All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
|All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Isabelle hasn't really slept for a year, since the night her son was stolen. She's determined to find our what happened to him but there's something in her past which puts doubt into her own mind as to whether she might have been involved. Extremely readable.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: February 2023|
|Publisher: Harper Collins|
|External links: Author's website|
|ISBN: 978- 0008454494|
Isabelle Drake hasn't really slept for a year - well, apart from the odd occasion when she lost track of time or drifted off for a moment. It's now a year since her son, Mason, was stolen from his bed in the middle of the night and Izzy is consumed with guilt that she heard nothing and particularly about her relief in the morning when she thought he was sleeping in. In that year she's done everything she could to raise awareness about the case. She does interviews and when we meet her, she's just been to TrueCrimeCon where she gave a keynote presentation. On the plane back, she's approached by a podcaster, Waylon Spencer, who points out that she could do a podcast and get to so many more people than she could by giving speeches to a few hundred people at conferences.
It's tempting but in Isabelle's sleep-deprived state, she's not sure who she can trust. She and her husband, Ben, split up after Mason's disappearance and he's now told her that he's seeing someone else. She could turn to her parents but there's a problem there too. As a child, Izzy had sleep problems and a history of sleepwalking. There was an incident in the family; she always thought that she might have been responsible and that her father, a congressman, had smoothed it over with the local sheriff. It also leaves her wondering if she might have had something to do with Mason's disappearance.
It's a year since I read A Flicker in the Dark and I knew then that Stacy Willingham was going to be an author to watch. We had a twisty plot, great characters and evocative writing. For me, there was only one, very slight drawback: I was only a few pages in when I guessed what was going to happen. Would that happen again? Well, there's the twisty plot, great characters and evocative writing - but I was nowhere near guessing what had happened. The plot is an absolute cracker. I didn't guess the solution but it's totally satisfying. All the clues were there: I just missed their significance.
The characterisation is excellent. No one is perfect (so few of us are) but every character is totally believable. Willingham captures so well what it's like to be sleep-deprived and the pure terror that overwhelms you when you lose a child, even when they're just not where you expect them to be for a moment or two. She's excellent too on the nuances of relationships, those little signs that tell you all you need to know. The book was a delight to read and I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.
I'm going to leave you with an example of Willingham's evocative writing:
...her voice like silk that's starting to tear.
For another story of a missing child, try Home by Harlan Coben.
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