We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin
“We are all the same in the dark. My mother said that to me when she kissed me good night. She meant that in the dark, all that’s left is our souls.” – Julia Heaberlin, We Are All the Same in the Dark
It has been a decade since Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen on the posters on all of the walls in town. They all promise the same thing: We will find you. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives in the desolation of the old family house. Although he was found not guilty by the police, he is seen as a killer by the public.
When Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, he believes she is a sign. The youngest cop in town, Odette Tucker, believes this girl will be the flame that will ignite a seething town. Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and digs up the shocking truth about the night her friend disappeared, the night that inspired her to become a cop and the night that wrote them all a role in the town’s dark, violent history.
This is a slow-burn kind of dark mystery, which is creepy in places. It is the kind where you hold your breath in fear because the atmosphere is so intense you could cut it with a knife. It portrays ghostly images and biblical references. The characters are flawed and are far from perfect. With traumatic backgrounds and disabilities, all the characters are well depicted and feel realistic.
The book is full of powerful imagery, and is beautiful in places. The end is unpredictable and not what I expected, which I really like. My only negative is that sometimes the pace drops off. Thankfully, the tempo builds again, and we race towards the conclusion, which ponders on the title and poses further questions about the perpetrators.