Dark Corners by Megan Goldin
8/8/23; 352 pages
St. Martin's Press
Rachel Krall #2
Dark Corners by Megan Goldin is a highly recommended mystery/thriller and the second novel after Night Swim featuring Rachel Krall, a famous true crime podcaster.
Maddison Logan, a popular influencer, disappeared after visiting inmate Terrance Bailey. Bailey, convicted for breaking and entering, is scheduled to be released in two days, but he is still a suspect in the murders of six women. Rachel Krall's name came up in the investigation of Maddison's disappearance so the FBI asked her to visit Bailey before his release. The visit yeilds no new information but Rachel decides to stay in Florida and even agreed to attend, undercover, BuzzCon, a popular conference for social media influencers. She thought she would be able to get more information about Maddison from those attending.
Readers will assiduously have suspend all disbelief that FBI agent Martinez would ask a true crime podcaster (no matter how famous or how many followers she has or how insistent she is) to assist in an investigation. Yeah they might infiltrate a conference undercover, but it would be with their agents. Sure, Rachel certainly has the right to stay in Florida and look into the case on her own, but the FBI wouldn't be giving her info. Rachel herself is an not entirely believable character.
Chapters in the narrative alternate between the voice of the killer, the FBI investigation, and Rachel. Adding to the mix are occasional excerpts from Rachel's podcast of the case, obviously told after the fact. Sometimes this presentation of alternate viewpoints and transcripts work for me and sometimes it doesn't. It wasn't entirely successful this time. Perhaps reading an increasing number of books all including excerpts from influencers, podcasters, or content creators in the plot is beginning to wear thin.
After a slow start the pace does pick up and the novel becomes more compelling. Dark Corners can be read as a stand alone, even though it is the second in a series. The ending is satisfying