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Publisher's Summary

Abducted as a teenager, a woman must now confront her past and untangle the truth of what really happened to her in this dark thriller from the author of The Wolf Wants In.

One of the Best Books of the Year: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Self

“Compulsively, propulsively readable.” (Laura Lippman, best-selling author of Lady in the Lake)

Seventeen-year-old Sarabeth has become increasingly rebellious since her parents found God and moved their family to a remote Arkansas farmstead where she’s forced to wear long dresses, follow strict rules, and grow her hair down to her waist. She’s all but given up on escaping the farm when a masked man appears one stifling summer morning and snatches her out of the cornfield.

A week after her abduction, she’s found alongside a highway in a bloodstained dress - alive - but her family treats her like she’s tainted, and there’s little hope of finding her captor, who kept Sarabeth blindfolded in the dark the entire time, never uttering a word. One good thing arises from the horrific ordeal: a chance to leave the Ozarks and start a new life.

Five years later, Sarabeth is struggling to keep her past buried when Investigator Nick Farrow calls. Convinced that her case is connected to the strikingly similar disappearance of another young girl, Farrow wants Sarabeth’s help, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, even if that means dragging her back to the last place she wants to go - the hills and hollers of home, to face her estranged family and all her deepest fears. 

In this riveting novel from Laura McHugh, blood ties and buried secrets draw a young woman back into the nightmare of her past to save a missing girl, unaware of what awaits her in the darkness.

©2021 Laura McHugh (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“What really sets McHugh apart, though, is that her social novels are seasoned with gothic horror. Each of them has kept me reading late into the night and left me chilled by their revelations. The mountains and hollows of Arkansas are gorgeous, but there be monsters in those hills.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Laura McHugh’s psychological thrillers are characterized by their deeply wrought characters, objectively harrowing situations, and their shared setting in the Midwest and Ozarks. In What’s Done in Darkness, a woman revisits her abduction as a teenager when more information comes to light.” (Oprah Daily)

“[McHugh is] a sharp observer of the nuanced dynamics that make the Heartland tick, particularly in its shadier corners, and her female characters are rich and full of life - even when they’re the victims of horrific evils.” (Elle)

What listeners say about What's Done in Darkness

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Horribly boring

This book is a giant snooze. I saw it on the Today show and feel like Hoda and Jenna owe me an audible credit! I kept thinking it would get better and it never paid off. Save your credit and your time!

4 people found this helpful

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Bought on a whim.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this title from the winter sale. (2022) I was pleasantly surprised and found myself drawn in. This is an easy read that I think is good for a weekend cuddled under a warm blanket with a mug of hot cocoa!

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Fantastic!

This book was absolutely fantastic! I did not want it to end. The narrator was also great!