In Seattle, a few weeks before Christmas, a family of four are horribly murdered in their own home. All evidence points to one man. A man already wanted by the police, but who had also been through a traumatic event years earlier with one of the victims and was supposed to be one of his closet friends. It's up to Detective Alice Madison, who has only been with the Homicide unit for little over a month, to untangle the secrets and impossibilities of this strange case.
V. M. Giambanco's debut novel gets off to a slow start. There's a lot of information to process regarding not only the crime scene and the resulting investigation, but core character back stories, too. However, don't let this put you off, as halfway through the majority of the explaining stops and all of those details begin to make sense. This is when The Gift of Darkness becomes a proper page-turner.
Giambanco has created fantastic characters, all with their own set of moral ambiguities, and placed them within a clever plot. I was kept guessing why the Sinclair family was murdered for the majority of the book. When Giambanco finally revealed this information, I found the reason behind the murders slightly anticlimactic; although I did wonder if this made the killers actions even worse? In the end it is not so much the reveal of the killer's motive, but as to how the final show-down unfolds provides an exciting, and somewhat horrifying, conclusion.
After reading I am still left with questions about certain aspects, but I always welcome a book that makes me think long after I have finished reading. I would love to read more from V. M. Giambanco in the future, especially if she carries on with Alice Madison as her lead character.