Dark Corners by Darren O’Sullivan:  Loaded with menace, chills, thrills and suspense, and with a jaw-dropping twist in its tail - book review -

Neve Chambers’ best friend went missing when they were both 16-year-old schoolgirls and twenty years later, she is still haunted by the events surrounding her disappearance.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:32 am
Dark Corners
Dark Corners

Neve Chambers’ best friend went missing when they were both 16-year-old schoolgirls and twenty years later, she is still haunted by the events surrounding her disappearance.

But now, another of her childhood friends has vanished without a trace and hidden truths from the past are about to rise to the surface in the most unexpected – and deadly – of ways.

Darren O’Sullivan, who trained as both an actor and stage director, turned to writing five years ago and has already garnered an army of fans with his dark, brooding thrillers which pack a powerful psychological punch and are guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Alternating between two timelines, Dark Corners is a gripping, twisting, turning tale which dishes up an intensely claustrophobic mystery, full of revealing flashbacks and disturbing secrets, as well as the fascinating dynamics of a Nineties coming-of-age friendship group.

Neve Chambers’ best friend Chloe Lambert went missing without a trace in 1998 when they were both sixteen years old. They were part of a gang of pals in a former mining village where tales of a ghostly man called The Drifter, who hangs around outside people’s homes, had been circulating for years.

Unable to face up to what had happened, Neve left the home she shared with her father shortly afterwards and has never returned, but over the last twenty years she has fallen apart both mentally and physically. She shares ownership of a café in London with an old university friend but she drinks to excess and her fiancé has recently walked out on her.

Still haunted and insecure, Neve promised herself that she would never go back to the place where she grew up but when she learns that her first boyfriend, Jamie Hardman, has gone missing in a disappearance that echoes the events of all those years ago, she feels forced to finally return.

But even before Neve left London, she felt that somebody was watching and shadowing her… somebody who will stop at nothing until the truth about what took place on a summer night is finally revealed.

O’Sullivan is on top form as tensions rise in the present, and events from 1998 slowly unspool backwards from three weeks after Chloe’s disappearance to the unsettling six weeks leading up to that fateful day in July when a young girl vanished and the lives of a group of teenagers changed forever.

Against the atmospheric backdrop of a decaying pit village, still stalked by shadows from its industrial past, an intriguing mystery plays out with a deadly secret at its heart and some personal demons waiting to be vanquished.

Loaded with menace, chills, thrills and suspense, and with a jaw-dropping twist in its tail, Dark Corners will keep you guessing right up to the final, fiendishly clever finale.

(HQ, paperback, £7.99)