In the Dark

In the DarkShe S Broken She S Vulnerable She S Just What Marco Was Looking ForStella Wiseman Was A Child TV Star, But There S Nothing Glamorous About Her Life Now Alone In Her Thirties, She S Lost Her Parents And Her Friends And She S Stuck In A Dead End Job But Just As She Hits Rock Bottom She Meets Marco, A Charismatic Older Man Who Offers To Get Her Back On Her Feet He Seems Too Good To Be TrueIs He She Appreciates The Money He Lavishes On Her And The Pills But Are The Pills Just Helping Her Sleep, Or Helping Her Avoid Her Problems With Stella S Life Still In Freefall, Marco Whisks Her Away To A Secluded Cottage Where She Is Isolated From Everyone Except Him But The Closer He Pulls Her, The Worse She Gets He Tells Her It S All In Her Head, And She Just Needs Time Away From The WorldNo Longer Sure What S Real And What S Not, Stella Begins To Question Whether She Was Wrong To Trust Marco Was She Wrong To Trust Herself Is The One Person She Thought Was Fighting For Her Survival Actually Her Biggest Threat For my full review, visit me at have read books covering many fictional scenarios rape, graphic murders, paedophiles but this novel left me with a constant sickening feeling in my stomach I predicted how the story would unfold but, despite feeling so horrid, continued reading in the hope that the mood would lift If the topic of gas lighting makes you feel uncomfortable and is an unpleasant topic, then I would recommend you think twice before reading this novel.For my full review, visit me at Scattered, jumbled storySorry to say that I couldn t connect to this one at all There s something about the writing style that made it difficult to get into the story, and though there are elements of the plot that had potential, the execution was lacking that special something to make it work.The story follows Stella, a former child star, as she meets a guy and they begin a relationship that may or may not be healthy Marco recognized Stella immediately upon meeting, and they shared one drunken night together that turned into Somehow Stella has found herself in a relationship, still not all that happy, and with a dependence on pills to get through the day.It s told exclusively from Stella s perspective with a lot of internalization and I think that s partially to blame for the scattered feel Essentially, the story jumps from one of Stella s thoughts to the next, moving forward at a strange pace and not letting the reader get to know Marco as much as we should I think if we d interacted with Marco frequently, it would ve added some tension and really allowed the reader to question his motivations There s definitely some triggering content pertaining to addiction, mental health, etc so keep that in mind when deciding if this is the book for you. It s taken me a bit of time to get to this review because I found the central relationship quite hard to stomach due to past experience Daisy s depiction of gaslighting is spot on But The Silence is what they call a total banger and I read it in one sitting I m awed by the author s turn of phrase which elevated the book and while some of the plot pieces have been done before within this genre e.g the isolated cottage setting , I feel Daisy was able to bring a freshness to it I really appreciate the details of the small village in which Stella finds herself and the characters she encounters are very well rounded given we don t spend all that much time with them I adore the chicken wrangling mother and daughter combo in particular.I got a Whatever Happened to Baby Jane flavour towards the end and that can only ever be a good thing Daisy, I m beyond proud of you and this wonderful achievement, I can t wait for your next. This is a great psychological thriller Stella meets Marco and slowly starts to fall in love with him He recognises her from being a child star in a sitcom and seems to have been a big fan Stella is encouraged by Marco to take a pill each day to calm her nerves but soon she s soon spaced out, she keeps losing her memory Marco encourages her to see a Doctor he knows but things go from bad to worse Soon Stella has lost all her friends and is alone at a cottage while Marco works away Things are happening around her and she questions if she s losing her mind The only light in her life is a neighbour, Frankie who tries to help her This book is quite dark in its portrayal of a controlling relationship and I was desperately hoping Stella would see through Marco s manipulative ways. This was my First Reads pick for the month of February.It s one thing to be a broken individual that someone could easily prey on It s quite another to be that AND painfully stupid That s the reason I could not finish this book Not only was it glaringly obvious from chapter one as to what was going on but we had to deal with a protagonist who is mentally and emotionally blind It was so frustrating that I had to put the book down several times for fear of chucking it across the room.which would have been bad since it was on my kindle Stella IS broken She most definitely has been through a lot, but come on I don t want to give anything away, which is weird because the author pretty much does from the beginning, but even being as vulnerable as she was, this was absurd Put that together with an array of unlikable characters and a writing style that is a bit choppy and I m just done The only reason it garnered two stars is because the plot was interesting Sadly, it just wasn t executed very well. I do t usually have such strong reactions to books I don t care for but this book drove me insane Not a single character was in any way like able or relatable The story was disconnected and confusing at times The supernatural element, in my opinion, was completely unnecessary and did harm than good Also, I m going to point out this is yet another story about an unreliable narrator, made unreliable by substance abuse Which, frankly, I am sick of. Rating 3.5Author Daisy PearcePublisher Thomas Mercer 1 Mar 2020 Release 1st March 2020 Synopsis She s broken She s vulnerable She s just what Marco was looking for.Stella Wiseman was a child TV star, but there s nothing glamorous about her life now Alone in her thirties, she s lost her parents and her friends and she s stuck in a dead end job But just as she hits rock bottom she meets Marco, a charismatic older man who offers to get her back on her feet He seems too good to be true.Is he She appreciates the money he lavishes on her And the pills But are the pills just helping her sleep, or helping her avoid her problems With Stella s life still in freefall, Marco whisks her away to a secluded cottage where she is isolated from everyone except him But the closer he pulls her, the worse she gets He tells her it s all in her head, and she just needs time away from the world.No longer sure what s real and what s not, Stella begins to question whether she was wrong to trust Marco Was she wrong to trust herself Is the one person she thought was fighting for her survival actually her biggest threat About the AuthorDaisy Pearce was born in Cornwall and grew up on a smallholding surrounded by hippies She read Stephen King s Cujo and The Hamlyn Book of Horror far too young and has been fascinated with the macabre ever since.She began writing short stories as a teenager and dropped out of a fashion journalism course at university when she realised it wasn t anywhere near as fun as making stuff up After spells living in London and Brighton, Daisy had her short story The Black Prince published in One Eye Grey magazine Another short story, The Brook Witch , was performed on stage at the Small Story Cabaret in Lewes in 2016 She has also written articles about mental health online In 2015, The Silence won a bursary with The Literary Consultancy, and later that year Daisy also won the Chindi Authors Competition with her short story Worm Food Her second novel was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Award.Daisy currently works in the library at the University of Sussex, where she shelves books and listens to podcasts on true crime and folklore She lives in Lewes with a one eyed Siamese cat and a nine year old daughter who occasionally needs reminding that ghosts and monsters aren t real.Sometimes she almost believes it herself My Thoughts My oh, my Where to begin with this one Well, I was offered an early copy of this book as part of my Prime subscription They do a thing called Kindle First Reads and you get to choose an early eBook a month before it s released and also get them cheaper or something to buy print But anyway, this month I chose The Silence because the synopsis sounds twisty and gripping.I have to say Daisy Pearce has seriously good talent Throughout the book I felt like I was being led on a merry dance, being teased with potential plotlines and twists After every chapter I thought I d figured out what was going on, only to find those theories shattered or contradicted in the next chapter It is gripping, on the edge of your seat reading at it s most annoying, to be honest Not to say I didn t like the book, I really did, but there was SO MUCH going on that was shady and mysterious and it had me in the mind of to many chefs spoil the stew , or in this case to many suspects spoil the book There really was just too much going on and it left me completely unsure what way the book was even going I loved the writing style, it seemed very personal and I felt a deep connection with the main character, which is always nice The characters were well developed and I couldn t fault it in any way besides the tangle of events and suspects I m going to try and untangle my thoughts for youBasically, I feel that Pearce has excelled at writing a good psychological thriller The way the story twists and turns and hints and confuses the readers seems to me intentional, like Pearce means for the reader to feel as confused and unsure of things as the main character, Stella does If this is the case then it s a truly wonderful book and Pearce is going to be an author to keep an eye on, but if this wasn t the intention then that makes it much less so As I felt that this was in fact the intention, I did enjoy the book a lot While the confusion of events annoyed me at times I felt like I was supposed to feeling that way and it drew me in further, needing to know what was ACTUALLY going on So, as I said, I did enjoy the book I can t though say for certain that this was intentionally confusing, therefore I can t in good conscience praise it as so I think overall the book is going to prove a bit marmite, you ll either love it or you ll hate it It certainly isn t a 5 star storyline, but it s enjoyable if you get past the confusion of the narrative I d say read it, see what you think if the synopsis grabs you, but be prepared for a very twisty and confusing ride because nothing becomes clear until the very end Read book reviews at The Silence is a well written book and I will certainly read from Pearce in the future, but it s a plot that I ve read before There s a current trend of authors relying on an unreliable female narrative to help develop their thrillers so, unfortunately, it all felt obvious from the start, for me.The story reminds me a lot of The Wife Between Us, as you can easily make the assumptions that our female lead is being taken advantage of, with her fragmented memory only telling us half of the story But it doesn t leave much up to the imagination, as it s obvious from the synopsis alone which character is behind everything going on.There is a lot that still needs to be pieced together regarding exactly how the story is going to play out, but because you know that Stella is going to lose everything close to her before eventually regaining some control, I didn t have a lot of patience with her narrative.The problem is that she isn t a very sympathetic character Usually, you can understand why a character is made to behave the way they do, seeing the pressures around them build up which help you to understand why they so reluctantly give in to the abusive natures of others But Stella comes across self destructive and weak from the start, seemingly allowing herself to manipulated and pushed around which is what makes it so difficult to sympathise with her.This is only made worse by the fragmented structure of the story which becomes quite irritating, constantly jumping ahead in time to reflect on Stella s lack of memory Because we don t see the abuse at the start and only see her downing and pills as she hangs on to Marco s every word, there s too much that we re missing out on for us to really engage with her And him Without getting to know Marco at all, either, it s no wonder we don t trust him from the start, so there s not a lot of mystery left behind his motives to consider the possibility that it might be somebody else.I guess this is the trouble with vulnerable characters, as you really need to get inside their heads to understand their actions But whilst it s obvious that Stella is an incredibly fragile character, I don t think this was explored well enough in the beginning The themes explored are heavy including addiction, grief, mental health issues, and abusive relationships but it just doesn t have the impact it needs It doesn t feel personal, and that s my main struggle with the story as I couldn t get past the predictability of it all.Towards the end, Stella does reflect back on some of her memories, revisiting scenes that she had blanked out to reveal what was actually going on at the time, but it s all too late The gaslighting subplot does give the story a sense of originality and it is this aspect that keeps your interest piqued, but the parts of the story that I was interested in weren t explored well enough in the end.With the author being a huge fan of Stephen King, The Silence combines its mystery thriller genre with something supernatural You can see King s influences throughout, almost acting as the gloomy, moist figure that creeps around the cottage himself But neither genres are explored to their full potential I would have been than happy for the strange ongoings to be an actual ghost, but it s never explained how much was going on in Stella s head and how much was actually happening.Moving the setting from London to a coastal town in Cornwall, it s obvious that Pearce is a good writer as she uses beautiful imagery throughout Being born in Truro, as well, she has a great understanding of the surroundings she writes about Although the town of Tyrlaze is fictional, she describes the fog heavy cliffs of the town well, mustering the senses of an often grey but always salty scented feel of a Cornish town brilliantly.There are also many tense moments that take place in the cottage and cliff side as Pearce does do well to build up the tension, another credit to her writing, but it s just because I ve read many similar stories that the revelations didn t work for me.So, whilst The Silence undeniably has some promising elements, it was too similar to other thrillers that I have read for me to get into the concept fully In the end, it just feels like another example of a book that if you re new to the thriller genre, then this will make for a great first read, but for fans of the genre already, it doesn t add anything new, just the potential of a great author to keep an eye on. Part 1 My last book group read was The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry There were sentences and paras that I stopped to read again slowly because they were so beautifully written We all agreed that Sarah Perry s book is literature Then there are genre books which are page turners and people like them because they are quick exciting reads They make good films The Harry Potter books are not well written I don t mind the odd genre book but I get pleasure from literature.Having said that the theme of the child star was well integrated and for a first book it was very good.Well done to Daisy for getting published and fingers crossed that she gets a film deal too Part 2 So, we have Villanelle in Killing Eve, Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter, Dexter Morgan in Dexter and the character Kathy Bates played in Misery by Stephen King Now there is Marco Nilsen in Silence Daisy has added the narcissistic trait of gaslighting and of course all psychos are also narcs Whereas narcs who tend to be controlling liars, would never kill as they are capable of feeling shame and guilt.In psychology there is a term the dark triad of personality traits to describe narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism these do not make for the nicest individuals There are also sadists and sociopaths but these are made, not born, think of the Mafia.People who score highly on the dark triad are vain, callous and manipulative They adopt a so called fast life strategy, characterised by impulsivity, opportunism and selfishness Such individuals can succeed in the workplace, while failing to get on with others.Some interesting research was published last year which shines another light on the dark triad Melissa Gluck at the University of Florida and her colleagues gathered evidence suggesting that sexism and the socially supported, unearned male power and privilege that sexism reflects is linked to higher scores on measures of the dark triad So, coming back to Daisy s book, the female protagonist, Stella Wiseman, is annoyingly weak From the beginning she takes grey pills without knowing what they are and keeps apologising to Marco when he gaslights her This is not plausible Her weakness would increase the male power that Marco is enjoying and exerting, and those who experience gaslighting in real life either run away fast or stand up to it and call the narc out, give them an inch and they will take a mile Of course having to call out narcissistic behaviour is tiresome, who wants to spend their life doing that, so most run away early in the relationship.Interestingly the female psychos Villanelle and the Kathy Bates character are like powerful men You can t imagine a feminine character behaving like a psycho which supports Melissa Gluck s research Of course on Quora you do read about female narcs but sometimes it sounds like men experiencing female dicks or arseholes and then labelling them as narcs because it is a current term that is bandied about Not enough is known about female narcissism but I m sure it exists, just not as much as appears on social media.I think everyone knows now that if you are in a relationship with a narc, you keep any evidence of their gaslighting like the ctv footage of Marco in The Silence so that you can prove they are the narcs, not you They will always reverse any verbal accounts and lie deny, asserting that they were the ones being gaslighted.According to Wikipedia, the DSM IV TR USA gives the prevalence of psychopathy in the general population as 3% in males and 1% in females Narcissistic personality disorder is also prevalent in males than females and is thought to occur in around 6% of the general population.Of course the percentage is much higher in prison populations, then there are non clinical psychos and narcs who never present themselves for personality tests So the actual percentages may be higher Maybe it would be useful if these personality tests were administered in job interviews and made available to potential life long partners On the other hand narcs are liars, maybe pathological liars, so they could navigate a questionnaire in order to make themselves appear normal Pay Attention as Daisy might say. Liked her writing style even though stream of consciousness in present tense usually makes me stop reading She used very creative metaphors.Problems were hated the MC She was so obtuse I wanted to strangle her There s only so long a character can be in denial before it s just not believable any I could have bought that the drugs were leaving her unable to think straight, or making her not care, but there really wasn t enough made of the drug s effects in that respect Even after she s sober she absolutely refuses to look at what s right in front of her It carried on far too long for a novel.That whole abused woman conversation was intended to explain her obtuseness, but it didn t work for me In my experience abused women aren t wilfully ignorant.I ve seen comparisons to Rebecca Maybe that was due to the atmosphere of the book, but there really were no similarities in my view Rebecca was active and the plot was well developed This was far too static and I think it s because it wasn t intended to be novel length.It s meant to be suspenseful but just wasn t The author pretty firmly establishes the culprit early on and whatever attempts are made at misdirection just do not land at all Only kept reading to see when the hell Stella would come to her senses You know it s not a good sign when you reach chapter thirteen and feel the story ought to be wrapping up at that point.I must have missed the connection but why The Silence All I could think of was the Doctor Who monsters.ETA SPOILER maybe One other thing that bothered me There is one character who turns out to be bisexual A single hint is given that this is the case, via a joke made early on It can t possibly be inferred in the context it s delivered, and even the MC is surprised by the revelation when it finally happensjust before the character s demise It absolutely feels as though this aspect of the character was dropped in as an afterthought As though the author felt they needed to include a member of the LGBT community and realized, in finishing the story, she had forgotten It wouldn t have bothered me if it was left out, it was by no means an essential element Really very minimal, in fact Like one line But if the author had wanted to include it she should have given it of a mention Reminded me of the black character dies first joke in horror movies.