As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
HQ, 23 August 2018. ISBN: 978-0-84845-670-9 (PB)
Mary Kubica is shaping up to be one of those authors whose books are a
constant surprise. When the Lights Go Out is her fourth, and so far no
two have been in the least alike.
America's midwest is her
stamping ground, and she has a knack for bringing its quirky corners to vivid
life. This time much of the action takes place in and around an old carriage
house: an apartment which was probably once the home of the coachmen or
chauffeurs of the affluent families who once owned the dilapidated house in
whose grounds it stands. The building is old and creaky, and its odd-shaped
rooms and weird nighttime noises almost become another character in the story.
Or one of the stories. There
are two, which run in parallel. Jessie, who moves to the carriage house early
in the narrative after losing her mother to cancer and is assailed by insomnia
and the fear it brings that lack of sleep may hasten her own death although she
is only nineteen. Eden is newly married, trying and failing to get pregnant.
Her home too is distinctive, a pretty cottage overlooking the ocean.
In alternate chapters each
tells her story, growing increasingly desperate as the things they need and
desire most refuse to happen. The link between them is revealed early, but a
dark mystery still lies between them, only to be revealed in the final
Mary Kubica clearly has an
insight into the mind of a woman in distress, disturbed and almost destroyed by
a quirk of fate. Jessie's anguish mounts as grief threatens to overwhelm her,
sleep continues to elude her and she loses sight of what is real and what her
tortured psyche is inventing; Eden begins to lose her grip as her options run
out and month follows month without a baby on the horizon.
These two characters made me
ache for them, but they don't suffer alone. Liam, a man Jessie meets at the
hospital the night her mother dies, is gentle and caring, but has problems of
his own. Aaron, Eden's husband, shares her sense of loss but can't carry her
grief along with his own. And then there's Miranda, unappreciative mother of
three who only makes Eden feel worse; and Ms Geissler, who owns the big
dilapidated house and can't see Jessie's problem.
The mystery is finally
unlocked, and the ending of Jessie's heart-wrenching story took me by surprise;
my jury is still out on whether it was a clever twist with all the clues in
place, or a shock to make the most seasoned mystery reader gasp in disbelief.
All I can say is read it and decide for yourself. You won't be disappointed.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Kubicaholds a Bachelor of Arts
degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American
Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two
children and enjoys photography, gardening, and caring for the animals at a
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.