Almost Dark, by Letitia Trent
It’s a sunny day in New York City and I am happily browsing in my favourite bookstore. The breath-taking skyline outside and the familiar smell of coffee and printed paper inside is what makes my morning so special.
Books are everywhere. Classics, thrillers, fantasy, sci-fi, romance. I see other customers around me picking up the latest Harry Potter or the “evergreen” Nicholas Sparks and I wonder: what makes people buy one book instead of another? A particular genre, of course. A well knows author, for sure. Me? It’s the cover. Book design is definitely something I appreciate and value when it comes to buy any book.
Picking up Almost Dark, looking at the cover and the graphics I immediately have a good vibe. Simple yet well thought, the cover is eye catching; the darker upper part dripping down like blood (subtle yet genious recall of a cruel detail in the story) into the white bottom is quite evocative, and the same motive -found at the beginning of every chapter- drips more along the pages as long as the story develops. A nice touch.
Claire, a private and outwardly content librarian, carries a secret: she is wracked with guilt over her twin brother Sam’s accidental death fifteen years earlier. Claire’s quiet life is threatened when Justin, an aggressive business developer, announces the renovation of Farmington’s oldest textile factory, which is the scene of Sam’s death along with many other mysterious accidents throughout its long history.
Claire not only feels a personal connection to the factory, but she also begins to receive “visitations” from her brother, which cause her to question her sanity.
As Justin moves forward with his plans to renew the factory, Claire, and the town as a whole, discover that in Farmington, there is no clear line between the past and the present.
Letitia Trent is not new to delivering excellent stories, in fact, Wilderness – one of Trent’s short story has recently been accepted for Best Horror of the Year, Volume Eight, the famous anthology series edited by Ellen Datlow.
Almost Dark lives up to expectations, receiving enthusiastic praises from fellow writers such as Paul Tremblay -author of Head Full of Ghosts– who called Almost Dark “intelligent, melancholy, and terrifying”, and enthusiastic readers all over Amazon and Goodreads.
I am one of those passionate readers who found Almost Dark a fantastic read. With an astounding eye for details, Trent takes her time building up tension -exploring each and every character or describing the backgrounds. Her style is contemporary and poetic, her story dark, haunting and unsettling.