Posted by: Lisa Hill | August 24, 2012

After the Darkness (2012), by Honey Brown

Overseas holidays are a good opportunity for a little light reading.  There’s not much time for reading anything requiring serious concentration and undemanding books are just the thing for patches of dead time, such as hanging around airport lounges, or waiting for the Spouse to get ready to go out.  So I’ve brought a few popular fiction titles with me, and Honey Brown’s After the Darkness was the first of these that I read.

It’s a psychological thriller exploring the impact of violent crime on an ordinary couple.  The twist is that rather than build the tension with a fear of further violence from a perpetrator, it becomes more a matter of what the couple might do.

I didn’t find the plot very convincing, but then, I never do in this type of book.  I am stubbornly resistant to the ‘stupid police who can’t/won’t solve the crime’ theme so the inexperienced but smart victims sort things out for themselves instead.  But if the reader is willing to suspend disbelief about this aspect of the plot, After the Darkness paints a convincing picture of the way victims respond in different ways to their altered reality.  It shows the grieving period for the loss of innocence and the way victimhood can warp moral codes, and it portrays the impact on family life and the premature transformation of children into wary young people who don’t fully understand anything except that their carefree lives are gone forever.

Honey Brown was longlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the 2011 Barbara Jefferis Award.  You can find out more about her in Meet an Aussie Author.

Karen Chisholm at Australian Crime Fiction found it ‘unputdownable’ and the Alpha Reader (watch out for a couple of spoilers) thought it was riveting.

©Lisa Hill

Author: Honey Brown
Title: After the Darkness
Publisher: Penguin 2012
ISBN: 9780670075973
Source: Review copy courtesy of Penguin.

Fishpond: After the Darkness


  1. Thanks for this review, Lisa. I read Honey Brown’s first novel, which was dystopian, and while I thought the characters were a bit one-dimensional, I enjoyed the story as a whole, enough to make me interested in reading this new one. As you say, sometimes it’s nice to indulge in a little light reading. I seem to have been doing that a lot this year!


  2. Hi Kim, I must admit I enjoyed reading something not quite so demanding too!


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