Posted in A.S. Hatch

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch


How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.


We’re leaving in an era where information is available so largely, so easy and in such quantities that it created a downside. Our attention span is way shorter than it used to be, we’re losing our patience to concentrate for long and our interest is hooked only for a limited period of time. Therefore, as a reader, when you are choosing a certain type of book that is promising to offer you a quick gratification, like a thriller or a horror or a YA book, you’re definitely not expecting a very slow action, tons of descriptive paragraphs, either on the surroundings or on the characters feelings.

When I rated This Little Dark Place, I browsed a bit through other reviews and as I was anticipating, a lot of readers were disappointed by how slow this book is. Of course, if you’re reading a family drama, a decades saga or whatever book that obviously has an imminent unhurried rhythm, this wouldn’t be a problem. But the story A.S. Hatch creates is centered around not one, but two mysteries, one in the past and one in the present and it starts building the suspense from the very first pages. So when it continues to develop the storyline is a painfully slow pace, I cannot imagine how any reader would feel other than frustrated.

The whole plot of the book is not bad at all. But there are so many unnecessary descriptions that it’s difficult to get past this annoyance and not lose your interest until the end.

Despite this issue, I did enjoy the story and I did like the characters. With so much insight that the author offers on the characters, it’s easy to see their evolution, to understand their actions, even if some of them are negative, to feel their fears, their struggles and their hesitations. You get to know them so well that you can even anticipate their future moves and you might get frustrated when the main character himself still acts surprised or is unable to predict what comes in his way.

Despite suspecting what the outcome of all that suspense will be, I still couldn’t hold myself from hoping that I’m mistaken, mostly because of one of the characters involved, which seemed to be the most interesting of all and have the most potential to spice up the story and the lives of the ones around her.

Even if it was definitely not a WOW read, This Little Dark Place cannot really be thrown in the “bad books” basket, as it has an equal amount of positive and negative parts. I wouldn’t rush on recommending it to the people looking for a very thrilling experience so as long as you keep in mind that the action develops in a slow rhythm, you might find it pretty satisfying.


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