Dark Secrets 3: The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler
|Dark Secrets 3: The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: It's another installment in Elizabeth Chandler's Dark Secrets series and by now readers should know just what to expect - a strong heroine, supernatural activity, and danger with a hint of romance. This didn't quite capture my attention as much as the previous installments have but it's still a fine addition to the genre.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: January 2011|
|Publisher: Simon & Scuster Children's Books|
Like the first four novellas in the Dark Secrets series - previously released in two 'bind-up' editions - this story features a teenage girl returning to Wisteria, Maryland and trying to find closure on past events. In this case, Anna is summoned there by a letter from her uncle asking her to return to the place where her mother died so that he can tell her something important about their family, but by the time she returns her uncle is dead, his body found in the boot of a burnt out car. Her aunt seems crazy, and her first instinct is to get out as quickly as possible, but instead she's drawn into the mystery along with her cute neighbour Zack. The O'Neill women have always been said to be psychic, and Anna starts getting her own flashes which may draw her towards a solution - but also further into danger.
As a series, Dark Secrets has been fun and enjoyable all the way through. This is certainly in the same vein as the previous books but was a slight downward step in some ways. Anna is another really good and well-fleshed out main character, but the supporting cast seems a bit weak compared to the first four stories. Having said that, it's still comfortably ahead of most of the pack of supernatural young adult fiction and it's an interesting mystery with a well thought- solution. The villain in this one was also hard to guess at, with several characters seeming likely to be up to no good, although the eventual explanation seemed a little bit more far-fetched than most of the series have been.
I'm also pleased to report that Chandler's writing style is as good as ever - she keeps the book pacy but cranks up the tension expertly, especially in Anna's psychic sequences which are scattered throughout the book.
Overall, I'm happy to recommend this one to all fans of the genre and even though this seems to be the last of the Dark Secrets books I' keep an eye out for some of her others.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further Reading Suggestion: Any of LJ Smith's books are a good place to go from here, particularly the Forbidden Game trilogy - like Chandler, she always features strong female leads with some thrlling action.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Secrets 3: The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Secrets 3: The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler at Amazon.com.
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