Parlato’s Debut novel shows some promise

Hannah Bukowski, Staff Reporter

Aside from the usual thriller elements,“All the Dark Places” is a servable debut novel from Terri Parlato since it is intriguing  enough to leave the readers wanting more. 

The story opens with  Dr. Jay and Molly Bradley hosting a 40th birthday dinner party with a group of their friends. The morning after the party, Molly wakes up to find her husband murdered in his office and the likely culprit is one of the guests. 

The killer targets Molly after murdering her husband. Was it actually about Jay or did the killer really want her? Are the secrets she hides the cause or will the murder lead to her secrets being exposed?

The story swiftly changes back and forth  between the perspectives of Molly and Boston detective Rita Myers. The snappy changes make the reader feel like they are in the story, watching it unfold in real time from both professional and emotional viewpoints.

Though the quick chapters work to move along the plot at a brisk pace similar to a Dan Brown novel, it would have helped to include some longer chapters when the potential suspects are explored as well as allow time for the reader to digest and infer what might have occurred.

The biggest downside of the novel is its predictability.  A seemingly loving couple but with hidden secrets, a codependent wife waking up to a dead husband and an old school detective who takes notes with pen and paper instead of using her phone are elements used in most thrillers.

Even though the novel is calculable for the most part, the final act has some good moments that readers won’t see coming. Regardless, the ending still is not impressive and the overall outcome felt like Parlato played it too safe.

Overall, the book is competent. If Parlato learns to use more originality and intrigue instead of following the main thriller genre tropes, then her future books may be more of a thrill for the readers.