Ghosts and Sapphic Romance: My The Dead and the Dark Review

I guess I'm on a bit of a spooky thriller kick this summer, because I requested an ebook ARC of The Dead and the Dark the second I saw what it was about. Like, the daughter of TV paranormal investigators hunting ghosts? Yes PLEASE!

And luckily, I was approved and got to read it! Here's how it ended up shaking out for me ...

Book Title: The Dead and the Dark
Author: Courtney Gould
Publisher/Year: Wednesday Books, 2021
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Number of Pages (According to Goodreads): 352
My Rating: 5 out of 5

Book description (from Goodreads):

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.

Welcome to Snakebite

I loved getting stuck into The Dead and the Dark -- it's dark (duh), atmospheric, and super twisty! I loved how there was a balance of thriller-style reveals and descriptions that made me feel immersed in the story. And boy, what amazing reveals — I thought I knew who the culprit was and I was SO wrong!

The town of Snakebite itself weaves its way really cleverly into the solution to the mystery. In a way, the town itself was a character, and I really appreciated that!

The Ghostbuster Dads

The protagonists, Logan and Ashley, were super compelling characters to follow. But to me the stars of the show ended up being Logan’s dads, Brandon and Alejo. Their deep dark secrets were so fun to uncover, and the paranormal investigation angle was also a nice touch!

It was especially fun when Logan used her dads' ghost hunting equipment to solve the mystery, and it was great to get a few scenes from their paranormal investigation show. I could honestly read an entire prequel novel just about Brandon and Alejo!

Trigger and Content Warnings for The Dead and the Dark

This book may not be for you if you're sensitive to discussions/depictions of murder/child death, homophobia (including slurs), drowning, and claustrophobia (being buried alive).

Final Thoughts

Long story short, I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a spooky read that still has the twists and turns of an excellent thriller :D

Thanks to Wednesday Books for the ebook ARC! The Dead and the Dark is now available everywhere, so check out the links below if you want to snag your own copy:

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