Cantraip Press

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Drugs, photography and murder in DARKROOM

By Mary Maddox

DARKROOM is a highly-polished atmospheric descent into a seedy world of drugs, murder and photography populated by vibrant characters.

Talented, if spacey, photographer Day Randall goes missing. Her overworked roommate, Kelly, files a missing person report but takes it upon herself to find her troubled friend. As Kelly digs into Day’s disappearance, she crosses paths with a psychotic cocaine-addicted bar owner. Evidence mounts pointing to a powerful local businessman and his squad of trigger happy private security disappearing not only Day but several other local malcontents. A subdued conspiracy comes to light forcing Kelly into a horrific confrontation.

DARKROOM is a stellar suspense thriller. The writing is incredible with vivid scene setting and realistic dialogue. Maddox crafts a wonderfully eccentric cast of characters and lets them loose in a dark and seedy noir-tinged tale. The pacing is strong, but the overall mystery is apparent from the get go. There is no doubt whatsoever what happened to Day and who is behind it. However, the real thrill is following Kelly and a heart-of-gold bouncer, Animal, as they struggle to save the ones they love while uncovering the truth. In fact, Animal is a truly fantastic character and lovingly brought to life as a muscle-bound bouncer with dreams of joining an elite private security firm, until he falls for a damaged bartender. Additionally, the dynamic between Kelly and the detective on the case is fantastic and hopefully returns in a sequel. Characters have distinct voices and believable goals and actions, the writing is top notch, and the tension mounts as the story steadily ratchets to a strong climax.

Vividly drawn and fantastically crafted, DARKROOM is a taut thriller that shines a light on the darkness in men’s souls.

~ IndieReader