Through the Darkness

Book One of the Mallox Series

Fiction - Womens
381 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

When I started writing novels three years ago, I never dreamed it would have such a meaningful impact on my life. I was searching for ways to use my personal story to help others and realized that writing fiction might be just the right medium.

My emphasis is on deep character development within storylines that expose the hidden devastation of domestic abuse and sexual violence. I use fictional characters as a means of offering information and encouragement to those suffering in silence.

In my novels, strong female characters are challenged by their psychological struggles with PTSD, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Throughout the series, I introduce unconventional therapy practices including equine therapy and canine-assisted therapy, which are used in conjunction with traditional methods. My hope is that my readers will relate to these characters and learn about the benefits of asking for help.

In addition to writing, I run a small non-profit service dog organization which I founded in 2013. Our dogs are partnered with therapists who work with clients experiencing the effects of trauma. Each of our dogs have their own client caseloads that they see on a weekly basis (pre-pandemic).

If you are dealing with past trauma, know someone who is, or just want to learn more, I hope you'll consider reading and sharing my books. The best way to help someone is to reach out to them. That's my goal and that's why I'm a writer.
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Through the Darkness is the first entry in the Mallox Series by Lisa Burkett and has a strong appeal for fans of drama and psychological thrillers with compelling female characters; a story that is emotionally loaded. Aiden Mallox started his company to offer help to people in difficult situations and most of the clients have been those leaving an abusive partner, something that often turns dangerous as the abuser can resort to stalking behavior. Mallox Consulting helped Natalie Kessler in the past when she was stalked by a former co-worker. Now she finds herself in dangerous waters and must choose to support a friend in an abusive relationship. An assault sets her on a path to reliving her childhood trauma. Can she overcome the pain and experience freedom?

This is a well-plotted and engrossing story with strong psychological themes. The characters deal with trauma, sexual assault, and violence, especially against women. The characters as rock-solid, genuinely flawed, and hugely believable. Aiden’s background as well as the background of other characters make them the best fits for the roles they play in the story. The relationship between Aiden and Natalie is skillfully written, and beyond the professional relationship, Aiden provides the support system that Natalie requires to find her strength and confidence. The novel deals with social and personal issues that many readers can identify with. Through the Darkness by Lisa Burkett features counseling and demonstrates how to handle people dealing with trauma. It is written in gorgeous prose, punctuated by deftly written dialogues and a pulsating drama. It was a page-turning story with characters that stay with readers.

Stephanie Chapman

Disassociating from feeling emotions can cause long-term effects preventing a healthy life. Through The Darkness by Lisa Burkett features Aiden Mallox and his attempt to break down Natalie Kessler's descent into depression. Aiden is the founder of Mallox Consulting and has devoted his life to helping domestic violence victims. Alex and Riley help Aiden with providing for the women in the main center while a small team of workers assists with the reintegration of women into being self-sufficient without fear of being assaulted. When Natalie arrives at a party that the agency is holding, Aiden requests her assistance with an accounting error he made. When he leaves her alone in the office, one of the agents enters the office. Natalie attempts to introduce herself, but Tom Michaels attacks her. Sensing something is wrong, Aiden and Alex discover Natalie in the corner, unable to move. Tom Michaels has disappeared, but he left a message with Natalie. Will Natalie tell Aiden the details of the attack, or will she disassociate from life?

The major theme Through The Darkness focuses on is domestic abuse. Lisa Burkett has written the story from a new perspective that I found fascinating. Instead of focusing on the physical atrocities that the women experience, Aiden also treats the psychological impact abuse causes. I found each of the characters easy to connect with and the transition between them was effortless. This is a fast-paced story that required my full attention to catch the tidbits of information Natalie gives. I also watched the various approaches each caregiver tried in order to help Natalie. I loved the dialogue that is realistic and filled with funny sarcastic remarks. This is a 5-star story that I highly recommend to readers interested in seeing what happens in recovery for victims. While this is a fictional book, the thorough details made me feel as though I needed to help Aiden get through to Natalie.

Jose Cornelio

Through the Darkness is the first book in the Mallox Series by Lisa Burkett, featuring elaborately developed characters and strong plot points. For readers looking for stories with compelling psychological underpinnings, this one will not disappoint. Natalie Kessler struggled with anxiety and severe depression when she first came to Mallox Consulting for help. Mallox specializes in supporting and protecting clients who are trapped in dangerous situations, and most often, these are cases involving women who are victims of domestic abuse. Natalie was able to get her life back after being stalked by a former co-worker, thanks to Aiden and his team. Now, her good friend is being abused by the spouse. Can Natalie transcend her childhood trauma and experience true freedom while helping her friend?

This book deals with real-life issues and addresses a problem that people face in life: dealing with trauma and abusive relationships. The story is engaging and filled with exciting moments right from the first page. The characters, from Aiden to Natalie and Sophie, to minor ones like Riley, are real and well-written. The relationship between Aiden and Natalie goes beyond the client relationship and I loved the way it is handled. Natalie is a character that many women who have suffered trauma and abuse will identify with and Lisa Burkett does an impeccable job when writing the psychological depth of her characters. The prose is beautiful and the dialogues are skillfully crafted to augment the drama, transforming the story into a page-turner one. Through the Darkness brims with realism and humanity; it is very smart and completely unforgettable.