Title: The River Is Dark
Author: Joe Hart
First published August 6, 2013
242 pages, Kindle Edition
Liam Dempsey, an ex-homicide detective, is living a life without purpose. Each day, he contemplates ending it all, until one day, he receives news of a gruesome murder.
His estranged brother and sister-in-law have been brutally killed in their small town by the Mississippi River. Liam is drawn into the investigation, and soon realizes that this isn’t just another ordinary case.
The murderer is a cold-blooded killer, devoid of any moral compass. As Liam delves deeper into the investigation, he uncovers the dark secrets that the river holds.
The River Is Dark, and the murderer is still out there. This book contains explicit language and violence.
In “The River Is Dark,” Joe Hart takes readers on a journey through a suspenseful and thrilling tale of survival. First published on August 6, 2013, this book in the horror/dark fantasy genre, explores the themes of loss, grief, love, and redemption, with a dose of supernatural elements thrown in.
Set in a small town in Oregon, the story follows the protagonist, Jason, as he goes on a quest to find his missing wife, Emily. Along the way, he befriends a group of survivors who are also trapped in the woods, hunted by an unknown force.
As Jason and his companions race against time to uncover the mystery of their captivity and fight for their lives, they must also confront their deepest fears and traumas. Hart’s writing is crisp, taut, and unflinching, making for a gripping read.
The pacing is superb, with well-timed twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The characters are well-drawn, each with their unique strengths and weaknesses, making them relatable and sympathetic.
The book’s themes of trauma and loss are poignant and relevant, as they touch on the very real struggles of coping with grief and finding hope in the face of overwhelming odds. The supernatural elements, while at times terrifying, serve to heighten the stakes and add an otherworldly aura to the story.
Although the book does have some flaws, such as certain plot points feeling contrived and some moments of wooden dialogue, overall, “The River Is Dark” is a thrilling and suspenseful read. Hart’s vivid descriptions of the hauntingly beautiful Oregon wilderness and the palpable terror of the characters make for a vivid and immersive experience.
For fans of horror, suspense, and supernatural fiction, “The River Is Dark” is a must-read. It delivers on all fronts and offers a deeply satisfying conclusion that leaves a lasting impact.
On a scale of 1-10, this book deserves an 8.5 for its well-crafted writing, brilliant characterization, and thrilling plot. It is a book that would be enjoyed by readers of all ages who love suspenseful stories.