Release Day Review: Iris in the Dark by Elissa Grossell Dickey

A single mother faces her worst fear―the past―in a provocative novel of suspense by the author of The Speed of Light.

Iris Jenkins knows that bad things happen. She’s tried to escape these things for years. So when Iris is entrusted to house-sit at a lodge on the South Dakota prairie, she thinks she’s prepared for anything.

But one surprise is Sawyer Jones, the property’s neighbor and caretaker. He’s a caring, reassuring presence who’s making her feel safe and alive again. Then late one night, Iris hears a chilling cry for help coming from a walkie-talkie buried in a box of toys. As the calls get more desperate, personal, and menacing, Iris realizes the person on the other end isn’t reaching out for help. They’re reaching out to terrorize her.

Now the only way for Iris to move forward in life is to confront the past she’s been running from…a threat that has now followed her into the dark.

**ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I was expecting a more suspenseful novel after reading the blurb of Iris in the Dark but it was more of a women's fiction with some suspense and romance elements added to it. I am a fan of women's fiction novels but that just wasn't what I wanted from this novel. The story felt very simple and straightforward, the latter I appreciated. The author didn't really beat around the bush and went straight to business. I was a bit intrigued and wondered how the story would develop. But I didn't love the characters or plot that much. I thought the story was okay and I was able to finish the book so there was something that kept me going. I also love the cover but it didn't really match the story in my opinion.


Photo by Meghan Kutz in Ireland’s Coole Park

ELISSA GROSSELL DICKEY is a mother, writer, and multiple sclerosis warrior who believes in the power of strong coffee and captivating stories. An author of book club fiction, Elissa is represented by Sharon Pelletier of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Her debut novel, The Speed of Light, which follows a life-changing year in the life of a young woman as she grapples with an MS diagnosis, a new love, and a terrifying workplace incident, will be published in spring 2021 by Lake Union Publishing, with Editorial Director Danielle Marshall. My second book, Iris in the Dark, is coming in June 2022 from Lake Union!

A former journalist, Elissa now works in higher education communications and marketing. She is a 2016 Pitch Wars alum whose blog posts have appeared on the National MS Society Momentum Magazine blog. She is also the outgoing board president of Aspire, a South Dakota organization that serves adults with disabilities; and co-creator of the Aberdeen Write Now writing group. Born and raised in Northern Minnesota, Elissa now lives in South Dakota with her husband and children.

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