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Reviewed by Robin Goodfellow for Readers' Favorite
A Light in the Darkness by Patricia Bell is a dark story about finding comfort in tragedy, and that even the tiniest of lights will shimmer in a gruesome nightmare. Seven-year-old Alexis disappears one night after getting into a fight with her friend. Sheriff Erika Granger decides to investigate Alexis’s disappearance, but soon realizes that the disappearance is more complex than it seems. Shawn Johnson is a part of a successful hotel chain. However, he is also plagued by disgusting temptations that threaten to drown him. As the search to find Alexis continues, these characters will cruelly massacre what little innocence they have left, and learn that though faith can bring life, it can also bring death.
Alexis is a brave girl, and probably has absolutely no idea how strong she is. Despite her deteriorating relationship with Sierra and the other kids at school, Alexis still managed to pull through. She also never gave up on God. She relied on Him to be strong, and to cling to her will to survive. Shawn, on the other hand, is a completely different matter. It’s true that he had been struggling with his demented addiction for a while, but no matter how much I hoped, he succumbed to his demons in the end. It was hard for me to believe this, but as time passed, my sympathy for him slowly faded.
One theme Bell beautifully executes in the book is to never give in, and to never lose hope. Alexis kept herself alive by ensuring that she conserved both her food and her water, all the while thinking of ways she could escape. Jake never lost faith that his sister was alive, and even Sierra and the other kids at school prayed for her safe return. It was like watching a small, shimmering candle light the way for others; her family, her “friends,” and even Shawn himself. It’s clear that fragile little Alexis had touched so many, and didn’t even know it. Although there was a bit of a problem with the formatting, the narrative still managed to win me over. As such, I would recommend this book to those who loved Jessie’s Song by Jeremy Williamson, and Criss Cross by C.C. Warrens.