What she saw in the wood would change her life forever...
While walking her dog Buddy in the woods behind her house, Fran stumbles upon a scene that will change the course of her life. In a somewhat secluded den around an old yew tree, she sees local teen Tyler standing on a crate, his hands tied behind his back, his mouth duct taped, and a noose around his head. She sees the two men who have him tied up there. She sees them kick the crate and murder him.
Drawing on her years working in social services, Fran is able to keep her wits about her long enough to tell the police exactly what she saw. But the incident has left her shaken. No matter how hard she tries to get back to her normal life, Fran can’t shake off the guilt that assails her – could she have done something to save Tyler?
Unable to shake her guilt, Fran finds herself drawn to Tyler’s grieving mother, Mel. And though the two women connect due to their common trauma, something doesn’t seem quite right. Mel is undeniably grieving the death of her son, but her behaviour is erratic in ways that cannot be explained away by her grief.
With the police investigation going seemingly nowhere and her own guilt showing no signs of abating, Fran starts to dig into Mel’s life. But what she uncovers there will change her life forever.
In A Deep Dark Wood by Tina Pritchard is billed as a “stunning psychological thriller with a nerve-shredding climax,” but it doesn’t quite live up to that expectation. What it is, though, is an excellently written crime thriller. It’s not likely to get your pulse racing, but the steady unfolding of the plot will have you hooked.
And though I didn’t find the climax “nerve-shredding” there were some very unexpected plot twists that I didn’t see coming. There were no superfluous details or lose ends, and the characters were fleshed out very well. It’s the kind of story that could well have been drawn from real life, and that makes it all the more gripping.
Just ignore the bit about the “nerve-shredding climax,” and you are sure to enjoy the book!