Book #30

Darkness and Grace by Kathryn Schleich

Even the strongest of families aren’t immune to malice, betrayal, and deceit. Supportive, loving, and affluent, the Pierson family is delighted to celebrate the marriage of sensitive middle son Paul Pierson and his wife, Pamela. Everyone rejoices that Paul has finally recovered from the tragic loss of his beloved first wife and looks forward to Paul and Pamela’s new life together. But just as family members are celebrating his happiness, they start noticing that his beautiful bride may not be what she seems.

As the strain between siblings and spouses worsens, the Piersons discover that neither their money nor their considerable influence can keep the family safe from one woman’s malicious intent. When the true nature of this family member is revealed, each of the Piersons is confronted with the quandary of human conduct and moral responsibility.

Darkness and Grace follows the wealthy Pierson family as their son and brother marries a wonderful woman he met after grieving the death of his first wife. Glad he’s beginning to get over his loss, and appreciating the love and support of his new wife Pamela, the Piersons begin to feel their lives are taking a turn for the better. It soon turns out that Pamela isn’t the devoted wife she portrayed herself to be, and ultimately their lives will be swept with turmoil and worry.

Family drama is something I adore reading about, and this is about as thrilling as you can get. Malicious, conniving, and downright evil, Pamela puts the Pierson family through hell in order to achieve what she wants. Her intelligence and strategic planning blends well with her being a total bitch, and the plot becomes impossible to tear your eyes away from once this hellhound really gets going. Keep in mind this is based on a true story and everything becomes all the more delectable, like gossip fleshed into a fully formed tale.

Schleich’s writing is factual and engaging. She can describe emotions as well as setting, and creates the perfect atmosphere of stress throughout the pages. There was a real feel of dread and tension as Pamela committed atrocity after atrocity, and Schleich makes sure you read on.

I did find the ending to be quite rushed, and I really wish the beginning of the novel didn’t give this away immediately. It’s a tantalising way to start the novel, but I had it in the back of my head throughout, and I knew what had happened before I’d even begun. There’s an additional twist which I didn’t see coming, but I still felt cheated.

Truly a wonderful domestic thriller with some real twisty elements, an engaging plot, and a bonus feature of yes, this really happened.