Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl

Book Review

Review of Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl

By just flicking back through a few of my older posts you'll see that I love a good thriller. Crime fiction is my thing, but it's often hard to find something original in a genre that's so saturated. I had high hopes for Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl (Midnight Ink); I liked the cult angle and though 'murder made to look like suicide' has been done rather too many times, the story seemed to have legs.


Amanda Sinclair has to fight harder than most for everything she has after fleeing the cult that left her brother dead at her mother's hand. Amanda works in a quiet job in quality control for a small cosmetics company, trying to leave her past behind her - until she learns that her mother has committed suicide in the mental ward where she's been locked away for the past ten years.

At first, Amanda believes that her mother killed herself, but when she looks through the personal belongings left behind, it seems her death may be related to the upcoming parole hearing for cult leader Patrick Collier. Teaming up with her mother's psychologist, Amanda starts to peel away the layers of secrets that she's built between herself and her own past, and what she finds is a truth that's almost too big to believe.

This blurb definitely hooked me in, and I must say that the book was well paced, with a few good twists and turns and an ending I didn't predict. However, the writing really lets the story down.

I haven't read any of Rendahl's previous books before but I wasn't surprised to find that she also writes romance and chick lit. There is, of course, a romance in the book, which is all well and good, I love a good love story, but this one was littered with words like 'dreamy', 'chocolate eyes' and 'melting'. More what you'd expect in a teenage girls diary, not a murder mystery. The romance was also fairly predictable and lacked excitement.

Rendahl has a habit of inserting words where they're not needed. She'll be describing something and add in an unneeded 'totally' for no apparent reason.

"It would totally be adding insult to injury if I had to deal with a traffic jam."

I suspect the writer and editor were trying to make the main character sound relatable, but it doesn't work, it just sounds clunky and slows down the reading.

In fact, I didn't connect with Amanda at all and felt that most of the characters were flat and two dimensional.

Sorry to go on about the writing but I feel like Cover Me in Darkness could have been so much better if it was just edited a bit more. I also found that Rendahl spends many paragraphs describing something that doesn't matter that much, then she skims over what I think is an important incident.

Generally, the writing is a little clunky, which is a shame because it slows down what is a good story, and I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened. If you can put up with the writing then this is a decent read, but a lot of the time I felt like taking out a red pen and giving it a good edit.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Cover Me in Darkness will be published on 8th December 2016.

My thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for supplying me with a review copy.

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