Title: Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 264 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Amanda Sinclair has to fight harder than most for everything she has after fleeing the cult that left her brother dead at her mother’s hand. Amanda works a quiet job in quality control for a small cosmetics company, trying to leave her past behind her—until she learns that her mother has committed suicide in the mental ward where she’s been locked away for the past ten years.
But when Amanda receives her mother’s personal belongings, she finds a troubling connection to the upcoming parole hearing for cult leader Patrick Collier. And then troubling things begin happening to Amanda herself. Teaming up with her mother’s psychologist, Amanda starts to peel away the layers of secrets that she’s built between herself and her own past, and what she finds is a truth that’s almost too big to believe.
Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl is an intriguing mystery about a former cult member’s investigation of her mother’s apparent suicide.
In the ten years since leaving the Children of the Greater God (COGG), a religious cult run by charismatic leader, Patrick Collier, Amanda Sinclair has distanced herself from her notorious past. She has a career she loves working in the lab of Bellefountaine Cosmetics, a small but up and coming cosmetics firm. She carefully compartmentalizes her life and she maintains a professional distance from her co-workers. After learning her mother, Lisa Framingham, has someone managed to commit suicide at a local psychiatric facility, Amanda’s well-ordered world begins to fall apart when she discovers disturbing items in Lisa’s belongings. With no one but her mom’s psychologist, Dr. Sam Ashmore, willing to believe her theory that Patrick’s upcoming parole has something to do with Lisa’s suicide, Amanda and Sam team up to try to uncover the truth about her mother’s death.
By all outward appearances, Amanda has successfully put the events from her past behind her, but she has only been able to do so at a high personal cost. In an effort to keep her secrets from ever being discovered, she has no close relationships of any kind. She is dedicated to her job and she thrives on order and routine. Amanda carries a heavy burden of shame and guilt over the things that happened while she and her mom were involved in COGG, but in the aftermath of Lisa’s suicide, she is haunted by memories of everything that occurred ten years earlier. With Sam’s gentle encouragement, Amanda finally confesses the entire truth but will these revelations help or hinder their investigation?
Needing a distraction from her painful memories, Amanda throws herself into her job. Having recently discovered a few discrepancies on tests run on a new anti-aging product, she resolves to get to the bottom of the problem. The more information she uncovers, the more convinced Amanda becomes that someone has falsified previous test results. With her suspicions falling on her co-workers, she does not know who to trust but when she makes an attempt to tell the company’s CEO Will Friedrichs about her discovery, Amanda makes a discovery that is as shocking as it is confusing.
With a fascinating storyline, a sympathetic lead character and a perplexing mystery, Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl is a riveting read. Amanda’s ruminations on her experiences with COGG provide an insightful look into how easy it is to fall under a charismatic person’s spell. Doubts about Amanda’s reliability as a narrator soon arise when some her revelations cannot be verified. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep readers off balance as all of the pieces of the various puzzles fall into place during the novel’s rather dramatic conclusion.
All in all, an outstanding mystery with a unique plot that fans of the genre will enjoy.