Synopsis: 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.
TRIGGER WARNING: This story does deal with topics like DV, drugs and motor vehicle accidents.
First, if I may start with this, just look at that cover! I know they say you’re not supposed to judge a book by them, but how can we not when it comes to modern day marketing? That saying makes me want to do an etymology study on its origins. Look, we’re barely into the review and already I digress.
The cover is truly what drew me to this book. As I rarely read anything set in modern times, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew it wasn’t going to be gothic level ghost story telling, but I had hoped there would be some creepy elements. Because that’s what both the cover and story synopsis brought to mind. Spoilers ahead.
I finished IRIS IN THE DARK in one evening, and that’s pretty normal for this fast reader. I did like that the chapters were shorter than average, which helped with the plot’s pacing.
Speaking of plot, it did get a bit slow in parts for my taste, especially as one used to more action-packed tales found in historical fiction. However, I understand that the author had to create some false “sense of security scenes” in order to move the story along.
I did see a little bit of myself in the main female lead, it was hard to connect with her overall, especially when it came to the romance side of the story. While it wasn’t quite “insta-love,” it did give off “we’re not getting any younger so why not” vibes.
Pros: Cool cover with a title that makes sense. It’s a well-written story that’s a quick read with short chapters.
Cons: Not as suspenseful as I had hoped, neither was it as “ghosty,” either. And it was a bit too unrealistic in certain parts. It also had a bit more swearing than I like, which is why I don’t read too many books of this nature.
Overall thoughts: This wannabe ghost story still drew me in, which is a hard thing to accomplish! It’s a nicely wrapped up story, and I can see someone like Netflix picking it up. I wish the lodge had been a little creepier. If it had more of those vibes in the beginning then less so near the end, that would’ve been a perfect metaphor for the MCs character development. Ms. Dickey does do the tough subjects of this story justice, though I did figure out certain plot points early on.
If you like a quick read on a Friday night, then I’d definitely give IRIS IN THE DARK a try. The subject matter isn’t for everybody, so keep that in mind as you read. But if you’re looking for all the summer nights vibes, then have at it!