All the Dangerous Things, by Stacy Willingham

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Stacy Willingham and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Back with a new and intense novel, Stacy Willingham presents readers with something chilling. A story that has multiple layers and an eerie resonance the more that is revealed, Willingham dazzles and keeps the reader gasping. Well-paced and full of twists, this is one story that will have to be absorbed attentively, as pieces subtlety fall into place as the narrative crescendos. A great addition to a genre that has been gathering momentum over the past few years!

It’s been a year since Isabelle Drake had her worst fears realised. Her young son, Mason, was taken from his crib in the middle of the night while the rest of the house slept. Since then, Isabelle has been trying to find him and attending true crime symposiums to pass along the news. Isabelle has turned into a raging insomniac, vowing that she will sleep only when Mason is safely returned to her.

The disappearance causes strains in her marriage, as well as accentuating a number of memories from her past, when Isabelle’s childhood sleepwalking was at its worst. Isabelle struggles with these memories as well as the possibility that she may have unwittingly harmed Mason.

If that were not enough, Isabelle tries to juggle her estranged husband’s actions, as well as a crime blogger who wants to know more about what happened. The pressure is enough to make anyone crack, though Isabelle must be keep a facade of calmness to ensure no one suspects anything. An intense thriller that Stacy Willingham as created, sure to impress many readers, to at least keep them flipping well into the night.

I discovered Stacy Willingham through her debut novel a number of months ago. Her work is both chilling and well-paced, making me want to explore more and dig a little deeper within the narrative. With strong characters who accentuate a decent plot, the story moves along well and keeps the reader guessing. Quick chapters help push things along, though there are enough twists to also whet the appetite of the hungry reader. Not to be missed and proof that Willingham keeps getting better!

A story needs direction in order to succeed for me. I found Willingham to have all the needed elements to develop a strong story from the outset. The narrative direction is strong and keeps the reader wanting to know more, as does the handful of strong characters, all of whom have a purpose throughout the piece. Chapters serve as teasers and make things move well, without getting in the way of the momentum. I like Willingham’s style and found her delivery to be on point throughout. I’m eager to see what else she has in store for fans in the coming months.

Kudos, Madam Willingham, for an entertaining read. Keep the publications coming.