Things We Do in the Dark
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Narrator: Carla Vega
To Be Published: July 19, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 28- July 5, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom—covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her—she knows she’ll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it’s not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it’s only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she’s unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris’s secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.
Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.
I was intrigued with this one and hoping it would deliver on its premise and it mainly did. For most of my listening of this one I gave it three stars- I figured out some of the twists, I just didn’t know what direction it would end up going in. And the final hit is what gave it the 4th star. I loved the ending!
This is my first book by Hillier, and I plan on reading more by her. I actually bought Jar of Hearts in a secondhand bookstore and then for weeks afterwards, it was showing up on Bookstagram accounts! Talk about timing on buying that one!
But back to Things We Do in the Dark: Past and present come together throughout this novel. This is the story of a much younger wife charged with the murder of her famous much older husband who was in the process of a career revival. I was pulled in from the beginning.
Hillier has written a sympathetic and likable character with Paris who comes with a past. We also are dealing with another story 25 years ago with the Ice Queen herself Ruby Reyes, who brutally murdered a boyfriend and got everyone’s attention in Canada. The connection between the two is Drew who runs a podcast: Things We Do in the Dark. And the connection goes back and forth between the two stories. The past is dark with dealings in a strip club and there is also child abuse involved.
This novel is not super-fast paced, but set at a steady pace where reveals happen that keep the reader/listener involved. For the most part it was an average read for me, but then we get the final few chapters and WHOA: That brought it up another star for me!
You can’t say too much with this one without giving something away, which is why this review is somewhat vague. It’s better to go in not knowing much with this one. I enjoyed Things We Do in the Dark and will look into more of Hillier’s novels to see what might intrigue me.
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
This was a thriller that had promise but did not deliver. I hate to say this because you don’t ever want to blame the parent (especially if you do not have kids like me) but it was all Marin’s fault: She was in an extremely busy area with her young son and texting. Not only texting, but it wasn’t really important! She took her eyes off of her son at the height of Christmas shopping season! So basically I did not have empathy for Marin while listening to the audiobook.
Then, the direction the novel goes did not bring anything new to the thriller genre for me. It wasn’t really a thriller either; it was an average suspense novel. The direction it goes in is a bit far-fetched, but then when we ultimately find out whom the ‘villian’ is it isn’t surprising and neither is their motive.
This one just did not deliver, but I would give Hillier another chance to see if one of her other novels works for me. She may be another author that ‘isn’t for me’. The one saving grace for me with Little Secrets was the narrator Kirsten Potter. To me she has a voice similar to Diane Sawyer, and I was first introduced to her narration with The Couple Next Door. As with The Couple Next Door I felt like I was listening to an episode of a news show such as Prime Time Live. Potter was the reason I finished Little Secrets.[Top]