When I received this copy from NetGalley to review, I didn’t know what to expect. I read without knowing the content, or the synopsis from the publisher / author. What a pleasant surprise!
Dark Paradise follows the story of Malaise LaCroix, who is the daughter of an alcoholic/prostitute and comes from a long line of women who practice hoodoo. While Mala has fought her family’s “legacy” by going to college and studying criminal justice, she can’t escape the rumors, judgment, and assumptions about her status as a “witch.” When Mala stumbles upon a dead body floating in the swampy waters behind her home, she learns the identity is that of a local girl Lainey Price. Her friend and local officer, George, is the first to respond and recognizes Lainey as a girl he once had a crush on in school.
Lainey, the daughter of a local reverend and younger sister of Landry, who has been harboring a crush on Mala for what seems like some time, begins to haunt Mala. Landry, who behaves like he actually hates Mala, accuses her of being involved with his sister’s death and of being a witch. Landry has also been feeling like his sister is haunting him, and soon realizes that Mala can actually see his sister as well.
What evolves is the inquiry into Lainey’s death, the relationship (or not) between Landry and Mala, the details of Mala’s mother a Jasmine’s drinking problem, and the fall out of all of the above.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a good suspense, and this one was a page-turner! I was engrossed and lost sleep reading to find out what was going to happen next. While the book can be read as a stand-alone, it is part of a trilogy. Great for me but must get to the next book in the series pronto! Alas, must wait until August for the next in the series: Dark Sacrifice, then September for Dark Redemption.
I learned that this is a first novel by Angie Sandro. What a way to hit it out of the ballpark on the first swing! Can’t wait to read more from her.
You an also follow her at: Twitter @AngieSandro
*Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*