Book Reviews

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould: Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Published August 3rd, 2021

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, LGBTQ+

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Courtney Gould’s thrilling debut The Dead and the Dark is about the things that lurk in dark corners, the parts of you that can’t remain hidden, and about finding home in places―and people―you didn’t expect.

The Dark has been waiting for far too long, and it won’t stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on.

Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould is a spooky sapphic paranormal mystery/thriller that will keep you up at night. Following the mysterious disappearances plaguing the small town of Snakebite, Oregon, this story centers on Logan, the daughter of TV ghost hunters Alejo and Brandon returning to their small town to film the unexplainable occurrences happening there, and Ashley, the girlfriend of the first teen to have gone missing.

Logan and Ashley, one new to town and feeling very unwelcome, the other having lived in Snakebite all her life, clash at first. But soon unanticipated circumstances find the two girls realizing they must work together to solve the mystery and save the town.

The Dead and the Dark had a little bit of everything. The paranormal mystery was compelling and kept me hooked until the very end. The narrative was atmospheric and tense. Gould did a good job of showing how hate was the real nefarious force haunting the citizens of Snakebite. I particularly enjoyed following Ashley’s journey of self-discovery.

Have you read The Dead and The Dark?

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Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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