Reviewed by Dee
TITLE: Till Darkness Comes
AUTHOR: Sandra de Helen
PUBLISHER: McCorkle Ink
LENGTH: 149 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 17, 2016
When Beth Vogelsang’s Uncle Jerry is tortured and murdered Beth’s estranged friend Regan is the first cop on the scene. Regan hopes for reconciliation, but they’ve led different lives.
Beth has been abused, beaten, raped, and has experienced a devastating death in the family. She’s also fallen in love with her lesbian therapist. Will she reunite with her genderqueer friend? Or will their individual secrets keep them apart. Meanwhile, there’s a serial killer on the loose, putting both their lives at risk.
Being no stranger to dark and gritty stories, when I saw ‘Till Darkness Comes’ listed as an LGBTQ thriller, I was excited to get my hands on a copy. It delivered on being a dark thriller, not so much the LGBT angle, but I’ll get to that. First and foremost, readers need to be aware although the blurb states “Beth has been abused, beaten, raped…those things are not in the past, they occur in the pages of this story. A huge part of the story is about Beth and her husband, he is an abusive a-hole, with crimes consisting of drugs, domestic violence, rape and abduction. All on page.
A child also dies in this story, something I found truly gut wrenching, as will most readers. It annoyed me a little actually. I felt it would’ve been more fitting if the person who brought about his demise had died. From that point on, the main focus of this story is a vigilante killing people who’ve denied others medical care and /or claims. The mystery aspect of that is cut short as the person doing such is revealed to the reader. I had trouble buying who it was as if said person was so psychotic why put up with… Damn, I can’t say what without spoilers.
Back tracking, the story starts with Beth’s uncle being killed, and not for the same reason other people are being murdered, but because of the sexual abuse he inflicted on others – sorry if that’s a spoiler but I really think readers need to be aware this story has a heavy focus on abuse, most of it MF not same sex.
So where does the LGBTQ angle come in? Well Beth crushes on her therapist because she wants to know what all the hype about lesbian sex is. However despite her therapist spilling her guts to her client about her sexuality she doesn’t reciprocate Beth’s feelings or advances. Then there’s Regan, Beth’s childhood friend, who is loosely woven into the plot, and identifies as not being attracted to either gender.
This story has a shifting timeline which is somewhat choppy and disjointed. The biggest issue I had with the storytelling was the abundance of telling, there was little emotion shown or deep character building. In hindsight, with all the dark things going on that could very well be a good thing.
The fact this story kept me engaged enough not to be tempted to skim read, had me hovering on a 3 heart rating, right up to near the end. What end? I can’t say if it’s a cliffy or if the readers are supposed to decide for themselves what, or how, things turned out.
I’m but one reviewer, with my own opinion. I urge readers to grab a copy of this story, you might end up loving it despite my misgivings.