Today, I’m thrilled to review Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt. With it’s dark blurb, it was a departure from my run of supernatural and romance books but knowing it was inspired by true crimes was intriguing.
Book review: Dark Mode by Ashley Kaliagan Blunt
Title: Dark Mode
Author: Ashley Kalgan Blunt
Publisher: Ultimo Press
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release date: 13th April 2023
Is it paranoia – or is someone watching?
Reagan Carsen knows how to keep herself safe – keep the door bolted, stay off the internet and never, ever talk to the police. But when a serial killer starts targeting women who look exactly like her, Reagan is forced to confront the dark events in her past.
Inspired by true crimes, such as the Black Dahlia murder, Dark Mode reimagines them for the modern age, weaving the insidious nature of living in an online world into the crimes to create a creeping, suffocating sense of terror for readers.
Fascinated by the psychology behind crime – who commits them, how they’re investigated and what they tell us about society – Ashley was compelled to write a thriller that explores this in detail. Through her research, Ashley delved into the dark web and discovered how terrifyingly easy it is for our personal information to
be discovered and used against us. Combining this with the growing subculture of incels and men’s right activists on the web, Ashley has created a modern thriller that speaks to how deeply the lines
between the online world and reality have blurred.
Set over a sweltering summer, Dark Mode is a fresh, riveting thriller that highlights the price we pay for surrending our privacy one click at a time.
After all, once you’re online there’s nowhere to hide …
This is the second book I’ve read this month set in Australia but had a completely different vibe to Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens but just as eye-opening. Thrown straight into the plot, with the discovery of a mutilated body, the tension only increased to terrifying heights.
Reagan was a likable, over cautious and secretive character. I adored her business, Voodoo Lily, which was a garden centre specialising in carnivorous and unusual plants and loved how the names and descriptions of the plants were dropped casually in throughout the book. Her life was anything but ordinary. As her complex past was revealed and collided with the present with a serial killer on the loose, the novel delved deep into the dark side of the internet. It was terrifying and days later, I’m still sleeping with the light on after reading the climatic conclusion.
It’s not the first novel, I’ve read recently dealing with similar themes but it was an unnerving, powerful read about obsession, stalking and extreme misogyny which has left its mark. I doubt I will trust people I meet online ever again.
Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of How to Be Australian and My Name Is Revenge. Her writing appears in the Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, Australian Book Review, Kill Your Darlings and more. Ashley teaches creative writing and co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, a podcast about writing, creativity and health. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico.
Thank you Random Things Tours for the blog invite and advanced copy of this book to so I could give an honest and unbiased review.