The Midnight Man

An interesting idea, but a few too many plotlines to really work

Book title

The Midnight Man

Author

Caroline Mitchell

Standalone or series

Standalone

First time reading this author?

Yes

Why I picked this

I’ve heard good things about the author.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers Embla Books and NetGalley UK for access to this as an advance reader’s ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Five girls enter the house to play The Midnight Man game. Only four leave, but the Midnight Man still has them in his sights.

Review

Part crime thriller part spooky suspense The Midnight Man starts as a group of young teenage girls take part in the midnight man game, a Candyman-esque game in a house with a tragic past. As one girl after another goes missing police detective Sarah gets drawn into the mystery. She has her own ties to the darkness at the heart of Blackhall Manor and she meets a young boy who knows more about what happened to the girls than seems to be possible.

This story has some good bones. The urban myth with unexpectedly real consequences. The young boy with prophetic dreams, and the detective with a secret past. Unfortunately it quickly becomes so twisted up in sub-plots and red herrings that it loses the cohesion needed to make it all work.

Part of the plot hinges on Sarah’s links to Blackhall Manor’s past being a secret, yet it’s a small town and almost everyone knows who she is. The timeline for when she returned to town also seems messed up, and there’s no clear explanation for how someone who left at age 14 and only returned a year ago somehow kept in contact with her teen sweetheart and married him.

There were too many subplots to really do them justice and I was left feeling like there wasn’t really a solid substance to this story. Or, at least not enough substance to be really enjoyable.

Rating

Rating: 2 out of 5.
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