Book Reviews

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch


Released: October 2019
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
Pages: 288
Rating: 3.5/5


From the Publisher:

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust.


It has been really hard for me to put into words how this book made me feel because  it was just so creepy. When I finished it and put it down, I was left sitting there with an overwhelming sense of stunned unease, but it wasn’t unpleasant. I’m sure you know what I mean- sometimes a good book really gets to you and throws you all out of whack for awhile.

A Little Dark Place is a bleak exploration of how a couple tries to cope with the hardships life has thrown them and how those hardships can completely change you as well as the way you see those around you. There is also a fair bit of psychological horror and gaslighting going on, too. I went through so many emotions ranging from pity, to shock, to revulsion while reading this debut. There were a couple of surprising twists and turns, something that is always appreciated in a genre that often isn’t as “twisty” as the blurbs promise. Some of the writing was clearly on the wall, but it was still an engaging read that got under my skin. Writing about it now I still feel a chill.

If you’ve ever wondered “How could someone do something so awful??” then I’d recommend reading this. It really delves into how under certain pressures, a person can simply snap and do things they normally would never think of doing. Not that I’m excusing all of the characters in the book. I certainly wouldn’t be hosting a podcast championing most of their causes, but after reading A Little Dark Place I do understand how their lives got to that point. It seems like it would be horrifyingly easy for an average person to get there given the right circumstances.

At times the story was a little hard to follow and I couldn’t really connect with the main character which I think was down to the writing style. It went back and forth between different points in time without much explanation so at first I was really confused about what was going on and who was talking to who. Once I started to get used to the book’s stride, though, it was much easier to follow and take in.


A Little Dark Place has a slow burn, hinting at something much more explosive. It has several bits of pure terror peeking out, too. I definitely enjoyed reading this book despite how much it freaked me out.

With it being October, the spookiest month of the year, this book’s release date fits perfectly. It was a thoroughly creepy and compelling read, one that I definitely recommend to other fans of the psychological thriller genre.

 Buy on

Buy on



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