Hidden in the Dark

Every Family Has Secrets - Some Are Worth Dying For
February 8, 2017
Votes: 7
Audience Adult
Word Count 80-100k (average)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Formatted by EbookLaunch.com
Published Through Amazon Createspace – KDP
Reviewed at Sonalify.com
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Distributed by Amazon
Additional services through Alliance of Independent Authors
Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars

The Rundown

Hidden In The Dark is a hard-hitting story that provides an uncomfortable, though gripping read. The story of Genny, her abusive husband Randall, and their three daughters, Lilly, Randi and Raine, is told in the third person, moving between the characters viewpoints and dipping backwards and forwards between the past and the present day. Genny, who married Randall in good faith, is soon alarmed to discover the brutal violence that simmers just below the surface. As the years fall by, she becomes a mother and tries to remain on the right side of her husband. In the present day, she has finally had enough. The girls have left home and all but disowned their parents. Genny leaves and seeks shelter with the youngest girl, Raine. Meanwhile, Randi and the eldest daughter Lilly, are back in each other’s lives when Lilly falls pregnant after an affair and childless Randi offers to adopt the baby.

This was a second storyline that ran alongside the main one concerning Randall and the abuse of the past. Raine, the youngest, is perhaps the most troubled of all, and this becomes increasingly clear as the narrative delves into the history of her imaginary friend, Shanti. Eventually, discouraged by the coldness of her children, who all blame her for their traumatic childhood’s, Genny returns home, only to find Randall missing. What happened to him and who is responsible involves some particularly gory and violent scenes.

Stories from the girls’ childhoods are also shocking and disturbing, and I couldn’t help feel the narrative relayed the events in a rather cold, detached tone. Therefore, I found it hard to relate to or feel close to any of the characters. Nevertheless, the plot is cleverly arranged, the story gripping and although simple, the writing does enough to paint the appropriately traumatic picture needed to tell this story. I was slightly disappointed with the ending, which felt a little abrupt. Again, I was left feeling rather detached from it all and like I had not really got to grips with the characters. I can’t fault the plot though. Shocking with unexpected twists and turns.

The Recommendation

A shocking story of brutal domestic and child abuse, this is not a story for the faint-hearted. Dark, disturbing, tragic and shocking, the plot weaves the past and present together and offers a grim glimpse into many troubled minds. Genuinely gripping.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 3.5 Stars

3.5 Stars (out of 5): Pretty good. For the right audience, this could be great. Sure, there were some issues, but it was still worth the read.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Page Turner, Plot
Cons: Character Developement

The Reviewer

Chantelle Atkins

Chantelle Atkins is a mother of four from Dorset, England. She is addicted to both music and books and is currently on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible. She has self-published four novels and has just released her first short story collection. She writes for both the YA and adult genres. When she’s not writing books, she’s busy running her writing business Chasing Driftwood, which delivers creative writing clubs and workshops to local children and adults. She also writes regular articles about writing for Author’s Publish magazine, as well as short pieces for a local parenting magazine.


Visit Chantelle Atkins‘s website.

Author’s Summary

After enduring a lifetime of abuse at the hands of the man that vowed to cherish her, Genny Carter knows only the role of the victim. More focused on avoiding punishment than the wellbeing of her three daughters, she ignored the terror inflicted on them by their father during their childhood. She kept his secrets. Now, in her sixties, Genny has had enough. She needs her daughters to help her escape. Can she count on them?

Lilly has tried for decades since leaving that little Texas farmhouse to erase the unspeakable things that were done to her. After snagging a wealthy man, she reinvents herself into a polished member of San Antonio’s old-money society. Can she keep up this façade, or will the secrets she hides cause her to lose everything?

Always Daddy’s favorite, thirty-five-year-old Randi tries to bury her shame in a mountain of sex and drugs. Estranged from her parents for nearly ten years, the news of Mother’s leaving forces her to face old wounds. Will she survive?

Much younger than her sisters, Raine was left to deal with Daddy’s horrific abuse after the others left. Shanti, free of a conscience, was conjured to help protect little Raine by whatever means necessary. Raine’s mother and father are back in the picture, and Shanti is on a rampage.

Every family has secrets. Some are worth dying for.

Short Description

Every family has secrets. Some are worth dying for. With twists and turns that will leave your head spinning, this psychological thriller will keep you up past your bedtime.


Some secrets are worth dying for

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