Fiction Friday: “Darkness, My Old Friend” Quintessential Thriller

Darkness, My Old Friend by Lisa Unger is the quintessential thriller novel. It has all of the necessary elements for the making of a thriller, including –
The Who:

  • The retired cop, who, of course, has a last name for a first name: Jones Cooper.
  • The difficult seventeen year old girl, Willow, who has just moved with her single mom to the rural town of Hollows from New York City.
  • The woman who became a psychic after a brutal car accident left her in a coma for six weeks, Eloise.
  • The creepy man, Michael Holt, who lost his mom at an early age. Even at thirteen years old he was bigger in stature than most men in their thirties.
  • The woman with the abusive husband, Paula Carr.

The What: One day while Willow is ditching school, she comes across Michael digging in the woods. Jones Cooper is hired to find out what happened to two missing women – one in the present and one in the past. Their stories start to intermingle after Eloise, the psychic, has some scary visions about the near future for Cooper.

When: Present Day

Where: The Hollows, a rural area that includes the dreaded creepy woods.
Why: To figure out what actually happened to Marla Holt, so many years ago.
This was definitely an interesting, flowing story that I could not put down. It was a quick read and an enjoyable one. At the beginning the stories seemed so disjointed, but they slowly start to intertwine into a fantastic surprise ending that brought the whole story together. Once Lisa Unger introduced the psychic, I became afraid that the story would turn cheesy, but it was quite the contrary. Unger did something I thought no one else could do– she made the psychic a real person and not cheesy at all.
It wasn’t until about half way through reading that I discovered that Darkness, My Old Friend is actually a follow up novel to Fragile, which I haven’t read. I’ve heard that it is good to read Fragile before reading the most recent novel, but it is not necessary. I do respect the fact that Unger has created a follow-up novel that can completely stand on its own.
Now, I leave you with one question today – why do most thriller novels have a cop/ex-cop with a last name for a first name? :) Got any theories?

— Kristen B.

2 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: “Darkness, My Old Friend” Quintessential Thriller

  1. Hey Timmy, I gotta stick up for my girl Kristen B. and say that "flowing" is definitely an adjective. If you have an alternate word choice you prefer, please let us know and perhaps we'll incorporate it into an upcoming post🙂 — Kristen D.

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