Jonas, she thought with a twist of guilt.
Stiffly she moved her head and opened her eyes, expecting to read worry, relief—even anger—in his eyes.
Instead, for one crazy moment, she found she had been sucked through a tear in time, and that she was married to a small boy wearing a look of such terror on his face that she flinched and clutched at his hand as if he were the one who was falling.
Her throat burned and the word came out as a harsh caw, but it aged him like a slap in the face and immediately his eyes filled with all those emotions she’d expected to see when she first looked up at him—even the anger.
Lucy didn’t care. She brimmed with tears. Jonas held her in his arms—a man again—and she overflowed into the crook of his elbow while he bent over her and said quiet, tender things into her hair.
“I didn’t mean it,” she sobbed, but she couldn’t even understand her own muffled words.
And anyway, she wasn’t certain they were true.
© 2011 Belinda Bauer
When the inquiry is commandeered by an abrasive senior detective, Jonas finds himself derided by his colleagues and ashamed to admit to Lucy that he’s been sidelined. It seems his first murder investigation may be over before it’s begun. But when he receives a series of increasingly sinister anonymous notes, Jonas is thrust back into the center of the case. Someone in the village is taunting him, blaming him for the tragedy. Someone thinks he’s not doing his job; someone seems to know every move he makes. And soon Jonas has to ask: Who’s hunting who?
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Reading Group Guide
A gripping novel of suspense, Darkside transports readers to a small English village where one police constable, Jonas Holly, is tasked with looking out for the welfare of the entire community. When a paralyzed woman is brutally murdered, and an outside police force led by an aggressive detective arrives in Shipcott, Jonas is plagued with internal doubts. The murders continue, and Jonas’s faith in his own abilities is severely strained. His only supporter is his wife, Lucy, who is victim to a disease that is laying waste to her body. When the town spirals into paranoia, Jonas must confront his own demons and the fears of the village, as he struggles to stop the violence and gain control over his life.
TOPICS & QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Darkside is a dark, suspenseful novel with a tense atmosphere. Discuss some of the devices Bauer uses throughout the novel to increase the feeling of suspense for the reader and to gradually build up to the climactic scene.
2. The geography of t see more