I received a copy of Carter Wilson’s The Comfort of Black in exchange for an honest review. Oceanview Publishing has graciously provided us with one copy of the book to give away – and we will randomly choose the winner from those who complete our latest listener survey. Click here to enter: http://www.comcastro.com/survey.
A fast-paced, often disturbing, psychological thriller, The Comfort of Black is about Hannah Parks, a strong female protagonist whose past was full of violence, hatred, and abuse. The lead character Hannah barely survives this; Billy, Hannah’s father, was sent to prison for beating Hannah within inches of her life, her mother drank herself to death, and Hannah became the guardian of her 15-year-old sister Justine.
The girls leave Kansas and move to Seattle to try to start over. Hannah becomes a clerk in a hotel where she meets and then marries Dallin Leighton, a wealthy man who runs an Internet security company. Seemingly, their marriage starts out fine, and they discuss plans to start a family, but soon they begin to fall out of love, and Dallin grows withdrawn and mysterious. She notices that he’s having these weird violent sex dreams. He’s talking in his sleep, it’s getting disturbing, and she starts to get nervous that this is some kind of rape-murder fantasy that he’s living out in his sleep. Hannah investigates her husband’s activities and, sure enough, she finds out that Dallin is hiding secrets from her; she finds incriminating information on his computer, and when she threatens to leave him, he becomes abusive, tries to strangle her, and then tries to have her abducted.
With the help of a man called “Black,” an ex-con who has a knack for making people disappear, she runs, tries to start her life over a second time, and searches for answers about her attempted kidnapping.
Once we get past the abusive marriage drama trope and realize there’s something else going on here besides a battered character falling in love with a similar character in the stereotypical familiar choice of spouse to the family of origin, realizing that was a terrible mistake, and running for dear life, we spend the greater part of the novel wondering who of the people Hannah is in contact with are able to be trusted, including this guy Black who shows up out of nowhere and is supposedly trying to help her. There are lots of twists and turns that leave you guessing about the plot of the story and how all of this will end up for Hannah on the other side of a divorce from a millionaire psychopath with scary levels of social and technological reach.
Following the novels Final Crossing and The Boy in the Woods, The Comfort of Black is award-winning author Carter Wilson’s third novel. Wilson was born in New Mexico, grew up in Los Angeles, and then attended Cornell University. A consultant and a frequent lecturer in the hospitality industry, Wilson travels the world for work and pleasure, also actively volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.