Kept in the Dark: A Novel

Kept in the Dark: A Novel

by Penny Hancock


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At the house next door, respectability can hide all manner of sins

Fans of  New York Times bestsellers Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison will love Penny Hancock’s chilling debut thriller about a woman on the edge. When her neighbor’s fifteen-year-old nephew goes missing, Sonia is the last person that anyone would suspect. At forty-three, she is a strikingly attractive wife and mother. And like the River House, her lovely home overlooking the Thames, Sonia’s life is a picture of perfection and normalcy—until she meets Jez. From the moment he shows up on Sonia’s doorstep, the gorgeous teenage boy awakens a torrent of memories that threaten to reveal a terrifying truth. Drawn to Jez by a compulsion that she scarcely understands, Sonia takes him captive—prepared to sacrifice everything to keep him.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452298330
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Penny Hancock grew up in southeast London and then travelled extensively as a language teacher. She now lives in Cambridge with her husband and three children.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Pick of the Shelves 2012 -The Sun (UK)

Customer Reviews

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Kept in the Dark: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Brklynreader More than 1 year ago
This is a super-creepy and atmospheric book that takes places on the Thames outside London. The main woman in the story reminded me of Amy in Gone Girl, that is, she is a psycho, but what she does makes sense and she gets away with things. It's very disturbing at times on many levels. Very well written, original and still resonates with me.
Twink More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 Kept in the Dark is British author Penny Hancock's debut novel. Forty something Sonia lives in a beautiful home on the Thames River in England. She is being pressured by her family to sell the house now that her children are grown, but she is quite resistant to this idea. Their constant pressure seems to have widened a crack in Sonia's psyche. Fifteen year old Jez comes to the door of River House to take up an offer from Sonia's husband to borrow some music. He's not home, but Sonia invites him in anyway......and decides that he won't be leaving. He is a beautiful boy and she decides she will be the one to protect him and keep him safe. So she drugs him and locks him in the music room..... All of this happens within the first few chapters of the book. So, we know the crime early on. The question is will Jez escape? And why is Sonia doing this? We get little glimpses into her past as the book progresses, revealing more and more of a relationship that was distinctly unhealthy. What drove this book for me was Sonia's rationalizations and thought processes. Hancock has written wonderful dialogue for Sonia. She is able to completely twist the situation around in her mind - she is truly only doing her best to help this poor boy - completely obliterating the fact that she is the one putting him in danger. She can't understand why Jez is not more grateful. The crime Sonia has committed is horrifying, but is Sonia herself who is gave me that creepy, unsettled feeling in my stomach as I read. There is a twist at the end, that I did suspect was coming a few chapters before. Hancock employs a first person narration style for Kept in the Dark. It's unusual as the entire book is told from the criminal's point of view and we never really get to know the victim at all. We know Jez wants to escape, but only from what Sonia tells us. Readers looking for an action packed book won't find it here. Instead the book moves at a slower pace as Hancock deliberately and deliciously builds the story bit by bit. Hancock has penned an interesting debut. I would pick up another book by this author - her next is scheduled for the first half of 20
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book, quick read. Liked how things were revealed in the book through flashback memories, but was disappointed in the last chapter of the book. Just felt like the author could have added more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
shayrp76 More than 1 year ago
*This is an advanced readers copy* librarything giveaway 4 Stars When fifteen year old Jez goes missing family relationships that were already crumbling reach their limits obscuring realities about the disappearance. The family’s neighbor and friend Sonia, who can’t let go of her past lost love, is looking to fill an emptiness that has deepened since her daughter has gone off to college. Jez could be the answer to Sonia’s problem and her way to never have to let go of all that she has lost and all that is trying to be taken from her. First of all, I almost didn’t enter this giveaway because of the description but I am glad that I did. Are parts of this hard to read? Absolutely! There were times when I didn’t think I could possibly go on and would take a step back for a couple of days. If you can get around some of the actions of Sonia (it is hard to do) the plot is actually multifaceted and riveting. That said, there is only one likeable character and that is Jez, but unfortunately the only perspective given of him is through the other characters so that is why this didn’t get five stars from me. Reality slaps the face with this sort of book. Even though it is a work of fiction stuff like this is happening in our real world and I always appreciate that. This author is very brave in putting these words on the page. I have seen some of the negative reaction but I applaud her because something like this happened somewhere yesterday, is happening right now, and will happen tomorrow. Yes, I recommend this one wholeheartedly!