Hidden in The Dark by RaShell Lashbrook, 268 pages, RaShell/Lashbrook, February 8th, 2017, Genre: Psychological Thriller. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
by Leigh Holland
Hidden in The Dark is a tragic, fierce psychological thriller, carefully woven to incrementally reveal the secrets that demolished a family. Genny and Randall have three adult daughters who no longer speak to Randall. Genny, tired of Randall’s abuse of several decades, decides to leave, sneaking out while Randall is passed out drunk. Her youngest daughter, Raine, whom she sees as the most reliable, picks her up and lets Genny stay with her. Her eldest daughter Lilly assists her in contacting an attorney, setting up her own bank account, and taking other steps necessary for Genny to establish her independence from Randall. Until Genny left Randall, the three sisters rarely spoke to each other or their parents, determined to leave the past behind and create better lives for themselves. Genny’s return to their lives draws them together once more, forcing them to confront each other, their mother, and their own personal demons about their own abuse at the hands of their father. Some will meet with more success than others, with catastrophic consequences.
RaShell Lashbrook portrays her characters realistically, each a victim of horrible and repeated trauma, using their individual, unique strategies they’ve developed to try to cope. The characters display an array of emotions, including guilt, sympathy, blame, self-shame, and rage. Genny was particularly authentic; over the years, the men she sought help from outside the family, such as policemen and pastors, told her the abuse was her fault for antagonizing her husband. When Genny’s friends stood up to Randall, Randall isolated her from them. Without support, Genny focused on keeping as much peace in the house as possible. The self-blame society taught her to feel for her predicament, she placed on her children. The psychological effects from abuse for each character were devastating and carried real world consequences.
I enjoyed Hidden in The Dark, a vivid suspense novel. It is an excellently executed tapestry depicting a family’s terror and tragedy. The subject matter is serious, disturbing, and grim. Domestic violence causes more injuries to women between the ages of 15 and 44 than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. There are 3,600 shelters for animals in the United States. There are only 1500 shelters for battered women. I couldn’t put this one down until I’d finished reading it. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime and suspense novels, and psychological thrillers. I look forward to reading more of RaShell Lashbrook’s work in the future.
Hidden in The Dark can be found on Amazon at here.