick up a copy of this for my bookshelf at some point.