Girl in the Dark
An award-winning, internationally bestselling author makes her American debut with this taut, riveting domestic drama with the compulsive intensity of The Good Girl, The Pocket Wife, and The Stranger, about a long-lost brother convicted of a horrifying crime and a sister’s fight to clear his name.
A single mother and lawyer, Iris has a colorful caseload, a young son with behavior issues, and a judgmental mother.
She also has a brother—shocking news she uncovers by accident. Why did her mother lie to her for her entire life? Why did she hide the existence of Ray Boelens from her?
Curious about this sibling she has never known, Iris begins to search for long-buried truths. What she discovers surprises—and horrifies—her. Her older brother is autistic—and in prison for brutally murdering his neighbor and her daughter.
Visiting Ray, she meets a man who looks heartbreakingly like her own son. A man who is devoted to his tropical fish and who loves baking bread. A man whose naiveté unnerves her. There is no question that Ray is odd and obsessive, unable to communicate like the rest of us. But is he really a killer?
Told in the alternative voices of Ray and Iris, Girl in the Dark is a compulsive, page-turning thriller about lies, murder, and the tenacity of a family determined to stay together even as they are pulled apart at the most vulnerable seams.
Lawyer Iris Kaselstein, the heroine of Dutch author Pauw's intriguing if flawed U.S. debut, is having a hard time managing her workload while fulfilling her responsibilities as a single mother to her three-year-old son, Aaron. Aaron's aggressive behavior in day care forces Iris to interrupt a conference with a client, Peter van Benschop, who's facing civil charges for using an underage teenager in a porn film. Meanwhile, Ray Boelens, an inmate convicted of stabbing his neighbor Rosita Angeli and her four-year-old daughter, Anna, to death, before stubbing a cigarette out on the little girl's corpse, consistently maintains his innocence. Finally, Iris learns by chance that Ray is her older brother, and she agrees to advocate for him. Her natural questioning of her mother's choice to keep Ray's existence a secret leads to serious tension between them. The truth about Rosita and Anna's deaths may surprise some readers, but even they may view it as a contrivance.