‘Into The Dark’ by Fiona Cummins | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Fiona Cummins
Title : Into The Dark
Pages : 324
Publisher : Pan Macmillan
Publication date : April 14, 2022
Source : Owned


THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.

THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family – Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie – has vanished from the house without a trace.

THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.

One late autumn morning, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.

In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:


What happens next? 


Well, a whole lot of things happen next!

How intriguing is that premise? An entire family … poof … gone. When Julianne arrives at her friend Piper’s house for their run, she comes across the weirdest scene. Breakfast table laid out, radio playing, school bags by the door, phones charging, cars in the garage … It all looks absolutely normal. Except for the fact that, you know, the actual people aren’t there. What happened to this family?

Right from the beginning, my spidey-senses were tingling all over the place. Something felt very off. I didn’t feel like I could trust whatever was coming out of these characters’ mouths. I definitely got the sense there was a lot more going on but I couldn’t quite see the big picture. The pieces of the puzzle were scattered everywhere, just begging for someone to put them together.

That someone comes in the form of DS Saul Anguish. Newly arrived in town, Saul is … well, honestly, the only word that pops up in my head when I think of him is “weird”. He’s definitely hiding a dark past and a very dark side. Mostly he just gave me the creeps. While his backstory and certain behavioural aspects sound immensely fascinating, I didn’t quite see the point of it all. Unless the intention is for him to be a central character in a future series. If not, all his anguish (see what I did there?) was just kind of thrown out there with nowhere to go. This is also true of a certain condition that a colleague is suffering from, which I felt added absolutely nothing to the story. But again, if these two characters are set for a series, then it all makes a bit more sense, I suppose.

Personally, I feel there is a moment where a story just becomes too twisty. I give Fiona Cummins bonus points for keeping it all straight in her head because that can’t have been an easy task. There is no doubt ‘Into The Dark‘ has a very clever plot and there are twists a-plenty but sometimes, enough is just enough. For me, things became a bit too over the top and slightly ridiculous. There was never a point where I felt like throwing in the towel, though. Not even because of the awfully unlikeable characters. No matter how far-fetched the answers might have been, I did want to see if the theory I came up with quite early on would pan out. In case you wondered, yes. But also way not.

If anything, ‘Into The Dark‘ is hugely addictive and it reads immensely fast so the pace is definitely spot-on. Not quite characters to root for, but definitely ones you hope will get their comeuppance. A tale of manipulation, of toxic relationships, of vengeance with the most delightful sting in its tail. In my most humble opinion, not as good as ‘When I Was Ten‘ but despite my nitpicking still entertaining and enjoyable.

Bookshop UK

20 Books of Summer : 12/20

  8 comments for “‘Into The Dark’ by Fiona Cummins | #20BooksOfSummer

  1. July 25, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Well I thought I’d worked out what happened to them from just reading the synopsis, but when I saw the bit about the writing in blood I changed my mind. 😂 Great review! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. July 26, 2022 at 2:38 am

    As someone who is fed up with angst-ridden detectives, I had to laugh when I saw this one was actually called Anguish! I’m imagining the members of his team – Officers Alcohol, Dysfunction, Corruption and Despair… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 28, 2022 at 11:02 am

      Yes, I know what you mean. He’s not the typical down-on-his-luck, alcoholic and divorced detective. There’s a lot more going on with his background and whatnot but I’m a tad tired of the cliché that detectives can’t just be regular folks. Like our dearest Maeve, for instance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. July 27, 2022 at 10:24 pm

    This strangely only makes me want to read it even more… Just to see what characters I wouldn’t mind getting what’s coming for them. 😉 Fab review! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 28, 2022 at 11:00 am

      It’s not bad and I did enjoy it. I’m just having a lot of niggles lately! 😂


  4. July 29, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    I love your review of this one. A Detective named Anguish is priceless. Wonderful review Eva.


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