Review: Into The Light (#1, The Light) by Aleatha Romig

My Thoughts

A riveting psychological suspense that deeply draws you into its tangled web. Thriller readers shouldn’t miss this chilling tale of deception.

5stars

Synopsis

Jun-14Sara Adams awakes blind, unable to remember the most basic details of her life, but her darkness seems a blessing when she discovers the terrors of The Light.

Stella Montgomery investigates the news from the mean streets of Detroit, where she’s noticed a disturbing trend: young women are vanishing. When her best friend disappears, Stella digs for answers—despite warnings from her police detective boyfriend—following a twisted trail that leads her through the city’s most dangerous and forsaken precincts. There she uncovers something more sinister than she could have imagined: a shadowy organization known as The Light, led by the enigmatic Father Gabriel.

As Sara struggles to understand her place in the strange world she’s awakened to—an oppressive cult demanding unquestioning obedience—and her feelings for Jacob, the husband she can’t recall and whose harsh and tender attentions confuse and beguile her, Stella risks all to discover the truth. But enlightenment always comes with a price…

My Review

Aleatha Romig’s latest psychological thriller delivers a story steeped in deception and plucked from the horrors of one’s worst nightmares. It’s a story where lives are violently snuffed only to be given new breath in a world led by The Light—demanding obedience, promising happiness and assuring a heavy-handed correction when gone astray.

Women have been disappearing. Some never to be found, some to be found violently killed.

Romig guides us deep into her intricately plotted narrative, unraveling in multiple points of views: a woman who wakes without sight and memory, an investigative reporter who searches for the truth, and a man who hides just that.

“Smidgens of life scratched and tore at my darkened world. Slowly sounds returned, not only to register, but to linger—particularly one steady voice that called out over and over, repeating the name Sara.”

Sara Adams wakes in a hospital bed, battered and bruised, no sight, no memories, no sense of who she is and what’s transpired. A man at her side—her husband—quickly sets rules she must follow and abide by. This was her life, he said, she should know to obey. As terrifying as it all seems, as he seems, he’s also protective and nurturing.  There’s something familiar about him, if she could only reach for the memories that hide in the dark recesses of her mind.

“I needed answers, for Mindy, for this woman, and for any other women who had disappeared from their lives to awaken in a nightmare.”

Stella Montgomery is a bright, gutsy investigative journalist. She’s determined to figure out what’s happening to the women who have been disappearing, like her best friend Mindy. She digs and probes going down a dangerous path as she tries to piece together clues.

“To her, danger was me. She didn’t understand the levels and powers at work in our lives. She could never know the true danger that lurked around each corner.”

Jacob Adams holds a position of power within The Light. He has a wife who has learned to obey, but who didn’t quite grasp the world she’d once awoken to after her incident. Her memories were gone so it was his job to reacquaint her with their life, insist on her obedience, or else. But as days turned into weeks, turned into months, she learned, and she began to love him. He knew he had to protect her, keep her safe. Danger was all around them and the ways of The Light were rigorous.

Stella’s, Sara’s and Jacob’s stories tangle in ways expected, but in so many ways unforeseen too. As Romig unwinds this twisted tale, she shocks with ingenious climactic surprises. This is the kind of story you can’t put down. It gives you chills, it makes you flinch, it makes you flip the pages faster to see what happens next. I loved that despite the tangled plot, the story never dropped my interest. Its momentum gradually built as my own enthrallment ratcheted.

For readers who relish densely plotted thrillers, this is the perfect spine-chilling summer novel that shouldn’t be missed.

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