Darkness and Shadows ~ the audiobook

 

 

  • five-stars

Struggling professionally and reeling from the psychological wounds left by a horribly abusive mother, Patrick is driven over the edge by a news report. A wealthy socialite couple has been murdered, and while the wife’s name isn’t familiar, her face certainly is. It’s his first and only love, Marybeth, the woman he lost to a horrific fire years ago.

Patrick’s obsession to find the truth sends him scouring records and documents that lead him to a shocking discovery: there’s no evidence Marybeth ever lived or, for that matter, ever died. Was the love of Patrick’s life just a product of his abused psyche?

Darkness and Shadows continues the story of Patrick Bannister, who was first introduced in The Lion, The Lamb and The Hunted, and immediately I was drawn back into Patrick’s world and into an absorbing and gripping suspense thriller. It’s a dark and very intense storyline which takes you on an exciting roller coaster of a journey.

Patrick is still suffering from his abusive past and the loss of his first love, Marybeth, from his college days and, after seeing a news report of a missing couple, is thrown into a state of confusion and torment.  The conversations Patrick has in session with his therapist are heartrending and superbly written.

Nothing is as it seems and as Patrick finds out more and more his life is turned upside down and he has to find out the truth whatever it takes. There are some really good plot twists along the way and the discoveries Patrick makes about Marybeth lead him to question his own perceptions of the truth.

I love the interaction between Patrick and Tristan, who he meets at the therapist’s office.  She’s a great character addition, interesting with a shady past and a tough attitude.

There is so much emotion throughout the story and Luke Daniels’ narration captures it perfectly, adding impact and feeling without being overly dramatic.  A compelling listen.

This is a great sequel further exploring how Patrick is coping with his life after the revelations and events in The Lion, The Lamb and the Hunted.  It’s not all doom and gloom even though you all but live Patrick’s torment and confusion, there are light-hearted moments and I love that Patrick has such a great relationship with Bullet considering the introduction they had.

The Lion, The Lamb and The Hunted ~ the audiobook

SHE ONLY STEPPED OUTSIDE FOR A MINUTE…
But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley’s world upside down—a minute she’d regret for the rest of her life. 

STEPPING INTO HER WORST NIGHTMARE…
Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. 

A NIGHTMARE THAT ONLY BECAME WORSE.
A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair.

CASE CLOSED. JUSTICE SERVED…OR WAS IT?
Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother’s belongings—it paints her as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.

I’ve listened to this twice (second time as a prelude to the follow-up) and it lost none of the initial emotion. The total compassion for, and horror at, Patrick’s disturbingly troubled childhood and upbringing by his unimaginably cruel mother or the tension and suspense as the story unfolds.

I like the way the story starts in the present and Patrick’s flashbacks of memory are integrated throughout. I was pulled right back into the drama and couldn’t help but be drawn again to Patrick because of the nightmare he lived through, his emotional wounds and the way he eventually learns to survive, and live with, the hurt. 

After Patrick’s mother’s death he finds clues in her belongings relating to a decades old crime. As he researches and learns more he’s determined to find out the truth of what happened all those years ago which leads him and his friend CJ into acute danger and the hunter becomes the hunted. 

The last chapter brings a lump to the throat as Patrick reads a letter from his real mother and realises he was loved all along but didn’t know it. The excellent writing plus the narration bring out the highly charged emotional content of the story.

Luke Daniels is one of the best narrators around in my book, no pun intended ;).  His characterisations are excellent and his narrative style just flows so seemingly effortlessly.

My heart broke for the young Patrick and the scary, awful thing is that treatment or similar could and does happen. It’s a really gripping psychological and emotional roller coaster.