Book Review: Her Darkest Nightmare – Brenda Novak ****

This time last year I read a short novella that was a digital prequel to what sounded like a really interesting new series. It has been a long wait but finally the first proper book in the Hanover House series has been published. Her Darkest Nightmare takes up right from where Hanover House ended and if it sounds like this series would interest you then I thoroughly recommend that you read that first as you will get a much better grasp of the main character Evelyn and the demons that drive her to do what she does.

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Hanover House is a state penitentiary facility that specialises in the study of psychopaths. Evelyn Talbot has been pushing for this type of facility for years and was instrumental in helping to secure the funding. Located in Hilltop, a remote town in Alaska, it is now home to some of the most evil serial killers in the USA. The local state trooper Amarok fought against locating the facility in his town as he was convinced that it represented a threat to their quiet and peaceful way of life. No amount of job creation could make up for the type of people that it had brought into his community.

One of Evelyn’s subjects tells her that not all of the killers in Hilltop are behind bars in Hanover House but refuses to tell her any more until she grants him a private unrecorded session. Something that the doctor isn’t keen to do as she was previously attacked by him when she interviewed him at another prison. Two women from the prison staff fail to report for duty during a harsh winter storm. There is concern but no-one fears the worst. Then when a severed head turns up on a broom handle behind the local bar everyone in the town starts to worry that one of her subjects has escaped.

Novak has a very visual writing style and I feel like I can see the whole town of Hilltop in my head. The story rattles along at a fair pace and there is a very unexpected twist that adds a great edge to the story. Each chapter begins with a short quote from a different serial killer and I found myself pondering on these quotes more than once. I’m already looking forward to the next book in this series. Hannibal Lecter had nothing on the inhabitants of Hanover House.

Supplied by Net Galley and Headline in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication Date: 25 Aug 2016. 384 pages.

Her Darkest Nightmare (Evelyn Talbot)

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