Murder, Old Secrets, and True-Crime Podcasting in "Things We Do In The Dark"

The Fiction Addiction

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Things We Do In The Dark, by Jennifer Hillier, is a twisty story where almost everyone’s got a dark secret they need to keep hidden at all costs. This is a fast-paced suspense story, with complicated, well-developed characters.

The story opens when Paris Peralta comes home to find her wealthy, famous, much-older husband dead and covered in blood in his bathroom. She’s immediately arrested when her husband’s assistant comes in screaming that Paris must have killed him, and Paris’ shocked responses don’t create an immediate alibi. Paris didn’t do it, but — in my very favorite kind of thriller set-up — she was away dealing with complications from an entirely different set of secrets.

I don’t want to share much about the plot, since it’s such a wild ride. I will say that there was one point when I guessed the twist, and I was so mad that the investigating character hadn’t picked up on it. Drew, you have a true-crime podcast! All the info is right there! Why are you not catching on? I’m always proud of myself when I can guess a twist in a mystery, but here, it barely counts as solving the mystery when the key event is so clearly signposted. But that twist was actually just the set-up for the rest of the drama, including much twistier events. So, if you’re reading this book, and you think you’ve figured it out, maybe you’re also guessing the first big reveal.
Things We Do In The Dark(

There are some flashback scenes in Things We Do In The Dark, which doesn’t always work for me, but by the time we see Drew’s memories, I was already invested in Drew as a character and I wanted his true-crime podcast to be a success, and also, I could not stop reading to see what would happen next. The same thing happened for discovering Paris’ backstory, too. I read a lot of thrillers, and one of my most frequent complaints is that we see a character in danger or at a dramatic cliffhanger, but I haven’t had time yet to meet that character and actually care about their problems.  Here, I felt pulled into Paris’ life in with Jimmy, and then into Drew’s true-crime research, so it was easy to be pulled into their pasts and secrets.

The novel looks at Paris’ old life, from before her marriage, and her husband Jimmy’s life and secrets, and there’s also Drew looking into the old story of the Ice Queen murder. Years ago, a woman made all the tabloid headlines and true-crime TV movies with the bloody, violent murder of her married boyfriend. (One scene here was a bit gross for me, but I’m very easily disgusted.)  In #MeToo times, though, new evidence about the murdered man comes to light, and it seems like the Ice Queen will get out early on parole. 

I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this book, but Things We Do In The Dark needs basically all the trigger and content warnings.

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