Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler

Note: This is the fifth in the Dark Secrets series, but the books are more companion novels that are linked by being set in the same town. The characters, the plots, the stories--they're all different, you could read them in any order. So, this summary/review won't spoil the others.

The Back Door of Midnight
by Elizabeth Chandler

Summary: Psychic...or psychotic?

Anna knows her family is crazy. But when she goes to visit her aunt and uncle for the summer and learns that her uncle’s charred body has been found, her life reaches a new level of insanity. Her erratic aunt’s “psychic” abilities are exaggerated by her grief, and have become borderline violent. Alone in an unfamiliar town, Anna struggles to pick up the pieces and establish any sense of normalcy. She desperately wants to trust Zack, the cute boy next door, but even he might know more about the incident than he is letting on.

But when Anna starts feeling an inexplicable pull to the site of her uncle’s murder, she begins to believe that her family’s supernatural gifts are real after all. Torn between loyalty and suspicion, Anna is certain of only one thing: she must discover who killed her uncle or she could be next....
There are certain types of books that I can always come back to. Books that I can read no matter what mood I'm in or how bad my reading slump is. The Back Door of Midnight (and the whole Dark Secrets series) is one of these types of books.

I've realised that books in this series are always just enough. Like the romance, it's present but it's not the focus...it's just enough to keep me interested. And each book makes me care just enough about the story and about the characters to want to finish it, but doesn't make me feel so invested in the story that it'll feel like my emotions have been put through a shredder by the end of it. And the books are predictable, but there's just enough mystery to stop them from being boring.

The thing about this series is, if you've read one book then you'll be able to predict how all the others are going to play out because they all follow the same formula. It becomes easy to spot the bad guys and the red herrings pretty early, and you know there'll be a Scooby Doo scene where there's a confrontation with the bad guy, and you know how the romance is going to play out because it's pretty much the same each time... and yet, five books in, I'm still not bored of it.

So it's the perfect kind of book for me to read between heavier books or when I'm in a reading slump and just want something quick and simple to entertain me. They're fast reads, and I can happily sit down and read them in one go without ever feeling bored.

And this review isn't very specific about this book, it's more about the series in general. But basically, I really enjoyed the book and I really recommend it if you want to read some YA murder mystery type books that aren't too long or emotionally draining.


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