A pivotal work by Loreth Anne White, “In the Dark” is a retelling of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” the same way that “Sleepless in Seattle” is a remake of “An Affair to Remember.”
The stories for both “In the Dark” and “Sleepless in Seattle” are very different from the original. It is the atmosphere or the vibe (to use a vernacular) that has been recreated. And then of course, in both stories, “And Then There Were None” and “An Affair to Remember” were mentioned, respectively. Thus, there were no doubts in the reader’s mind that this is a retelling or re-imagining.
“In the Dark” started like an inverted Y in its storytelling. Two different tales were being told – the Lodge Party and the Search Party. It is obvious from get go that the two stories would intersect at some point. The genius in the storytelling was how we got there.
Demonstrating a mastery of her craft, Loreth Anne White cleverly introduced all the protagonists in an almost languid way. It almost felt like readers were given strings to pull, slowly at first and then it became a tug of war as we wanted more information and the plot to be revealed but the author wanted as to wait.
This was done by cleverly see-sawing between the Lodge Party and the Search Party and also by changing the POVs, distributing it among the characters so that readers will get the whole picture of what was truly happening.
Like voyeurs, readers know what was going on and had to wait for the rest of the characters to learn it. Again, this is great storytelling. No one felt cheated, be it the reader or the characters.
I don’t want to write a synopsis. The About the Book area does a good job without revealing the plotlines. I want readers to have the same feeling of discovery I had, the anticipation of what will happen next and the feeling of satisfaction of finding out.
To say that I enjoyed the book is an understatement. It was hard to put down once I started. Actually, I listened to the audiobook during my commute to work. I almost wanted to hit traffic so that I can listen more. But, work is work, so I had to wait for 8 hours to go back to listening.
Voiced by Susan Hanfield, it was an easy listen, with “easy” meaning the scary portions are like being in the Twilight Zone instead of the horror in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I believe that is the reason why I enjoyed the book so much. If it was too scary, I would have probably not able to finish it.
That said, and this is nothing against Susan Hanfield, I would like to say that a dual narration, one male and one female, would have added another dimension to the book. There are enough male characters POV to be worth it.
“In the Dark” is Rated T for Teens. Parental guidance is strongly advised due to violence.
In The Dark
A pivotal work by Loreth Anne White, “In The Dark” is a retelling of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” the same way that “Sleepless in Seattle” is a remake of “An Affair to Remember.”
Title: In the Dark
Author: Loreth Anne White
Release Date: December 1, 2019
The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.
Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.
Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.