- Julia Heaberlin
- 334 pages
- Murder Mystery
- Characters with prosthesis
- Multiple character perspective
Wyatt Branson is driving along the Texas highway when he sees a dog on the side of the road, dumped in a field of dandelions—except, she isn’t a dog—she’s a kid. Is it a sign? It’s been a decade since his sister, Trumanell, disappeared, leaving nothing but a bloody handprint on their front door. Wyatt is haunted by her presence, her famously pretty face hanging on posters in the town’s church, police station, and high school. He even believes he sees her ghost living in his house. It’s no secret that the town thinks he’s liable of the crime, though he’s been cleared of innocence for years.
When Odette Tucker gets the call that Wyatt Branson was seen taking a young girl into his house, she knows she needs to step in before any of the other townspeople get word that Wyatt might be stirring up trouble. Walking into Wyatt’s pitch-black home, miles outside of town, Odette meets Angel, a one-eyed mute pre-teen with a story she’s not yet ready to tell. Odette’s not sure how Angel fits into the mystery but one thing’s for certain—she has to be connected to Trumanell’s disappearance somehow.
Desperate to solve the case, Odette digs deep to find out what happened in Angel’s past, how she lost her eye, and where Trumanell might be now.
When I started reading We Are All The Same In The Dark, I was still reeling from a surface-level romance novel and desperately craving some in-depth character development. I find murder mysteries often create some wonderful dynamics between characters as the mystery unveils. We Are All The Same In The Dark certainly did not disappoint. This novel started off wonderfully with a solid sense of dialect and voice.
Of all the murder mysteries I’ve read (or truly many modern books I’ve read), this novel is undoubtedly one of the most lyrically captivating. Heaberlin’s words are poetry, so mesmerizing that it’s impossible not to read through the whole book in one sitting. Beside Heaberlin’s writing style, her characters are easy to identify with and are well-developed. Each character grows and changes in multiple aspects throughout the entirety of the plot, especially given that the time frame changes three different times, and in three different perspectives.
I often found myself reading and forgetting that this book was written recently—We Are All The Same In The Dark transports the reader to a different world where a small town feels timeless. I sense that this was exactly Heaberlin’s goal as she throws in a few modern touches, such as political signs, as a reminder that this book was written in a contemporary world.
This book would typically be a 5 star rating for me, but I didn’t love the ending. While I won’t spoil it for those of you who want to pick up a copy for yourself, the twist in Part Three wasn’t what I was expecting. While sometimes that could be a good thing, I found myself wondering why the author chose to end the plot this way when there were a few other ways it could have gone. Yet, that’s for you to decide (definitely take the time to let us know your thoughts in the comments!)
Overall, We Are All The Same In The Dark is a work of art. I think many authors would aspire to be as talented as Heaberlin clearly is—her writing style is phenomenally easy to fall in love with and it feels beautifully natural. I’m shocked this book is not topping on every ranking list since it’s been written, as it is clearly underhyped. While I haven’t read any other books of Julia Heaberlin’s yet, I will certainly be picking up some of her other bestselling novels after reading this one.
You can check out We Are All the Same In the Dark on Amazon (though we aren’t current affiliates).
If you’d liked this review, check out our latest review, The Roughest Draft, or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.