The Darkest Corners ★★★★☆

the darkest cornersLooking for a nice, well-paced, slow build? You need to pick up a copy of The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.


I should’ve known I would enjoy The Darkest Corners when it came packaged to me in an evidence bag.

Tessa Lowell and Callie Greenwood show signs of major anxiety disorders after having testified against the alleged killer, Wyatt Stokes. They also show two very popular ways to deal with: Tessa attempts to overcome it by ignoring it while Callie dives to the bottom of the bottle. Their character growth was both amazing and realistic. Too often, we see vices simply dropped without recourse and it was nice to see both cause and effect for these girls.

I certainly spent most of The Darkest Corners speculating “who dunnit?” which is exactly what I want out of a crime/mystery novel. Thomas does a great job slowly giving us information as Tessa and Callie remember fights and come to terms with their own actions. Without giving too much away, large revelations in the plot are given away as Tessa and Callie forgive themselves for their own actions and finally admit, both to themselves and each other, what actually happened ten years ago.

On the surface, we follow the case of The Ohio River Monster, a man who murdered girls and left their bodies to be discovered along I-70, but beneath that are other mysteries–all of which tie back to The Ohio River Monster and Wyatt Stokes. This was perhaps my one qualm with The Darkest Corners.

I wanted them to find the killer and Tessa’s other mysteries were a bit like road blocks. I was delayed from finding out the inevitable. I wanted Tessa to prioritize Wyatt Stokes over her personal issues.

Amazon . B&N . IndieBound

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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