Kirkus Starred Review for The Darkhouse: “…well-paced narrative… shocking conclusion”

Posted March 6, 2017 on – Link to post

A lonely teen girl’s life is changed forever when she discovers horrifying secrets about her family.

Fifteen-year-old Gemma has never left the place she calls home, an island off the coast of New Brunswick. Her father, an amateur scientist, tells her that it’s for her own good. But he’s too busy with his experiments to spend much time with Gemma, and there’s no one else her age on the island. From the first page, Gemma’s lonely interior world is drawn in rich detail, as is the island setting. Gemma spends her days alone or with the island’s older residents, who are like family. The all-white community is tight-knit, so everyone takes notice when Marlie, a mysterious woman, comes to the island. Marlie’s arrival sets off a chain of events that leads Gemma to uncover terrible secrets about her father and her past. Distraught, Gemma embarks on a journey full of dangerous twists and turns. Strangers and longtime friends make the journey with her, but ultimately Gemma must decide how to reconcile the past with the present and the truth with the lies about her past. The well-paced narrative builds from Gemma’s quiet longing to her bold quest for the truth to a shocking conclusion readers won’t see coming.

Science, mystery, and family collide in this creepy, satisfying page-turner. (Thriller. 12-16)