Thursday, April 23, 2015

Christy Barritt: Gone By Dark

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

Charity White can’t forget the horrific crime that happened ten years ago when she and her best friend, Andrea, spontaneously cut through the woods on their way home from high school. In the middle of their trek, a man abducted Andrea, who hasn’t been seen since.

Since that fateful day, Charity has tried to outrun the memories and guilt of that one hasty decision. What if she and her friend hadn’t taken that shortcut? Why wasn’t Charity taken instead of Andrea? And why weren’t the police ever able to track down the bad guy?

When Charity receives a mysterious letter that promises answers, she decides to face her worst nightmare. She returns home to North Carolina in search of closure and a touch of the peace that has eluded her for the past decade. With the help of her new neighbor, Police Officer Joshua Haven, Charity begins to track down mysterious clues. They soon discover that they must work together or both of them will be swallowed by the looming darkness.

My Thoughts:

I’m a huge Christy Barritt fan. Even though, currently, she is self-published and writes for Amazon’s Publishing company and for Love Inspired Suspense, I have read every single one of her books. I have reviewed most of them. When I found out late in 2014 that she was writing another book in her Carolina Moon series, I was excited. Anything Barritt writes captures my attention and doesn’t let go. Gone By Dark fits the bill.

I really enjoyed spending time with Joshua Haven and Charity White. While I believe majority of mysteries feature a strong hero and heroine, Barritt does a good job at creating strong, yet flawed characters who grip the heart. Joshua Haven, the hero, is a cop who moves to Herford, North Carolina. I enjoy how Barritt created Haven as the type of hero who would give up his life for someone he loved. Haven made me smile. As for Charity White, the heroine, she had an undeniable fear of failure, but a person with character and substance to the extent where she spent her adult life helping people. The transformation of Charity from the character she was in the beginning till the end is remarkable and admirable.

Barritt’s writing captures my attention from the first chapter. One of Barritt’s strength is her dialogue. She uses the correct language to distinguish between each individual character while using the prose to allow me to understand Charity’s fear, struggles, and thoughts as she deals with her missing friend, Andrea. The action begins in the prologue with the kidnapping of Andrea, and then the story unfolds, quite rapidly, clue by clue, drawing me in as I tried to solve the mystery. Barritt does a good job at capturing the small town feel, and I could feel the sweltering heat of the August sun while traipsing through the thickness of the trees where light breaks through. I felt like I was in North Carolina.

Typical to a romantic mystery, Barritt entwines the romantic and external tensions. The romantic tension begins with the first encounter between Joshua and Charity and lingers at every prospect of an encounter. It develops nice and slow as the couple spends more time together. On the opposite hand, the external tension keeps drawing tighter and tighter as the couple come close to solving the mystery. I didn’t figure out who the bad guy was.

Gone by Dark is an original and unpredictable mystery with no questionable content. It fits the amount of violence of a cozy mystery. Nothing too drastic or shock-worthy. Any age group could read this book. I enjoy a mystery that has the characters questioning their faith, and Barritt’s book is no exception. Her spiritual elements are not preachy. In Gone By Dark, Charity moves in with a mature believer who questions and places doubt in Charity’s mind. Not forceful. Normal for a conversation.

Christy Barritt does a good job at creating a tightly-woven action mystery that draws me in and keeps me glued to the page. Gone By Dark is another Barritt mystery where I finished the book in one day. I will definitely keep recommending her book to other fans of mysteries.

I received a complimentary copy of Gone by Dark by Christy Barritt and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars 

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