Today is Thursday and time to review and highlight a thriller or two that I have read or listened to lately. This week, are two audiobooks by Stacy Willingham. A Flicker in the Dark was her debut and what a debut it was. All the Dangerous Things is not as much of a thriller as a mystery or domestic drama although it has some thriller aspects. I definitely recommend them both and if you enjoy audiobooks, Karissa Vacker does a great job.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham, Karissa Vacker (Narrator)

Published January 11th 2022 by Minotaur Books, Macmillan Audio

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chloe Davis was twelve when her father was imprisoned as a serial killer when six teenage girls went mission. Chloe provided the evidence that incriminated him. She, her brother and mother had to live with the shame of what had happened. She’s now a psychologist with a practice in Baton Rouge, working with troubled teenagers and preparing for her wedding to Daniel. She is still fragile, but has finally found happiness, until two girls go missing. There are so many similarities that Chloe begins to spiral. Is this a copycat killer? What is going on?

Wow, this is a debut and I really enjoyed it. It kept me on the edge of my seat and listening long after I should have been doing other things. I even went for an extra walk so I could listen to this story while getting some exercise. Often I thought I had it figured out, but then again, I was wrong. There were several suspects but then a twist would send me in another direction. The story was very well written with well developed, multi-layered characters. They had flaws and were damaged, but they were relatable and realistic. There were crimes committed, but the descriptions weren’t too graphic or grisly but they still left me with a creepy feeling. As Chloe got more involved in the case of the missing teenager, she tried to share her theories with the police. They placated her, but as her theories kept changing, they became exasperated and stopped listening. I don’t want to say much more, but if you haven’t read A Flicker in the Dark and you like a good psychological thriller, I recommend you pick this one up. Karissa Vacker does a wonderful job narrating this audiobook and it definitely added to my enjoyment of this book.

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham, Karissa Vacker (Narrator)

Published January 10th 2023 by Minotaur Books, Macmillan Audio

4.5 Stars:

After listening to and loving Stacy Willingham’s debut novel, A Flicker in the Dark, I couldn’t wait to read All the Dangerous Things. In this story we meet Isabelle Drake. A year ago, her 18 month old son, Mason was taken from his crib in the middle of night, without a trace. Isabelle hasn’t given up trying to find out who took Mason and hoping that he is still alive. She hasn’t been able to sleep through the night since it happened. After several months, her husband Ben moved out, wanting to move on and knowing that he wouldn’t be able to do that living with Isabelle. It is now the anniversary of the disappearance, and Ben tells her that he has begun dating again. Isabelle is devastated and all that does is get her to up her search for Mason. She meets a true-crime podcaster on a flight home from a presentation and she consents to working with him. Will this finally shake something loose so they can figure out what happened and find the person responsible?

This was another enjoyable and entertaining book by Stacy Willingham, but not as much of a thriller as it was a mystery or domestic drama. My heart broke for Isabelle. I have no idea what I would do in her place, and am glad I never was in that situation. As more information came to light, I thought I had it all figured out, but I was wrong, oh so wrong. The story is told from Isabelle’s POV and was told in two timelines, the present and the past when she and Ben first meet and get together. As her story unfolded, my jaw dropped more than once. This was another well written and plotted story that kept me listening from start to finish with few breaks. There were some points that got a bit slow and I wasn’t sure why they were included, but as I raced through the last part of the book, it all became clear. Another one recommended to lovers of mystery and domestic thrillers/drama. Karissa Vacker does another wonderful job with this book. I was impressed with her performance and enjoyed the audiobook very much.