25 January 2023

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham Review!


One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.

Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn't slept in a year.

Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can't go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust... including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.

Stacy's debut novel, A Flicker in the Dark, was published on January 11, 2022, and went on to become an Instant New York Times bestseller. Her second, All the Dangerous Things, will be published on January 10, 2023.

Prior to writing fiction full time, Stacy worked as a copywriter and brand strategist. She earned her BA in Magazine Journalism from the University of Georgia and MFA in Writing from the Savannah College of Art & Design.

She currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband, Britt, and her Labradoodle, Mako.

My Thoughts

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham is the story of Isabelle and her loss. Her son, Mason, has been missing for over a year, he was a year and a half at the time. The case has not been solved, much to Isabell's confusion. She had hoped that after all this time that someone somewhere would have seen or heard something. 

There was an open window in Mason's room but no dirt on the floor or prints on the window or any sign that this was how the intruder came in. Isabelle is prone to sleepwalking and after viewing the video on the baby monitor, which was not working on the night of the disappearance, she starts thinking that she somehow had something to do with it. She sees on the video that she just stands over Mason's bed and stares at him. She of course remembers none of this.

In flashbacks we learn that about Isabelle's childhood and the death of her little sister Margaret. Margaret was two years younger than Isabelle and idolized her big sister. In the heat of summer, a very hot summer, Isabelle comes downstairs one morning and finds her parents distraught, and they tell her that Margaret is dead, died in the swamp. Isabelle is haunted by her sister's death all her adult life.  She had been seeing a counselor to help her come to grips with what happened, but she often wonders if she had something to do with it.

Back to present, we learn about Isabelle and her husband Ben's relationship, how they met and how they ended up getting married. Turns out that Ben is able to move on after the disappearance of his son, but Isabelle is not, thus they split. She even gives talks hoping that someone in the audience somewhere knows something.

On one of her trips from a talk, on the plane a man, Waylon, starts talking to her. He is a podcaster and is interested in interviewing Isabelle. They hit it off and she starts talking with him about the case. He tells her one day that he needs to leave as it is costly staying in a motel. She invites him into her home because she wants to continue with the podcast. But things are not as they seem with Waylon, and she finds out that he is not who he says he is.

This book is a psychological thriller at its best, lots of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. I really enjoy this type of book and this one was really good!

It is kind of interesting how different people react to the same circumstances. Not going to say anymore as I don't want to ruin it. I give these one 5 stars! Go get your copy!

I received a copy from Netgalley for the purpose of review.

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