Publishing Info: January 10, 2023 by Minotaur, Macmillan
Source: Netgalley, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: November 24, 2022
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.
Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.
Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust... including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.
Thank you to Macmillan/Minotaur Books + Netgalley for the audiobook review copy.
Another slow burn from Stacy Willingham, but I enjoyed it! It’s not always a fast mover but it was interesting with a few different layers.
After the disappearance of her son exactly a year ago, we meet Isabelle, who has not slept since the incident. Immediately, we know we have an unreliable narrator because of her lack of sleep, and the concept itself is also horrifying and fascinating. For someone who falls asleep while watching TV on the couch, I can’t imagine what it’s like to not be able to sleep like that and the confusion, exhaustion, and terror that it brings. We also learn that Isabelle has had sleep problems in the past and that there was an incident that leads to even more doubt that even she could be involved in the disappearance/kidnapping of her son without her even knowing it. It was incredibly interesting just to follow the story and wonder if everything that Isabelle is thinking and discovering is true or if she’s trying to shield herself by looking for other answers and avoiding potential culpability.
ALL THE DANGEROUS THINGS isn’t always exciting and it’s definitely slower paced than some other thrillers out there. It is a slow burn, allowing you to take in the personalities of the different characters and how they may have played a part in the story. The readers can being to put the pieces together from two different past time lines (Isabelle as a child with her sister Margaret and Isabelle’s story of falling in love with her husband a few years ago) to see how some of these characters have shaped this story even from years ago. While there are some plot twists (which I liked!), it’s still a lot of plot and character development rather than action and heart-racing scenes. I’d say this swings more on the suspense side of the mystery/thriller/suspense category, but it does have some thrills too!
I know this book will not be for everyone, for sure. If you’re waiting for wild plot twists and lots of action, this won’t be the book for you, but if you’re interested in something that will slowly creep into your head and get inside there, this could be a good match! While this isn’t my normal thriller read, it definitely had that same kind of feel as A FLICKER IN THE DARK, Stacy Willingham’s debut, and I appreciate it for that.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, READ…