The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

34623558You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Netgalley eARC 384 Avon Crime  July 13th, 2017

There certainly is a whole lot of ‘darkness within‘ the pages of this book. I requested a copy from Netgalley because, let’s be honest, the synopsis is really rather intriguing. I don’t want to say more about the plot in fear of spoilers but the idea Lisa Stone based the book on is really interesting and cool, even though scientifically not proven. Be ready to separate yourself from your fact-yearning, scientific mind in order to enjoy this book 🙂

Sadly, as far as the good idea goes, I wasn’t able to truly appreciate the book. Yes, it delivers on humanly darkness. Yes, it has many conflicts that create complex settings for characters to deal with and yes, everything ties in together nicely…

So, what went wrong?

For me, the delivery failed. It felt like reading a (really long) newspaper article or report of happenings rather than a story with soul, no matter how evil that lingering soul may be. I skipped paragraphs and pages at times because  didn’t feel they had anything of importance to add… Example: when Jacob’s mother is looking for Mary’s glasses, did we really have to follow her and the descriptions through all the rooms and drawers only to come to the conclusion at the rubbish bin? It felt like it was simply to fill a few more pages to fatten up the book. Example 2:  When Jacob went to ‘pay back’ there were a few Kindle pages of descriptions about his anxiousness and lead up to the actual scene. I frowned…  because when certain moments should have felt suspenseful and foreboding, they didn’t really feel as such. At all… Sometimes TMI is just TMI.

Yes, some readers may have an issue with the credibility in this story around certain events, but every book doesn’t have to be realistic. Sometimes it’s up to the reader to just be open minded and go with the flow. Credibility is not my ‘complaint’. I can overlook the vital elements that provide the foundation of the story and just enjoy the ride. It’s all about overall enjoyment for me. And in a way, certainly, The Darkness Within delivered an experience. I can truly say I won’t be forgetting this book for a while to come. Yes, the writing style let my expectations down, but the coincidences and characters’ behaviors will be playing in my mind for weeks to come.

With themes of abusive relationships, drug use and Mommies who decide to turn a blind eye against victims in order to protect their baby, this book will manage to cause turmoil in every reader. I definitely found characters to dislike, plenty of them.. most of them, apart from the one character. I just felt sorry for her.

I don’t know what to tell you guys. I’m so bummed that this book didn’t blow my mind. But don’t let me put you off at all. Especially when crime is your thing- definitely give this one ago- it explores quite a new ‘reasoning’ as to why a person acts bad. And whether you believe it or not, it’s bound to send a crime lover’s thinking process toward unexpected directions.

The ending? It certainly kept with the theme/theory the book is based on, but it’s a difficult one to accept. Yes, it’s unbelievable, but it’s also morally unacceptable and after all these crimes and wrong doings, who’s going to pay? One can only hope Lady Karma will take care of this one, y’all!

My rating: 3***. It was an OK book, but because this is an ARC and some of the niggles I had are probably more a personal preference then I feel I need to be fair. Everyone else cna make u their own mind about the book as they read it! 🙂

The Darkness Within will be released on July 13th and you can find the book on Goodreads ¦ Amazon UK ¦ USA


  1. Ok I agree that sometime readers have to leave behind credibility but the Doctor in me is just not gonna let me see past the scientifically incorrect book premise (as said in the blurb)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      I felt I was a bit too mean, but it is what it is… Couldn’t exactly lie about my experience with the book 😀 I’ll go check out other reviews on Goodreads… last I checked the average thoughts about the book are rather similar… hmm… but maybe the published version will get proper polished! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve read a couple of her memoirs (at least I think they’re non fiction) about fostering very traumatised children – they style is very different and it doesn’t need to be flowery because it’s a statement of facts, I’d give another thriller from her a go to see how she gets on after this

        Liked by 1 person

        • ah, yes! that makes perfect sense then.. the style bled through from one genre to the next in a way.
          I agree though.. definitely willing to give her upcoming book(s) in thriller genre a go, because apart from the delivery, the idea was really bloody good! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Honesty is definitely the best policy! Nice to get a warning about the level of realism behind this story. It also sounds like the book could’ve been a lot shorter than it actually was hahah I’ll admit that the cover had me excited for some sort of epic dark thriller, but the whole ” a (really long) newspaper article or report of happenings” really kills it hahahah Excellent review nonetheless! Always enjoy reading your insights on these books, Liz. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would be blinded by that blurb too so it makes perfect sense to me that you requested this one :-). So sorry to hear that it didn’t live up to your expectations. I don’t like long-winded books either so I’m quite happy to read this review here :-). Excellent review with some great points why I’d better stay clear of this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Inge!
      I do feel crap for putting potential readers off with my moaning, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it was just simply too much tell and not enough show… going by Goodreads ratings, I’m not far off the mark I think…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry that this book wasn’t quite what you were hoping it would be 😦 It’s awful when books have such a lacklustre vibe to them, more so when the plot sounds so promising! I’ve read various articles over the years about this topic. Can transplant patients really adopt the traits of their donor? There was a case a few years ago about a guy who’d never rode a bike in his life yet when he received the heart of a cyclist killed in a collision, he became a keen cyclist! It’s so strange. There’s no scientific backing but there must be something to it!
    Awesome review, though! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jazz!
      Oh, how interesting… it is such an intriguing topic and definitely a good idea to harness for a book… Humans really are a lot more complex than meets the eye… take for instance the cases where people have been in a coma and wake up speaking a language they never knew a word of before… that’s just wow! In the book though, *SPOILER ALL*
      the guy even develops ‘new’ fingerprints which I think what most scientific people reading the book will just rip to pieces but… also the fact that they become the donor.. in thought, behavior, memories…
      I shoudl read up more about cellular memory and transplant stories…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooo it’s making me want to read some more stories on it too 😛 There are some really fascinating cases! I read somewhere – regarding people waking up from comas speaking other languages – that some scientists think we absorb other languages on a subconscious level from things like TV shows and movies and when we suffer a traumatic brain injury, that part of the brain is suddenly accessed. Or something along those lines anyway 😛
        I don’t think I can buy the notion of someone developing new fingerprints 😛 How would that even work!?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ah real shame this didn’t blow your mind :/ can’t say that writing style sounds even remotely appealing to me, even if it is a cool idea and there were creepy images that stayed with you. Love your point about TMI- YES!! Sometimes we just don’t need to hear/read every little thing. Anyway great review, even if it didn’t knock your socks off 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I’m sorry the idea, however brilliant, was not properly executed… It can really spoil the reading experience for us, no matter the book’s actual potential. And overall, it’s just really sad! Considering the ending was not that great either, I guess your rating is more than justified.
    I hope you get to read a better book soon, Liz! And lovely review, as always 🙂


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