I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Whitesands: A John Dark Case by Johann Thorsson
Published by Headshot Books on September 26, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Occult & Supernatural
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Detective John Dark's daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, J Dark overreached and was reprimanded and demoted.
Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case - a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty year old missing persons' case.
Just as Dark is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter's disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.
Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more people are killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.
In the style of True Detective and Silence of the Lambs, WHITESANDS is a thrilling supernatural crime novel.
Whitesands is a mysterious, haunting, and exceptionally ambitious debut novel. It was tragic and lyrical. Johann Thorsson has various examples of excellent social commentaries running through the heart of the plot. Racial prejudice, spousal murder, and child abduction make for an ominous threat. It gave the reader the feeling of a threat hiding in the shadows, and I was willing to discover the stories’ secrets. Dip your toe into the grey waters, it’s not comfortable and it threatens to swallow you whole, there are moments where the subject matter is not enjoyable, but this is crime fiction…its darkness is where we feel at home.
Thorsson delves into the human condition, from feeling the failures of not being able to track your missing daughter, especially as an active detective to looking for redemption in finding someone else’s, we feel a spectrum of emotions in the characters. The mind is a maze, and you feel the protagonist, John Dark being lost within the maze of his mind. He’s trying to search for long-gone evidence and just finding a dead end. I was rooting for him through the intricate plot.
Whitesands features John Dark, a father and police officer that never stops searching for his missing daughter, Emily. Unfortunately, he overstepped boundaries and found himself demoted. He’s now investigating the brutal murder of a successful woman. The husband claims it wasn’t him, however, the physical evidence surrounding the scene can only point in one direction – his. There was no forced entry and no entered or left the house during the time of the murder. He is adamant it wasn’t him – for some reason Dark believes him, but how then do they account for the evidence? Conflicting emotions fought for over 300 pages, did he, or didn’t he?
Whilst investigating the mounting homicides that seem to be connected by a school attended by the accused, Dark is still trying to find a way to locate his daughter, either dead or alive. I don’t think there would be anything worse than failing to find your child, wondering if they are no longer part of this world, wondering if they suffered, wondering if they could still walk through your door. Dark and his wife Loeni have had their lives stolen and are doing everything to just get through each day. They are dragging along a suitcase of pain.
Whitesands is a story that has you feeling in a state of paralysis upon finishing. It’s bleak and unforgiving and will leave your heart feeling raw and ragged. The supernatural element will have you looking over your shoulder and fighting sleep. We were plunged into darkness, but the author gives you a torch, your only tool to fight it – he doesn’t take any shortcuts and his story benefits from that endless supply of grit and determination.
ABOUT JOHANN THORSSON
Johann Thorsson is a writer of fiction with a supernatural slant, mainly short stories, mainly in English.
He was born in 1978 in a small town in Iceland (dark and cold, close to the sea). When he was nine he moved to Israel, and later to Croatia. He now resides in the Reykjavik area with his beautiful wife and two little kids.
His favorite books are 1984, Flowers for Algernon, I am Legend, The Things They Carried and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. Oh, and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. Romeo and Juliet. (This could go on for a while).