Book Reviews

Review: The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

When someone you trust recommends you a book, you read it. So when Tori Bovalino, author of The Devil Makes Three, recommended me this book, I knew I had to read it. The Dead and the Dark is a compelling mystery horror book that swept me away. I don’t even have that many notes, I was so immersed. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.


TW: child dead, child endangerment, homophobia

Logan is a heroine I knew I was going to love from the beginning. Forced to uproot her life, she’s just searching for a sense of home. With a fragment family – more on that later – Logan is both trying to save her family while also getting to know them. And almost immediately as she enters Snakebite, she knows there’s something wrong. You know that feeling of a sense of something on the back of your neck? Of entering a room and something about it doesn’t seem right?

That’s all of Snakebite in a nutshell. The Dead and the Dark is dual POV and features Ashley’s perspective as well. Whereas I instantly was drawn to Logan, Ashley ended up being the character who fascinated me. She’s always lived in Snakebite. And so her journey of waking up, of trying to see what Logan knows intuitively, was fascinating. I think it speaks to when we grow up in our hometown. And everything is just how it has always been, even if it’s not great.

But that turn in perspective to start seeing the cracks, the flaws. That’s the moment when home changes. When an insular community becomes seen for what it is. Ashley’s development was fascinating and I think it spoke to that moment of discovery. The Dead and the Dark is compelling from head to toe. It begins with something boiling under the surface and only continues to rise. With a paranormal slant – fans of Ghostbusters check out this one – and a queer romantic story line, The Dead and the Dark is a chilling and gripping read.


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Secrets never stay buried. And The Dead and the Dark prove that the secrets we think we’re hidden have a way of haunting us. For these characters, they do even more than haunt, they lash out with a vengeance and ferocity. If you are a fan of suspense stories, The Dead and the Dark is a must read. The tension and atmosphere is A+. It swirls around your ankles with dark and dense mist which only creeps towards the back of your neck. At the same time, if you love stories about our fight for family and to find people who can be our home, this is for you. Find The Dead and the Dark on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite queer suspense story?

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