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Under a Dark Sky

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  246 reviews

From the critically-acclaimed author of The Day I Died comes a terrifying twist on a locked-room mystery that will keep readers guessing until the last page.

Only in the dark can she find the truth . . .

Since her husband died, Eden Wallace's life has diminished down to a tiny pinprick, like a far-off star in the night sky. She doesn't work, has given up on her love of p

Paperback, 405 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  1,156 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Lori Rader-Day
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: read-in-2017
I love it that I am the first person to mark a book read on Goodreads because I wrote it. Five stars, you betcha. Hope you like it, too.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great story! Eden Wallace, who had lost her husband in a fatal car accident nine months before, is so traumatized that she lives her life fearing the dark, and always plans to be home before dark, leaving bright lights on all night.

She finds an envelope with reservations her husband had made to celebrate their first anniversary at a "dark sky park". She decides to go alone, hoping to shed her fear and return to the living. She has mixed feelings and is depressed and lonely. She gets to t
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress...

Thank you to William Morrow Books and Harper Collins for the free ARC of this book to read and review.

This book follows the story of Eden Wallace who lost her husband. Since her husband passed away, Eden finds she is not the same person that she once used to be and is a shadow of her former self. She is afraid of the dark and has trouble sleeping, and even has nightmares. She finds some papers indicating that her h
Jul 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
From the back cover comes "a terrifying twist on a locked room mystery". I disagree with all of that.
Terrifying never happened. The book is too plodding for any suspense. That includes Eden's fear of the dark. The author had her tell the reader about her fear but failed to make it believable. That made the setting of a dark sky park worthless.
Twists didn't happen. This was paint by numbers predictable.
Locked room generally means the killer could neither enter nor the room where the murder occur
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Darn that Lori Rader-Day. I am not a night person, but once I started Under a Dark Sky, I had to stay up and finish it. It's the story of a troubled woman, caught up in an Agatha Christie nightmare. And, it's just right.

Eden Wallace's husband, Bix, a war hero, has been dead for nine months when she uses his reservation at Straits Point International Dark Sky Park in Michigan. She's hated the dark for years, but, after Bix's death, she's terrified. The stay at the park may send her screaming back
Adah Udechukwu
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Under a Dark Sky was really good. The twist and turns had me guessing all through.
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
Eden has lost her husband in a tragic accident and finds that he has secretly booked a surprise trip to a fairly isolated place they've spoken about in the past. Maybe this is the trip she needed to find some closure. Unfortunately, the trip turns into a nightmare - one in which she learns things about her husband that are worse than what she already had found out and becomes a suspect in a murder from the co-guests she also didn't expect. PHEW.

There are a lot of characters in this and we get a
L.A. Starks
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful "locked-room" kind of mystery in the tradition of Agatha Christie but set in very scenic northern Michigan, with flashbacks to Chicago.

An accidental interloper, the protagonist must not only figure out who among a group of six friends murdered one of them, but also come to terms with her husband's betrayal and death.

A very minor point--those who know UChicago's curricula will catch the clue the first time it comes up, and while UChicago has turned into a desirable spot, the t
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Eden Wallace's life has been a mess since her husband, Bix died in an accident 5 years ago. However she decided to fulfill a reservation he made for 5 years in the future. She has now arrived a private house on a lake north of Chicago, only to find that there had been a mix up in the reservations. 3 other couples had reservations at the same resort. After the initial mix-up it was determined that the private suite in the rear of the building could be used by Eden.
Eden has never been able to get
Linda Quinn
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
While I have loved all of Rader-Day's books, I think this is the best one yet. Fast paced, lots of tension and enough twists to keep you guessing until the end. This will be a thriller I'll be recommending to everyone. ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: firstreads, mystery
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

After the death of her husband, a woman grieves. When she finds a week's reservation at a park among her husband's effect, she decides to go, to shake herself out of the doldrums. When she gets there, it turns out a group of college friends are staying too. Then someone gets murdered.

not quite a psychological thriller, and not quite a pure mystery, this is still quietly entertaining.
Janelle Janson
Review to come
This is my first book by Lori Rader-Day and I really liked it. I'm sure I'll read more of her books.

The book starts with Eden Wallace reminiscing her husband Bix's death, which only occurred about 9 months prior to the start of her story. Bix had planned a trip for the two of them, so she decides to go to the place by herself to get away; however, even though he had scheduled it a year in advance there were quite a few others there to claim their spot as well. So she is a bit upset because she w
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a few days since I finished the book. I would still give it four stars as it was a well written book and I was turning the pages to find out what was going to happen. I was disappointed somewhat in the ending. It just felt flat to me. Maybe this form of crime fiction is not for me. It was promoted as a closed/locked room mystery which I enjoy but I did not feel the book was this. Granted the suspects fit into this category as you knew it had to be one of them. Even though I gave it fou ...more
Jamie Canaves
A Fast-Paced Mystery Where Everyone Is Suspicious!
Eden Wallace is a widow with a debilitating fear of the dark, which has taken over her life. When she discovers that, before he’d passed away, her husband had reserved a getaway for them at a dark sky park, she decides to go, hoping she’ll use it to force herself out of her fear. But, immediately, there’s a problem as it turns out her and a group of renters all thought they had rented a house to themselves when in fact they’re all sharing it. So
The phrase “off the chain” is a term often used to describe something fantastically good, and so it is in that sense that I say Under a Dark Sky is off the chain. However, the chain runs smooth with the structure and flow of Lori Rader-Day’s brilliant writing. She has everything under control, even the missteps the readers make in assigning guilt to the wrong characters. It’s a dark tale played out in a dark park, a locked room environment with a guest house of slowly diminishing numbers. Oh, an ...more
Alissa Koewler
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
I thought this was a fun read. Lots of potential suspects and sorting through the changing possible murderer made it hard to put down. Great beach read or to pass a snowy Saturday. Being perfectly candid though, it’s not the best of its genre and it certainly isn’t a 5-Star book. (The author rated her own book as five stars? That seems rather tacky.)
Kelly Hager
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a fascinating story. Like Eden, we are dropped into this situation with no knowledge of who the friends are. There is a lot of backstory that we're not privy to and, as a result, it's impossible to know who we can trust (if anyone). 

The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that, since her husband died, Eden's developed a paralyzing fear of the dark. And I don't just mean "sleeps with a light on." I mean "Even when there is a literal murder and police order her to leav
Rita Gorra
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I thought as I went along it would start to hang together, but I just couldn't follow. If only I didn't hear on every single page that Eden had a fear of the dark. I get it. Really. The writing was interesting and I kept hoping it would work. I can't believe a woman this messed up with so little coherence could ever figure this out. This being a round robin of finger pointing with little evidence of anything. I did want to throw this book when towards the end Eden blamed herself for this unbelie ...more
Donna Hines
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Eden's husband Bix died nine months ago in a car accident. Since then, she's been in a state of grief and depression and she hardly sleeps. She's developed a fear of the dark which she tries to combat by staying inside, blocking the darkness, and keeping every light in the house on fullest brightness. Going through Bix's papers, Eden discovers that he had booked a stay at a rental in a dark sky park for their 10th anniversary. She decides to go there and try to break the rut she's been in. When ...more
Lesa Divine
Eden husband dies. The mystery is finding out how and who's the blame. But Eden goes on a somewhat anniversary that her husband planned before his death but once there she runs into a group of people that's there for star gazing. Eden stays due it's dark she scared of the dark. But while there the mystery guests start to die or ends up hurt with Eden the prime suspect but why. Just interesting nothing to twisting about it but at times confusing to the reasoning to the actions at times.

Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss, 2018
Thanks to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for an advance egalley in exchange for an honest review!

These days, with a busy life outside of reading and far too many books on the TBR, my enjoyment of a book can be marked not just by how quickly I read it but by how obsessively I want to pick it up and want to read it. I stayed up late last night sneaking in a few more pages (chapters) and then woke up early this morning to finish. Under a Dark Sky totally caught my attention with a main character who
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was hard to follow at first. I found the sentences were constructed strange - almost stilted. But I either got used to it or it changed. An interesting murder takes place at the cabin and Eden is the interloper stuck in the middle. As the bodies fall, it becomes more difficult to figure out who did it, and Eden starts to wonder if maybe it was even herself.
Anna Amato
Sep 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm still waiting for a 'psychological thriller' which this certainly was not. I made it to page 63 and decided to look at other reviews and there were all these 5 star reviews so I kept looking and then there were others who felt the same way I did. Too long, too boring and way too much whining. Read at your own risk. ...more
Kate Moretti
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was atmospheric, creepy, claustrophobic and surprising! I love Lori's writing and her characters and will read every book she writes. ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the year since her husband's death, Eden has become inexplicably afraid of the dark. She sleeps, when she can, during the day and spends each evening holed up in her house with the lights burning.

When she finds out that her husband had booked a trip to a dark sky park for their anniversary, she decides to take the opportunity to try and work through her fear. A week alone in a beach house at a park devoted to star watching might just be the thing she needs to get on with her life. But when s
Robert Poor
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
"Under a Dark Sky" is the fourth mystery written by Lori Rader-Day in four years. A native Midwesterner, who sets her mysteries within the greater Midwest, Rader-Day gets the details right: insects, the natives' pride of place, the aggravations of being a tourist in a small town with a tiny police department and hospital. "Under a Dark Sky" is a locked-room mystery, with a debt of gratitude to Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" (one of my personal favorite mysteries) and "Murder on the ...more


Closed Circle Murder Mystery
A Dark Sky Park
Lake Michigan Setting
Dealing With Loss Of Spouse

Audio Performed By Tavia Gilbert


Initially drawn in by the familiar setting of Northern Michigan, (I've not only driven but also walked across the Mackinaw Bridge...which is very cool) I sadly only found this to be an okay read, overall.  My favorite element of the story is the setting, actually.  Also, if you've read this and you're wondering i
Kris the retired librarian
Eden Wallace is grieving the complicated death of her husband Bix when she checks in to the guesthouse of a dark sky park in upper Michigan. Her husband had made the reservation for the trip months before his death and Eden decided to keep the reservation in hopes of easing her grief and to try to get over her fear of the dark. Eden developed the phobia when Bix died. Now she’s going to a super dark place.

When Eden gets to the guesthouse, she discovers she’s not alone. The guesthouse is communa
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LORI RADER-DAY is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Death at Greenway (coming October 2021), The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she is the co- ...more

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