Girl in the Dark: A Novel

Girl in the Dark: A Novel

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by Marion Pauw
     
 

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An award-winning, internationally bestselling author makes her American debut with this taut, riveting domestic drama with the compulsive intensity of The Good Girl, The Pocket Wife, and The Stranger, about a long-lost brother convicted of a horrifying crime and a sister’s fight to clear his name.

A single mother and lawyer, Iris has a

Overview

An award-winning, internationally bestselling author makes her American debut with this taut, riveting domestic drama with the compulsive intensity of The Good Girl, The Pocket Wife, and The Stranger, about a long-lost brother convicted of a horrifying crime and a sister’s fight to clear his name.

A single mother and lawyer, Iris has a colorful caseload, a young son with behavior issues, and a judgmental mother.

She also has a brother—shocking news she uncovers by accident. Why did her mother lie to her for her entire life? Why did she hide the existence of Ray Boelens from her?

Curious about this sibling she has never known, Iris begins to search for long-buried truths. What she discovers surprises—and horrifies—her. Her older brother is autistic—and in prison for brutally murdering his neighbor and her daughter.

Visiting Ray, she meets a man who looks heartbreakingly like her own son. A man who is devoted to his tropical fish and who loves baking bread. A man whose naiveté unnerves her. There is no question that Ray is odd and obsessive, unable to communicate like the rest of us. But is he really a killer?

Told in the alternative voices of Ray and Iris, Girl in the Dark is a compulsive, page-turning thriller about lies, murder, and the tenacity of a family determined to stay together even as they are pulled apart at the most vulnerable seams.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/21/2015
Lawyer Iris Kaselstein, the heroine of Dutch author Pauw’s intriguing if flawed U.S. debut, is having a hard time managing her workload while fulfilling her responsibilities as a single mother to her three-year-old son, Aaron. Aaron’s aggressive behavior in day care forces Iris to interrupt a conference with a client, Peter van Benschop, who’s facing civil charges for using an underage teenager in a porn film. Meanwhile, Ray Boelens, an inmate convicted of stabbing his neighbor Rosita Angeli and her four-year-old daughter, Anna, to death, before stubbing a cigarette out on the little girl’s corpse, consistently maintains his innocence. Finally, Iris learns by chance that Ray is her older brother, and she agrees to advocate for him. Her natural questioning of her mother’s choice to keep Ray’s existence a secret leads to serious tension between them. The truth about Rosita and Anna’s deaths may surprise some readers, but even they may view it as a contrivance. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management (Feb.)
Herman Koch
“One of the most thrilling and entertaining suspense writers of The Netherlands—or any country for that matter. Marion Pauw just may be the Dutch answer to Gillian Flynn.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Pauw’s American debut is a tense revelation of dangerous family secrets and a challenge to preconceptions about autism.... A must-read for fans of character-driven stories, such as Tana French’s Faithful Place.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062424792
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/16/2016
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
325,389
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

MARION PAUW is a thriller writer living in Amsterdam. In the Netherlands, Girl in the Dark won the Golden Noose Award—the annual award for the best Dutch crime novel—under the title Daglicht (Daylight), and has sold more than 200,000 copies in Europe. It was also made into an acclaimed Dutch film. Girl in the Dark is Pauw’s American debut.

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Girl in the Dark 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars - Original review @ 125Pages.com I always enjoy when a book gives a shout out to one of my favorite treats (hagelslag), but sadly, the great beginning to Girl in the Dark fizzled out by the end. Sharp, stressed out single mother lawyer Iris, uncovers a deep family secret. She discovers that she has a brother, Ray, and he was found guilty of the murder of his neighbor and her daughter. Diving in to discover the truth, Iris takes on Ray’s case and begins to peel back the layers of her family’s past. Told in alternating chapters from Iris and Ray’s perspectives the story builds from two distinct perspectives to form one cohesive tale. Marion Pauw created a very real world, the settings made sense in the context in the story. The characters were well fleshed out; Iris was believable as a harried working mother, and Ray was a convincing confused mentally troubled character. The pacing was steady, with the action interspersed well with the drama. The writing, for the most part, was well planned out and made sense within the story. The plot was griping and well planned out until the very end. I enjoyed Pauw’s story until the grand reveal. Gripping and tense, it was genuinely a great thriller. The characters were well thought out and the world was very realized. My main issue came with the ending. I genuinely did not quite know the truth until it was revealed. I love a good thriller and was with the tale until the very last chapter. Then the truth was revealed and it did not fit the story at all. It just did not make sense at all to me within the context of everything learned and for a thriller lacked the punch, to me, of a grand reveal. I was hoping for a big “wow” and while the ending was something unexpected, it just did not have the wow factor I had hoped for. Pauw had most of the element’s I enjoy in her tale, but the ending just lacked the pow for me. I would read another of her books as 95% was great, the end was just not what I had hoped. I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.