Village in the Dark by Iris Yamashita

February 14th, 2024 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 12 Comments

14th Feb

Sophia Rose is here with the second novel in the Cara Kennedy thriller series. Grab a hot cup of joe and check out her thoughts on the murder mystery, Village in the Dark by Iris Yamashita.

Village in the Dark by Iris Yamashita
Village in the Dark
by Iris Yamashita
Series: Cara Kennedy #2
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Detective Cara Kennedy thought she’d lost her husband and son in an accident, but harrowing evidence has emerged that points to murder--and she will stop at nothing to find the truth in this riveting mystery from the author of City Under One Roof.

On a frigid February day, Anchorage Detective Cara Kennedy stands by the graves of her husband and son, watching as their caskets are raised from the earth. It feels sacrilegious, but she has no choice. Aaron and Dylan disappeared on a hike a year ago, their bones eventually found and buried. But shocking clues have emerged that foul play was involved, potentially connecting them to a string of other deaths and disappearances.

Somehow tied to the mystery is Mia Upash, who grew up in an isolated village called Unity, a community of women and children in hiding from abusive men. Mia never imagined the trouble she would find herself in when she left home to live in Man’s World. Although she remains haunted by the tragedy of what happened to the man and the boy in the woods, she has her own reasons for keeping quiet.

Aided by police officer Joe Barkowski and other residents of Point Mettier, Cara’s investigation will lead them on a dangerous path that puts their lives and the lives of everyone around them in mortal jeopardy.

Sophia Rose’s Review

City Under One Roof was one of my favorite books of 2023.  I was shocked to discover this was a debut effort and I was tantalized by the open plot threads that gave hope that there would be a follow up book.  Village in the Dark was just that book and it was well worth the anticipation.

Village in the Dark is part of an ongoing story and not good starting point since the main mystery and most of the characters’ situations are carry over.  Newcomers should definitely read City Under One Roof first.

I’ll do my best not to spoiler.  Cara Kennedy, an Anchorage Police detective on forced mental health leave has recently solved a case with the teamwork of the police and people of Point Mettier, ‘the city under one roof’ and at the end of that case, she was given a chilling clue that her husband and son’s deaths might not have been an accident.  She is following up on this clue when her detecting stirs up a hornet’s nest with a gang and leads her to track down the other people in the pictures on a dead gang member’s phone with the help of new romance interest, Officer Joe Barkowski, and the irascible Ellie from Point Mettier.

Cara shares the narration with Ellie whose backstory and the new circumstances around her adult son’s death are given lots of page time.  But, a third woman, the mysterious Mia who comes from an off grid village also has a parallel storyline running.  I had the feeling that the three separate stories would converge at some point and what a great fistful of surprises when they do.

I enjoyed the tantalizing hints as the three women’s stories came out.  Instead of taking away the tension as I got a grasp of just what was going on, the tension mounted as it became obvious that Cara and the others are up against a big time formidable foe and they don’t realize the danger until late.

There was a huge climax scene and a well done finish that wrapped things up well.  Unlike the last book, this one didn’t leave any major plot threads dangling, but I sure do hope there are more thrilling Alaska-set murder mysteries for Cara and the other eclectic folks at Point Mettier to solve.  Start with the first book, but murder mystery fans who enjoy exotic locations and colorful cultural situations should definitely pick these up.

Amazon | Audible

About Iris Yamashita

Iris Yamashita

Iris is the Academy Award nominated writer for the movie LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, directed by Clint Eastwood. The film received a Golden Globe award for “Best Foreign Language Film” and was nominated for 4 Oscars®, including Best Original Screenplay. Her debut novel, CITY UNDER ONE ROOF, the first in a mystery series, will be released by Berkley Group in January, 2023.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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12 Responses to “Village in the Dark by Iris Yamashita”

  1. Katherine

    I have City Under One Roof high up on my TBR and have been curious about this one. I’m glad to see this one was just as enjoyable and that there weren’t any plot threads left dangling. I’m looking forward to reading both books!

  2. Carla

    This sounds like a series I would enjoy. I like books set in Alaska and the characters sound interesting. Great review SophiaRose