Review: Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate

Title: Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley



Dr. Corinne Cabot is living the American dream. She’s a successful ER physician in Chicago who’s married to a handsome husband. Together they live in a charming house in the suburbs. But appearances can be deceiving—and what no one can see is Corinne’s dark past. Troubling gaps in her memory mean she recalls little about a haunting event in her life years ago that changed everything.

She remembers only being in the house the night two people were found murdered. Her father was there, too. Now her father is in prison; she hasn’t been in contact in years. Repressing that terrifying memory has caused Corinne moments of paranoia and panic. Sometimes she thinks she sees things that aren’t there, hears words that haven’t been spoken. Or have they? She fears she may be losing her mind, unable to determine what’s real and what’s not.

So when she senses her husband’s growing distance, she thinks she’s imagining things. She writes her suspicions off to fatigue, overwork, anything to explain what she can’t accept—that her life really isn’t what it seems.


Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate is a chilling and suspense-laden mystery about a woman who has blocked out memories of a double homicide committed seventeen years earlier.

ER Doctor Corinne Cabot’s long hours are beginning to put a strain on her marriage. Her husband, Jude, is a therapist whose practice rarely intrudes after his daytime clinic hours. He is growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of quality time spent with Corinne due to her schedule.  In the weeks leading up to Halloween, which is always a stressful time for Corinne due to double murder she witnessed while babysitting, her anxiety levels are ramping up and she is suffering terrible panic attacks. Although Corinne does make an effort to reconnect with Jude, his fascination with  twenty-four year old waitress Zoe is taking him down a ruinous path that could have lasting repercussions on their fifteen year marriage.

Corinne is a very sympathetic protagonist who has never quite dealt with the events of that fateful night seventeen years earlier. Her memories of that day are relatively clear up to a point but she has no clear recollection of the murders.  She also experiences an overpowering sense of dread whenever she tries to recall what happened that night.  In the month leading up to Halloween, Corinne begins experiencing auditory hallucinations and she loses segments of time where she has absolutely no memory of what happened.  After things spin way out of control, Corinne voluntarily commits herself to a mental facility where she works with Dr. Phillips to process events both past and present.

In the beginning, Jude is extremely understanding of Corinne’s work schedule and her difficulty with during the month of October. However, he soon loses patience with his wife and despite his close relationship with his brother, Michel,  Jude begins spending a lot of time at his favorite diner. He is absolutely enthralled by the overtly sexual and extremely provocative new waitress Zoe. Despite his psychology training and his work as a therapist, Jude follows a predicable path where he rationalizes his decisions and makes pathetic excuses for his questionable behavior.

Corinne’s struggles to keep those long ago events behind her are realistically depicted and it is very easy to empathize with her throughout the novel.  Just as her situation is spiraling dangerously out of control, Jude, who is the one person she could always depend on, becomes closed off and emotionally as well as physically absent. He is making one bad, cringe worthy decision after another  which makes him a difficult character to like. Zoe is incredibly aggressive and refuses to take no for an answer.  She is a determined young woman who stages some very sexually explicit attempts to ensnare Jude which result in some very erotically charged sex scenes.

Such Dark Things is an extremely suspenseful mystery. While some of the plot twists are relatively easy to guess, others are completely unexpected and rather shocking.  Corinne always remains a sympathetic character but Jude is extremely difficult to like for much of the novel. Zoe is sly, cunning and manipulative throughout the story. Courtney Evan Tate ratchets up the tension as the novel weaves back and forth in time and hurtles to a dramatic and action-packed conclusion.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Courtney Evan Tate, Harlequin, Mira, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Such Dark Things, Suspense

One Response to Review: Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy