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