Monday, 31 July 2017

Review - The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

Prior to reading this book the only thing I knew was that it was written by Cathy Glass under the name of Lisa Stone. This book, The Darkness Within, is the author’s first psychological thriller and having enjoyed her previous books i just knew it was something I had to read. Exploring a premise that I found to be quite fascinating, this book had me well and truly hooked from the very first page and really got me thinking. I’m so glad I picked it up! 

The book begins by briefly introducing us to Rosie’s relationship with Shane, an abusive and horrible man. It then switches focus and we meet Reverend Wilson, his wife Elizabeth and their son Jacob. Despite his young age, Jacob is critically ill and in desperate need of a livesaving heart transplant so they are all overjoyed to hear that a donor has been found. However their happiness doesn’t last long as after the transplant Jacob’s behaviour and personality both take a nasty turn. He becomes unrecognisable, so different from the kind, caring boy he once was. What they don’t realise at first is that the heart came from Shane, who was killed in a horrific car accident whilst drunk. Why has Jacob’s personality changed? Did he inherit the personality as well as the heart of his donor? 

As the perpetrators of domestic violence, Shane and Jacob were two characters who I despised and I couldn’t wait for them to get their comeuppance. As such whilst I know that a parent’s job is to protect their children I really couldn’t understand the behaviour of Jacob’s parents. Despite all the evidence they had before them by acting in the way that they did, they effectively condoned Jacob’s behaviour when instead it should have been punished from the start. For all she was going through, Rosie was one of the only character who I really cared for and I hugely admired her for the bravery and strength that she showed. 

From having read a few of the author’s previous books as Cathy Glass, one thing I knew was that she was somewhat of an expert when it comes to dealing with difficult themes. The Darkness Within was no exception to this, it certainly didn’t make for easy reading and did contain many a scene that some readers may find distressing. Despite a few moments that I struggled with myself, I found that I was unable to put this book down - it was fast-paced and full of tension from the very fisrt page although I have to say I’m still very dubious about the idea that a donor’s personality can be passed on to the recipient through a transplant. 

With some very real but not necessarily likeable characters and a storyline that I became incredible wrapped up in, I really feel that Lisa has done an incredible job with The Darkness Within. A powerful and emotive read, for her first psychological thriller it was certainly impressive and I hope that there will be plenty more by her in the future.