Good Reads Challenge: (Book Review) Dark Corners
Hello friends, and happy November!
From his front window, he watched her go. In her walk was a familiarity with her surroundings that made her look as if she had lived here all her life. – Dark Corners
How is everyone doing on this Wednesday? I hope you’re having a great day, staying hydrated, taking time to spend with friends and family, and enjoying the crisp, cool Fall weather.
I am FINALLY reviewing Dark Corners by Ruth Rendall. This review has been a long time coming because I started reading this book in August. Yes, there’s no excuse for taking this long but it wasn’t a page-turner, and it didn’t leave me wanting more. I would put this book down and literally forget it.
But today is the day that I wrap this up…and so it goes …reviewing Dark Corners
Title | Dark Corners
Author | Ruth Rendall
Pages | 228
Genre | Mystery, Crime, Fiction
GR Rating | 3.32
Purchase | Amazon
When his father dies, Carl Martin inherits a house in an increasingly rich and trendy London neighborhood. Carl needs cash, however, so he rents the upstairs room and kitchen to the first person he interviews, Dermot McKinnon. That was a colossal mistake number one. Mistake number two was keeping his father’s bizarre collection of homeopathic “cures” that he found in the medicine cabinet, including a stash of controversial diet pills. Mistake number three was selling fifty of those diet pills to a friend, who is then found dead.
My Rating & Review (☆☆½)
This book is only 228 pages. (That being said) you would think that I would have finished this in a week or so. This story dragged on for me. There were simultaneously 2-3 stories going on at one time, which I didn’t mind because at some point they would weave together and make sense. Right? (Wrong) They do cross paths but not in the way I had hoped.
Carl, the main character inherits his father’s home after his death. Carl’s father was known for creating homeopathic remedies that never worked or were dangerous.
from Dark Corners
“It was a decision he was bitterly to regret. But not at the beginning.”
Carl (a writer…sorta) knew he would need a roommate. It was only himself and his girlfriend Nicola who stayed in the house on occasion. Carl posted the flat in the paper and received several inquiries. But what did this idiot do, take the first person in line. (Stupid) For the first few months, the rent was on-time, but that would progress to the day of or the week after.
Carl however was stupid and didn’t care as long as he received the rent money. The earnings from his last book have all but dried up so the rent became his main income. Carl is also suffering from writer’s block and can’t seem to get the motivation to continue.
from Dark Corners
“It had become an obsession. Carl understood that his behavior was just as much that of a lover than of a fixated hater.”
Enter Stacy, Carl’s old schoolmate and good friend who is an actress. Stacy is hyper-aware of the fickleness of the industry but unfortunately, she has put on a few pounds and blames this as the reason she’s getting less work. While visiting Carl, Stacy comes across what appears to be diet pills (DNP) and asks Carl’s can she buy them.
Carl tells her the pills probably won’t work and because he can only think about the money he doesn’t begrudge her for trying so he sells them to her.
Dermot (Carl’s roommate) witnesses this interaction. Ignoring the warning label Stacy takes the diet pills and a few days she dies. Her death is all over the media and the cause is DNP. Dermot decides to take advantage of this by telling Carl that he’s no longer paying the rent. Blackmail is ugly as Dermot says he will inform the media and police telling them that Carl sold Stacy the pills.
from Dark Corners
“Had his troubles or memory of them, shown so plainly, and not just in his rictus smile?”
(Another despicable character) Dermot knows he can’t do this forever but he plans on milking the situation.
Carl tells his girlfriend (Nicola) everything (the only smart person in this story), and Nicola basically says to call his bluff and go to the police himself. But Carl, the spinless idiot (that he is) doesn’t listen and continues to be miserable.
Meanwhile, Dermot has met a woman in church they become friends, they court, and they decide to become engaged. I guess there is a time in everyone’s life when they reach a breaking point and Carl reached his.
The story introduces other characters …Stacy, (her parents) Sybil, (Dermot’s fiancé), and a few others that don’t make any sense.
from Dark Corners
“For the first time in a month, he looked in the mirror and saw a skeletal man with staring eyes and protruding bones.”
I didn’t like this book from the beginning so I don’t know if I could honestly recommend it as a “good read”. My summery…
What made Dermot think he could hold a person hostage on blackmail and deceit and build a happily-ever-after knowing at some point the person on the receiving end would snap? He got greedy which led to his own demise. I absolutely despised Carl‘s character. This spineless-whiny, cowardly excuse for a man. Damn! Grow a pair and put your big-boy panties on.
I just didn’t see the point in the three character plots, and how they didn’t really mesh together. This book was a “get it over with” story, but if you’re interested checkout Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell. Maybe I’m missing something but I’m only giving it 2.5 stars.
My Good Reads Challenge Progress
Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. I’m onto my next book Lock Every Door, by Riley Sager, and I only have one more for the year to complete my Good Reads Challenge. Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Happy Fall!