Title: We Are All the Same in the Dark
Author: Julia Heaberlin
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Length: 352 p.
Publishing Date: 11 August 2020

When Wyatt finds a little girl spread out in a field, surrounded by a circle of dandelions, he can feel it in his bones that this is a bad omen. Dead or alive, she’s a “bad, bad mystery.” Tiny and mute, Wyatt calls the girl Angel and takes her with him back to his house where he’s sure his sister will know what to do. If only his sister were alive. Trumanell has been (presumed) dead, body still missing, for a decade. 

The girl makes a sound then, her mouth opening like a hole in the ground. A passing eighteen-wheeler takes her scream with it. And I see what she’s hiding.

Julia Heaberlin, We are all the same in the dark

In this small Texas town, nothing goes unnoticed, so when the lead suspect of his sister and father’s murders (disappearances?) is seen driving through with a little girl in his truck, Odette is glad she’s the cop that intercepts the call. Odette might be the youngest on the force, but she’s the daughter of the man who died trying to solve Trumanell’s case, and maybe the only one who isn’t convinced Wyatt had anything to do with the murder. This sparks a catalyst of events that Odette is sure will lead her to be able to solve the case. All consuming, Odette risks everything to protect this little girl — this little mute Angel — Wyatt found and finally solve Tru’s case. Some wounds are too deep to ever heal for Odette, but the least she can give herself, her town, her father’s ghost, is an answer. Closure after a decade’s worth of waiting.

I heard no screams, no gunshots. The air was fat and ugly–either the prelude to something terrible or the afterlude of it.

Julia Heaberlin, We are all the same in the dark

The thing is, We Are All the Same in the Dark ended up consuming me as much as the case consumed Odette. The style of Heaberlin’s writing is reminiscent of Tana French and Gillian Flynn, in that you know the character — not some distant observer, not the author — is telling you the story. There’s a depth to Heaberlin’s writing that I haven’t been able to find in a lot of American thrillers. There are so many twists and turns to this story I genuinely didn’t see coming, but in the aftermath of I could see all of the pieces I missed. A beautiful, broken puzzle, Trumanell’s case became as important to me as it was to Odette.

Hands down, Julia Heaberlin’s We Are All the Same in the Dark was one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Featured Image: Photo by Sarah Mak on Unsplash

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