cover image In the Dark I See You

In the Dark I See You

Mallika Narayanan. Union Square, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4549-5007-3

Narayanan’s smart, satisfying debut employs an inverted structure to explore the relationship between two complicated women. After opening with the discovery of a corpse, Narayanan flashes back to the events leading up to the murder, from the alternating perspectives of Audrey Hughes, the blind woman who found the body, and Sarah Connelly, the dead woman herself. Hughes, an accountant, is introduced regretting her recent move from New York City to the suburb of Sleepy Point, where she’s neighbors with Connelly and her infant daughter. Hearing cries from the Connelly home one afternoon, Hughes rushes over, finds the door unlocked, and trips over Connelly’s bloody corpse. The action then flashes back four years, when Connelly is working as an auditor for a small business: after discovering that a friend has been fired from a client firm, her landlord announces that her lease won’t be renewed, and she begins spiraling downward. As the women’s stories intertwine, Hughes’s integrity and intentions become murkier and murkier, and police start to close in on her as a potential suspect. Narayanan does a superior job casting doubt on the reliability of her narrators, and she brings the action to a rewarding conclusion. Lisa Unger fans will hope for more from this promising talent. (Oct.)