Title: All the Dangerous Things
Author: Stacy Willingham
Published: February 1st 2023
Publisher: HarperCollins – GB
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 3.5 stars
Today is day 364.
364 days since my last night of sleep.
364 days since my son, Mason, was taken from his bed.
The police have stopped looking. My husband wants me to move on.
But I need to keep his story alive.
Someone knows what happened to my son.
And I’m going to find them.
It’s been a year since Isabelle Drake’s son, Mason, disappeared from his bedroom. Since then, she hasn’t had a full night of sleep. Everyone else has moved on – the detectives, the press, her husband – but she can’t rest until she knows the truth.
Teaming up with true crime podcaster Waylon Spencer, Isabelle investigates her son’s case. But Waylon has motives of his own and as long-forgotten memories of Isabelle’s past resurface, doubt begins to cloud her sleepless nights.
What happened to Mason Drake?
What if the past is better left buried?
Stacy Willingham set bookstores alight with her smash hit debut, A Flicker in the Dark. Willingham returns with her hotly anticipated sophomore novel, All the Dangerous Things. A story of a tragic kidnapping case, with suggestive ties to the past, Stacy Willingham’s latest is a dark and twisted tale.
When Isabelle Drake’s son mysteriously vanishes from his bedroom, a desperate search begins but it fails to bring young Mason home. In the wake of this tragedy, Mason’s mum Isabelle is unable to move on from this heartbreaking event. Isabelle is at breaking point due to a continual lack of sleep as she clings to any hope that Mason will be found. With the authorities, the media and her husband all abandoning Mason’s case, Isabelle is more determined than ever to find out what happened to her son. When a true crime podcaster gets involved in Mason’s case, things start to move again. But the podcaster’s motives are unclear. As Isabelle continues to struggle to sleep, painful memories from her past return. Can Isabelle suppress the memories of her difficult past and bring her son home?
Stacy Willingham became an international bestselling author thanks to the popularity of her first novel, Flicker in the Dark. I know Willingham’s fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of All the Dangerous Things. I collected my copy from my local bookstore the week it was published and I raced through All the Dangerous Things in no time at all.
All the Dangerous Things is a twisted, tangled and convoluted thriller. Nothing is quite as it seems and Willingham is very good at casting doubt over all her characters. My obvious choice for the perpetrator was the female main character and her ex. I was pretty confident that one of these two figures was responsible for young Mason’s disappearance. The gradual release of information pertaining to Mason’s disappearance and the back story of the lead character was intriguing. Willingham takes her time to set the scene and her storytelling approach is a slow burn format. I liked the short chapters and the thick shroud of unreliability that followed the prime protagonist, along with the other side players featured in this story.
The introduction and influence of a true crime podcaster in this tale really piqued my interest. I was keen to find out why Waylon was so interested in this case. Willingham integrates the main character Isabelle’s past in with the developing mystery, along with her current state of mind which is riddled by sleep deprivation and possible postpartum psychosis. Sleep walking is even suggested as a possible line of suspicion around Mason’s disappearance. Willingham slides in themes of motherhood, guilt, depression, relationship breakdown, family tragedy, personal wellbeing, trauma and loss in All the Dangerous Things. Once I got down to the finer details of the case, I did find my predication was off and the actual turn of events was somewhat farfetched.
A story that hops back and forth from the past to present leaving a trail of emotional destruction linked to a mother and a child, All the Dangerous Things is a harrowing suspense tale.
All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham was published on 1st February 2023 by HarperCollins – GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of All the Dangerous Things, Stacy Willingham visit here.