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Some choose darkness by Charlie Donlea
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Some choose darkness (edition 2019)

by Charlie Donlea, Nina Alvamar (Narrator)

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12515185,806 (4.1)2
A modern master of suspense, critically acclaimed author Charlie Donlea returns with a taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight . . .   The truth is easy to miss, even when it's right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father's law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.   In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind--until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela's murder--the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father's law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.   Rory's talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela's last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can't be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .… (more)
Member:Charon07
Title:Some choose darkness
Authors:Charlie Donlea
Other authors:Nina Alvamar (Narrator)
Info:Recorded Books, Inc., 2019.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, mystery, audio-e-book, audible, own, reviewed

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Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

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The plot moved along nicely, but descriptions of characters, their states of mind, characteristics, and such, were sometimes overlong or redundant. I found the investigator Rory Moore interesting, enough that I’ll probably read the next book in this series, but although there were some interesting twists, I’d figured out some of the big ones well in advance, and I’m not particularly clever or adept at solving mysteries. Most unforgivable, though, is that the novel opens with a murder that Rory is supposed to investigate that is never solved. I didn’t much care for the audiobook narrator, who seemed to want to infuse every sentence with emotion, usually unwarranted. ( )
  Charon07 | Aug 5, 2022 |
Ever wonder where authors come up with the titles to their books? Sometimes it's not always clear until much later in the book, like with Some Choose Darkness.

Since the first book I read by Donlea, I've been in love. The way he intertwines multiple mysteries into one plot line, seamlessly tying them together in unexpected ways, has made him an autobuy author for me.

This is the first book of Rory's series and I love her character. She is not your typical investigator nor is her husband. Able to see the big picture with new light, Rory "connects" with the victims and helps to solve the most unsolvable of crimes.

This one is personal though.

Books with blindsiding twists are my favorite and this one certainly had amazing twists. Without giving too much away, this is a brilliant start to what I hope is a long tenure for Rory. ( )
  Jynell | Feb 24, 2022 |
This was very well-plotted, and I enjoyed it even though I mostly skimmed it. I wish Rory had solved Camille's case too though. ( )
  pgchuis | Dec 25, 2021 |
I became aware of this author’s work through the review a fellow blogger posted for the second book of this series: intrigued by what I was reading, I searched for the series’ starter and found both an amazing thriller and a new writer to keep firmly on my radar.

Some Choose Darkness moves on two different temporal lines: the past, set between the years 1979 and 1981, and the present, alternating chapters from both timelines and building a sense of impending doom that compelled me to turn the pages at a very fast rate. Between the end of the ’70s and the start of the ’80s, a serial killer nicknamed “the Thief” preyed on young women in the Chicago area, and several of them disappeared: we see their end through the eyes of the killer, who enjoys torturing his victims in a very gruesome manner, and we also follow the obsessive search for clues from a troubled woman, Angela Mitchell, who manages to uncover the killer’s identity.

In the present, almost 40 years after the Thief was apprehended on the charge of murdering Angela, whose body was however never found, the killer is ready to be released on parole and since his lawyer just died, the case is shifted to the man’s daughter, Rory Moore, who normally works for the police as a forensic reconstructionist on cold cases. The Thief is convinced that Angela is still alive, and he asks Rory to continue the search for the woman started by her father: intrigued by the mystery she’s faced with, Rory launches on a journey of discovery not unlike the one that faced Angela as she pieced together the clues about the serial killer, and in both timelines the two women will face chilling discoveries…

Some Choose Darkness focuses more on the psychological aspects of the story (although there are enough twists and revelations to keep your adrenaline running high) and does so by following the path of the two center figures in both timelines, who share many similarities: Angela Mitchell is the typical suburban wife, with a nice house and a caring husband, but she’s afflicted both by an obsessive/compulsive disorder and relational difficulties comparable to autism. Although frightened by the news about the disappearance of young women in the summer or 1979, she keeps collecting newspaper clippings on this story and compiles detailed profiles for the missing women: her husband’s worry about this obsession, that is clearly exacerbating her condition, and her only friend’s doubts about the conclusions Angela reaches, only lead the woman to keep searching and to finally come to a revelation that will place her life in extreme danger.

For her part, Rory suffers as well from a borderline form of autism and OCD, but she channeled it all into the ability to extrapolate data in a very unconventional way, which - together with her eidetic memory - turns her into a quirky, but effective, investigator and a powerful asset for the Chicago PD. Once tasked by her client with examining clues about Angela Mitchell’s continued existence, Rory is enthralled by her discoveries and the mystery surrounding the woman, and as she tries to solve the puzzle she finds herself on an unexpected path, where momentous revelations will change her life forever.

The most fascinating element in this novel comes from the two protagonists, both troubled by behavioral issues but not succumbing to them, on the contrary putting the differences engendered by their psychological makeup to use: the comparison between the two timelines’ approach to their affliction underlines all the difficulties encountered by Angela as she’s treated with various degrees of contempt by acquaintances and even by the media - even when her findings help apprehend the Thief, she’s depicted by reporters as a mental wreck, with little or no acknowledgment of her role in the solution of the crime. The way the author represents her is very different, however, because he manages to showcase an inner strength in Angela, one that first carries her forward in a relentless search for the truth and then urges her to take an arduous, heart-breaking path.

Rory is an equally strong figure: unlike Angela she enjoyed the understanding and support of her parents, so she has been able to create a series of coping mechanisms that allow her to lead a normal life and to carve a unique working niche in which her talents can be put to the best of uses. There is a fascinating narrative thread in which we learn about Rory’s side activity in repairing damaged porcelain dolls: if on one side it shows her need to set things right, restoring the integrity and the beauty of these objects, on the other it’s easy to see how they might be a representation of herself, and the unexpressed statement about Rory’s will of repairing herself without external help.

These two fascinating characters are set in a very enthralling story, one where the two timelines enhance each other leading the readers toward the final showdown in a progression where you can only expect the unexpected: the pacing, as I noticed, is relentless, revelations and discoveries come in a natural way that never feels forced or contrived, and the build-up of tension becomes at times unbearable while keeping you glued to the pages with irresistible fascination.

What I liked most about Some Choose Darkness is that while we get acquainted with the killer’s mentality, the story is not so much about him but rather about the women pitted against his deranged world-view and cruelty. The character of Rory is a fascinating one, and I enjoyed witnessing how her mind works, so I will keep following her journey in the books that see her protagonist, together with other novels from this newly discovered author who made me a fan with just one book… ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 26, 2020 |
This is not at all like your typical serial killer story.
It doesn't focus on the murderer and what he has done(although it is explained) but its a story about the people who new him and the story of what happens to them. I loved the characters and how they were brought to life so well.
This was a fantastic, intense and fast read. Hold on to the edge of your seat. And don't start it until you have a day to yourself. You are not going to want to put it down!
The ending was perfect! ( )
  kmjessica | Apr 26, 2020 |
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A modern master of suspense, critically acclaimed author Charlie Donlea returns with a taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight . . .   The truth is easy to miss, even when it's right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father's law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.   In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind--until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before they could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela's murder--the only crime the DA could pin on him. But the cryptic file Rory finds in her father's law office suggests there is more to the case, and Angela Mitchell, than what was fed to the public, the details of which have been buried for four decades.   Rory's talents are tested as she begins reconstructing Angela's last days. Making one startling discovery after another, Rory becomes helplessly entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell and what happened to her. Drawing connections between the past and present, Rory uncovers dark truths about the reclusive victim, her father, and the man called The Thief that send her down a twisting trail where things may not be as they appear. As she continues to dig, even Rory can't be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . .

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