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Rory Moore/Lane Phillips #1

Some Choose Darkness

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A taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight...

The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. As a former client of her father’s, Rory becomes reluctantly involved with the killer—though he continues to insist he didn’t murder Angela. Now he wants Rory to do what her father once promised: prove that Angela is, in fact, still alive.

As Rory begins reconstructing Angela’s last days, another killer emerges from the shadows, replicating those long-ago murders. With every startling discovery she makes, Rory becomes more deeply entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell—and in The Thief’s tormented mind. Drawing connections between past and present is the only way to stop the nightmare, but even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging...

304 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 2, 2019

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About the author

Charlie Donlea

16 books2,926 followers
Charlie Donlea is the USA TODAY and #1 Internationally bestselling author of SUMMIT LAKE, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN, DON'T BELIEVE IT, SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS, THE SUICIDE HOUSE, and TWENTY YEARS LATER. His new thriller, THOSE EMPTY EYES, will be released in April 2023.

His books have been translated into twenty languages across nearly forty countries. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two children.

He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where the roads end and lakes are accessible only by floatplane. These majestic trips to “God’s Country” inspired the setting for his first novel, Summit Lake.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,197 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
792 reviews12.3k followers
April 8, 2019
4.5 stars


"Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it."

Some Choose Darkness is an intriguing psychological thriller about a serial killer and two women who get drawn into his dark and twisted world.

Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionist on the autism spectrum, finds herself involved in a complicated case when she learns that her recently deceased father, a lawyer, was representing a notorious serial killer known as “The Thief.” Determined to know why her father was representing “The Thief,” Rory uses her forensic skills to piece together what others do not see. The more she learns about “The Thief” the more she finds herself drawn to Angela Miller, a woman who was involved in “The Thief” case over 40 years ago.

Flashback to 1979--Angela Miller is a woman obsessed with “The Thief.” Similar to Rory, Angela is on the spectrum, but it is the 1970’s and autism is not understood. Also like Rory, Angela has a unique ability to put together what others do not see. As her obsession with “The Thief” grows, she finds herself in grave danger.

There were so many things I loved about Some Choose Darkness, but Rory’s character is what stood out the most to me. She is intelligent, original, tough, and, at the same time, extremely vulnerable. All in all, she is fascinating! A series could be built around her character.

I also loved the way the mystery unfolded. Donlea writes in a way where he doesn’t create any unnecessary red herrings, twists, or distractions. At the same time, I was oblivious to what was happening. I am not sure if it was because I was so invested in Rory's and Angela’s stories or if just wasn’t being a sharp reader! There were many blatant clues given and I read right past them. “The truth is easy to miss, even when it is right in front of us.”

This is a fast-paced, gripping read that is filled with darkness and some surprising twists and turns. The characters are captivating and I was engrossed in the mystery. Be warned, the tone is dark and sinister with some flashes of light and love. There are some scenes from the murderer’s POV and these are quite disturbing. Rory and Angela’s characters offer an original take on forensic investigations. I have read all of Charlie Donlea’s novels, and I have to say Some Choose Darkness is my favorite so far! I highly recommend!!

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
March 19, 2023
Five brilliant soooo smartly structured and developed with amazing characterization, mind bending-punching-burning stars!

When I start a book the title is one of the most important decision maker for me. If it’s intriguing enough, I naturally dive in without wearing my pallets!

Main question of book is: Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it ! So which one of you?

One of the amazing thing about the book is there are two high IQ’d , unconventional, unpredictable heroines, one of them is Angela, diagnosed as autistic and Rory is not diagnosed but she is socially disturbed, acting like famous word of Einstein, she loves humanity but she hates humans, has difficulties to connect with them , instead of her lover Lane. Because they’re working on same field.

Other fantastic thing about the heroines is they’re abnormal but their intelligence help them solve the murders .

The story starts with Rory Moore’s taking a case but before starting to work on it, her world collapses with her father’s sudden death. As it seems like she is more work oriented, distant person, she’s still fragile but she doesn’t know how to show her feelings. She’s the most perfect reconstructionist . Her obsession with details helps her find tiniest particles about cases that no one has noticed before.
Her gift also helps her repair broken porcelain dolls which is her habit that learned from her auntie Greta for focusing on something, instead of the voices try to take control of her. And it worked so well!

As soon as her father died, she takes over his famous case about the murders of 1979. One of the dangerous serial killers of his own time, Thief , convicted by his own wife, Angela’s murder. His wife’s body has never found! Before Angela has disappeared, she has sent the trophies of the death girls that she’s found at their own garage,to the police but none of the girls’ corpses were found! And now Thief is about to be paroled !

As like we expected, Rory gets intrigued with the case and empathizes Angela! They have common ways of looking at the world ! Even the way of their thinking is similar! Angela has also photographic memory which is also her curse not to forget anything!

But when Rory starts digging more about case, she’s not going to find where Angela is or if the Thief is real killer, where he hid the corpses, she’ll also find some outstanding truths about herself and dirty secrets of her family which will shatter her world based on lies!

The ending is like a hammer to your temple! The story is compelling, riveting, harsh but also addictive and unputdownable, not a nail bitter, it’s completely finger bitter!

It’s original, different from the other thriller books , fresh, creative, witty and I liked it so much!
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,109 reviews2,792 followers
September 30, 2022
When I knew I was going to be reading Suicide House, by Charles Donlea, I grabbed Some Choose Darkness off of Amazon, as a Kindle Unlimited choice. Both books feature Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionist, and Lane Phillips, a psychologist, who is an expert on serial killers. The first book focuses on an "alleged" serial killer, who is going to be released from prison, after serving forty years for the murder of Angela Mitchell, whose body has never been found. 

The book starts with one of the killer's murders, where he employs ropes, pulleys, and body weight to torture and kill his victim. It's the summer of 1979 and five women will go missing, bodies never found, while another woman's body will be found. This timeline is intertwined with later timelines and the present, where Rory must take on the representation of the serial killer, after her lawyer father dies. Rory can't understand why her father was so involved in the affairs of this serial killer and she is obsessed with finding out how involved her father really was in the life of the man. 

In 1979, the serial killer's murder spree was cut short when an autistic woman, Angela Mitchell, mailed a packet to police, with detailed information and evidence, that led to the arrest of the killer. But Angela Mitchell could not be found and the killer was convicted of her murder, despite the lack of a body. Throughout the years, the killer paid Rory's father to search for a living Angela, so that the killer's conviction of murder could be overturned. 

Rory, also autistic, feels a strong tie to Angela and is obsessed with finding out more about her, finding her, and what had happened all those years ago. Both Rory and Angela are geniuses although Angela suffered from her way of coping with life and being labeled in demeaning and incorrect diagnoses. Where Rory has difficulties dealing with living people, she is adept of seeing what others cannot see and piecing together long ago murders. 

This is a brutal and terrifying novel that has us in the presence of the killer, his victims, and the women who want justice for the dead. We get to feel the pull of compulsion and obsession on both Angela and Rory as they parallel each other in different timelines. Donlea sets the scene, puts us in the minds of Angela and Rory, and even puts us in the mind of the killer. I was able to figure out a lot of things in the book even by midpoint but in no way did it take away from my enjoyment of the story. Creepy is too mild of a word for the feelings I felt, while reading the book, but the feeling will stay with me for a long time. 

Published April 2, 2019

This was a Kindle Unlimited choice
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,438 reviews78k followers
May 3, 2019
Cracking open the latest novel by Charlie Donlea is a bit like coming home; there's something comfortable and reliable about each one. Perhaps it's the style of writing, or maybe it's the fact that his books feel like classic crime fiction, but whatever the case, it is always a joy and a privilege to embark on a new tale that he has written. This one is slightly darker than his previous novels, but not so much in the sense that it becomes overly graphic, although I feel it necessary to mention so that the reader is aware. Personally, I thought it added to the story and ingrained an intriguing vein throughout my reading experience.

One of my favorite storytelling techniques is when an author chooses to write from multiple POVs, and if that includes dual timelines, all the better. This story has both, and since I've been on an unquenchable historical fiction pursuit, the flashbacks to 1979-81 appealed just as much as the present day plot. The format in which the author chooses to reveal the story is quite interesting; we know there was a monster on the loose called The Thief in the 70's, and we have a female amateur detective (more on that later) who narrows down the suspects to three characters, and while there is evidence that it could be any number of the three, we don't find out who it is for awhile. The slow building suspense, coupled with realistic characterization, truly tempted my brain, to the point I was really excited for that particular reveal when it finally came about.

Another reason I found this book positively exquisite is the ASD representation. We have not one, but TWO strong female leads who are on the spectrum, one which is said on paper and the other which I came to the conclusion on my own, but feels quite obvious to the reader. The fact that I have come across a crime novel with two autistic heroines is outstanding, and without giving away too much, I adored that these women felt real and were living their lives in their type of normal, rather than just coming across as a handful of symptoms written on a page. Hooray for autistic females that save the day!

While there will most likely be parts of this story that the reader solves early on, I found the things that surprised me most were what WEREN'T written. I was so sure that the story was going in a certain direction on a couple of plot points, and it turns out I was way off base. Again, I'm leaving out spoilers, but I feel the author left the book at a point where we could even have a spin off sequel, or he could use a certain plot wrap-up left just the way it was as a sort of revelation for one of the main characters. Highly recommended if you enjoy crime novels from authors like Harlan Coben, Alafair Burke, and Mary Kubica!

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,279 reviews35k followers
May 22, 2019
4.5 stars

As I began reading this, I immediately thought that Charlie Donlea has a little bit of a hanging obsession. I immediately thought of his book, Summit Lake but this also has some auto-erotic themes as the killer likes the "Rush" hmmm...or maybe he is just wanting to put that research to good use.... Either way, he had me from page one.

I was completely sucked in as I said. I really enjoyed all the characters. One thing I especially enjoyed about this book is that he gives various characters POV. This is a nice touch. l liked getting into the mind of the killer without knowing who the killer was initially. I also liked how the character of Angela was depicted. My son is on the ASD, so I am sensitive to how those with Autism and those on the spectrum are depicted. I feel he did a great job and handle the issue with sensitivity. Plus, there is another female character, Rory, who has similarities to Angela. It was refreshing to see two female characters who were on the spectrum and experienced anxiety yet were strong and intelligent. Each, in her own way, did not back down. Donlea receives high marks for this.

Donlea is quickly becoming my go-to writer. There are Authors who I anxiously await new books from and he is right there at the top of the list. I enjoy that his plots are plausible. There are twists, turns and reveals but all of them seem plausible. Nothing comes to far out of left field. He does his research and writes very good mystery/crime/psychological fiction. His book contains interesting characters who I feel for, root for and some I boo and hiss at. I also appreciate that his books are intelligent. He does not spoon feed his readers. True, some will figure out things around the half way mark. I figured out one thing fairly early but still didn’t now everything until around the 55% mark. Even if you figure things out or don’t, this is still a riveting tale about “the Thief” his “rush” and the women who he encountered and had in his life.

Again, I was captivated from page one. I found this story to be engrossing, well thought out, perfectly paced, exciting and intelligent. There were some suspenseful moments, but more importantly, Donlea knows how to write interesting and fully developed characters which we care about. I cared about what happened to the female characters in this book. I admired their strength and the way their minds worked. The strength in this book was not only the way in which the story was told via multiple POVs but in the characters themselves.

Another solid book by Donlea. I read this book in one day as it was so compelling and captivated and held my attention. Highly recommend.

This was a traveling sisters group read.

Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,066 reviews3,607 followers
April 21, 2019
Rory is a forensic re-constructionist. When her father passes suddenly, she’s tasked with over-seeing his estate, which among other things, includes his one-man law firm.
Fortunately for Rory, she’s able to hand off nearly every file for review. All but one.

A man dubbed “The Thief” is up for parole and the judge won’t let Rory out of taking charge, insisting she personally see it through to the end.
The further Rory digs into the case, the extent of her father’s involvement with this case comes to the surface.
Told in two timelines, 1979 and the present, with the story-line traversing in directions you could never imagine!

Charlie Donlea is a masterful storyteller, drawing you in and holding you like a vice-grip to the very last page.
A thoroughly marvelous ride, so hold on tightly! "It's going to be a bumpy ride.” And chances are good you won’t see the twists coming!

This is the third book I’ve read of Charlie Donlea and once again, as with his previous books, I’m handing out five well deserved stars! My toes are tapping impatiently and I CANNOT wait for his next release!

Thank you to Kensington Books via NetGalley and Charlie Donlea for an ARC to read and review.
August 1, 2019
5 stars!

Another outstanding fast-paced, gripping thriller by Charlie Donela! I loved everything about this book!

Rory Moore is a quirky forensic reconstructionist who investigates cold murder cases. She insists on working alone and has an unexplained ability to pick up hidden details that have been overlooked by the police force, making her a valuable asset to local detectives. Rory’s father passes away, leaving her to close down his law practice. Through this process, Rory is introduced to a case that she can’t shake. A convicted murderer who has been in prison for the last forty years is set to be released on parole and her father was his attorney. While she dreads having to face the courtroom and public eye on such an infamous case, she is deeply drawn into the clients’ history and solving the many unanswered questions.

I have read and loved all of Charlie Donlea’s books and this is no exception! He has the magical writing formula that makes his novels undeniably captivating, addictively suspenseful and heart-poundingly unforgettable. He creates vivid and fascinating characters that engross and wrap you up in the story from page one. He consistently provides an absolutely fantastic read leaving me itching to read his next work!

I absolutely adored the main characters in this book! They were strong, flawed, unique females who I was fully invested in from start to finish. Donlea included characters on the autism spectrum within the story, leaving an impactful impression. I truly felt for these characters, immersed in their world, getting a serious glimpse into their minds and struggles. It was eye-opening, engrossing and heart wrenching.

Warning: the crimes involved within the plot are very dark, creepy and disturbing. Though they made me uncomfortable while reading them, it heightened the suspense and fueled my fascination to find out how things would come together in the end.

This was a Traveling Sister read that we all loved! To find our reviews, please visit our blog at:


Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books and Charlie Donlea for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

Expected Date of Publication: May 28, 2019
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,600 reviews24.7k followers
April 29, 2019
This is my first read of a Charlie Donlea book and I was so impressed by his scintillating abilities in creating and developing his characters that drive this fabulous piece of dark and disturbing crime fiction. Here, unusually, he gives us two brilliant female protagonists, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. The truth can be staring at us, right in front of our faces, but we can be blind to it. The offbeat Rory Moore is a gifted forensic reconstructionist, working on cold cases, able to see what others miss. Her lawyer father has recently died, and Rory is picking up the pieces, dealing with his workload and reallocating it. Chicago Detective Ron Davidson has Rory looking at a case where a body was discovered in Grant Park, a case with features that emulate those of a serial killer called The Thief back in 1979. At that time, five women disappeared, within a terror struck city, their bodies have never been recovered.

It turns out that Rory's father represented The Thief, who has served 40 years behind bars, and he is now up for parole, Rory is to now find herself having to represent him. In 1979, Angela Mitchell lived in a time where autism is little understood, and she is perceived to be suffering from mental illnesses. Angela takes a rather close interest in the murders, engaging in detailed research focusing on patterns, coming at the case from directions that are to surprise the police but which is to put Angela in severe danger. She disappears, and it was for this that The Thief was convicted. In a narrative that goes back and forth in time, Rory is surprised by her father's role, becomes interested in Angela, seeing aspects of her own traits replicated in the remarkable woman, as the past and present connect.

Donlea engages in complex, dark, disturbing and highly suspenseful storytelling that draws the reader in with ease. He does a stellar job in providing an authentic portrayal of autism with the wonderful characters of Rory and Angela, a condition that equips both to see what is beyond the capacity of the police to discern. It is this that differentiates this crime read from others and makes this such an exciting and worthy read that I recommend to other fans of crime fiction. Many thanks to Kensington Books for an ARC.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
773 reviews4,637 followers
June 24, 2019
"Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it."

It's 1979 and there's an auto-erotic serial killer on the loose. The Thief lives for the "rush" he gets from strangling his victims to death. He has managed to keep this part of him a secret from those closest to him... until now.

Forty years later, The Thief is up for parole. When his attorney dies unexpectedly the burden of his defense falls on Rory Moore, a silent/unofficial partner in her father's law firm who is also a forensic reconstructionist. Once involved in the case she quickly uncovers that her father had secrets, secrets he never wanted her to discover.

Although the story wasn't surprising, it was definitely dark and disturbing. I was fully engrossed by the main characters. I loved the two strong women who were the focus of the duel timelines - Rory and Angela. They were such complex characters. Donlea did an amazing job of developing them and writing about how autism has been viewed over time. It was so interesting to see how differently these women were treated over the span of 40 years.

This was my first Charlie Donlea book but it certainly won't be my last. I'm also hoping we get to see Rory in future books. She is definitely a character I would happily follow in a series. Special thanks to Charlie Donlea, Kensington Books and Netgalley for an arc of this book to read and review.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
March 17, 2019
I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars.

There are so many thrillers and crime novels out there these days, so it takes something special to stand out. Sometimes it's crazy twists, surprise endings, or action that leaves you breathless. Other times it's the characters that get your attention, whether they're the heroes or the villains.

Some Choose Darkness , Charlie Donlea's upcoming thriller, didn't necessarily surprise me once the story got going, but its characters, particularly its protagonist, absolutely wowed me. That's what elevates a thriller.

Rory Moore is a forensic reconstructionist. She spends her days reviewing cold cases to see what the police and investigators might have missed, and she has an uncanny ability to forge a connection with the victims, to envision the most minute of details. But she knows her limits, and often needs to take breaks between cases to ensure she doesn't burn herself out or cause herself significant anxiety.

When Rory's father dies, as an unofficial partner in his law firm (she has her law degree but doesn't practice), she's responsible for disbursing his cases to other attorneys. But there's one case she can't pass off, because the client is about to be paroled, and the presiding judge worked closely with Rory's father on the terms of his parole. So reluctantly, Rory agrees to represent the man for the sake of the parole process.

In the late 1970s, the city of Chicago was rocked by the disappearances of five young women. Their bodies were never found and police couldn't find any clues, so the perpetrator was nicknamed The Thief by the media. It took meticulous research and investigative work by an autistic woman named Angela Mitchell (although back then no one knew what autism was, so she was labeled mentally ill) to help police break the case and identify the perpetrator. But Angela disappeared before the police could find out how she pulled all of this information together.

Forty years later, The Thief is about to paroled for Angela's murder. Rory doesn't understand why her father took such an interest in his case to the point that he represented this man for so many years, and even agreed to manage his financial assets why he was in prison. But the more she digs into the case, and the work her father did on The Thief's behalf, she uncovers secrets she was never meant to find, and connections between her father and Angela Mitchell that make her wonder if she ever knew him.

Donlea's previous book, Don't Believe It , was fantastic, so I had great hopes for this book as well. While I've read a lot of thrillers about murderers who enjoy the rush of killing, it wasn't until Donlea started revealing more about Rory's character, and telling Angela's story, that the book really hit its stride. It was the first thriller I've read that had people with autism as main characters who weren't necessarily the victim, and both characters were tremendously fascinating.

I really like the way Donlea tells a story, and he threw in some definite twists and turns along the way—some I saw coming and some that surprised me a bit. The narration shifts mainly between Rory in the present day and Angela in the late 1970s, with some periodic interjections from The Thief. The book really starts picking up steam, and I found myself racing to see how everything would be wrapped up.

If you want a thriller with lots of heart-pumping action, Some Choose Darkness isn't that book. But Donlea knows how to create suspense, and that, coupled with some unforgettable characters, makes this a book worth reading. I hope we haven't seen the last of Rory Moore.

NetGalley and Kensington provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

This book will be published May 28, 2019.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,138 reviews1,874 followers
June 4, 2020

3.75 stars (rounded up)

I was Invited by the THIEF himself to read his story (well, actually by Kensington Publishing, in a very clever letter)..and could not pass up the the chance at reading this ARC, having loved “Don’t Believe It” by Charlie Donlea, a 5 star read for me...

This story is about five women who went missing from the streets of Chicago in 1979, and the man suspected of killing them, dubbed The Thief, by the press. He was incarcerated for the death of only one, as the others could not be positively tied to him.

Told in two timelines, 1979, and 2019-the year that the thief is being released from prison after being in jail for 40 years....

The Thief has one mission...find the woman who put him in jail...an autistic woman, named Angela. Autism was misunderstood In the year 1979, so nobody took Angela seriously, despite the fact that she had managed to figure out patterns that the police could not, identifying him as the killer. If they had, they could have linked him to more murders.

In 2019, another woman, Rory, becomes entangled with The Thief, while working on the Murder Accountability project (a project which has created an algorithm that finds similarities between homocides identifying trends which may indicate a serial killer)

Sharing many of the same characteristics as the woman who came before her, she may finally be the one to link him to the other murders, with the help of computers and the internet, being utilized at the project.

If I was asked to describe this book in one word, I would choose the word : DISTURBING

As I read on, to find out if what appeared to be the INEVITABLE, would happen...I was really bothered.

This is a DARK book, and what the women endured is NOT pretty. Hard to read before going to bed....

Not as highly rated for me, as my previous read from the author, because I was not surprised by much- I figured out how the two narratives would tie together.

But, I still respect the author’s writing and I WAS satisfied with the ending, which is not always the case for me with thrillers....

I need to buy into the ending of a book. I can not suspend disbelief just for the sake of a shocking conclusion.

This I could believe. And, that made this terrifying.

Some Choose Darkness..(Others are Chosen By It) is available NOW!! This is the same book titled “The Woman in Darkness” in Australia.

Will be reading and reviewing the sequel next week..”The Suicide House”, which will be released on July 28th, 2020
Profile Image for Linda.
1,226 reviews1,274 followers
March 19, 2019
Drum Roll, Please.......

Charlie Donlea has lined up all the stars in Some Choose Darkness. And there's a beacon of brilliance in the beams of light cast our way, dear friends. It's all there with the setting in the City With Big Shoulders: Chicago. The crafting of his characters is well-defined with individuals that exist beyond the straight, unyielding lines drawn by society. Sometimes lines need to be squiggily with open loops and uncrossed t's or dotted i's. Donlea gives us humanity wrapped in transparent paper.

Open the door to Rory Moore, a highly talented forensic reconstructionist, who sidelines for the Chicago Police Department. She's meeting Detective Ron Davidson who is the head of Homicide Division. Davidson eyes Rory as she approaches him on a bench in Grant Park. Rory appears in her usual battle gear: beanie hat, always gray jacket, and laced up combat boots even during the summer heat. Rory has a strong aversion to throngs of people and only allows a selected few into her inner circle. She becomes transfixed on thoughts and situations of her own choosing and often neglects the immediacy at hand.

But Rory has a remarkable intellect and a photogenic mind. That's the reason why Davidson sets up cases for her. A body had been found in Grant Park and he gives Rory the files to peruse. It brings back similarities to a serial killer back in 1979 called The Thief. The Thief terrorized the city of Chicago when 5 women went missing. None of the bodies were ever found.

As Rory leaves the park bench, she will have no idea just how up close and personal she will be in regard to The Thief. After the recent death of her father, Rory finds out that her lawyer father was representing The Thief who was caught and served 40 years. He's now being paroled on good behavior. In finalizing her father's practice, Rory, a lawyer herself, must represent The Thief in setting up his release from prison. Revulsion is too tame a word.

Donlea shuffles the deck of cards and we find ourselves back in 1979. We meet Angela Mitchell, a young married woman who suffers from anxiety and obsessive/compulsive behavior. She finds herself taken with the recent murders and begins compiling graphs and charts tracking the murders and their locations. Angela now has a bulging file and it's brilliantly set up. She confides in a friend who dismisses her findings. But someone is now taking Angela seriously......with dire consequences.

Some Choose Darkness is at the peak of Charlie Donlea's offerings. I've read and loved them all. But this one is so finely tuned and so highly creative that it stands out amongst the very best. I highly recommend this one for a very satisfying read and for the well-honed original two main characters who won't leave you after the last page.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Kensington Books and to the talented Charlie Donlea for the opportunity.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.2k followers
June 8, 2019
Gripping, suspenseful, & fabulous characterizations!

Well the absolute perfect hook for enticing me to read this book was being invited to read her story from none other than our protagonist herself, Rory Moore in a very clever letter. It was just enough to pique my interest and get me excited to dive into this story!

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS by CHARLIE DONLEA is an entertaining, dark, disturbing, suspenseful, and engaging psychological suspense novel that I must admit didn’t immediately grab my attention. I did have a little bit of problem with the repetitive nature of the story in the beginning, although I quickly learned its purpose though. Once I ignored that little niggling voice in my head I was able to sit back and enjoy this story and fly through those pages.

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. CHARLIE DONLEA definitely shines when it comes to how interesting and fleshed out his characters are.

The story is told in alternate timelines and perspectives which I absolutely loved. There is a pivotal point in the story that happens around the halfway mark which I thought was quite the brilliant way to add tension and suspense to the storyline.

So I played at being an armchair detective and I’m not playing that game anymore as I pretty much had the whole ending figured out and it definitely ruined it for me. I really need to learn to just read the story and try not to piece things together so much. I felt the ending was a play by play of what I already had figured out. I definitely felt a little letdown and was not all that impressed with myself. LOL Although I will say I absolutely loved one aspect to the ending and so look forward to reading more about Rory Moore in the future. Hint...hint!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I’m kind of neutral when it comes to this cover design.
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how it played so fittingly into the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, fluent, appealing, straightforward, engaging, and captivating.
Plot: Disturbing, dark, chilling, edgy, memorable, fascinating, suspenseful, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: I was a little bummed in the end as I didn’t find it all that surprising or twisty.
Overall: Rory was such a fabulous, refreshing & quirky character! I absolutely loved her and kind of wanted to join her in drinking a Dark Lord stout with her! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Kensington Books and Charlie Donlea for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book. And a special shoutout to Rory Moore for sending me a NetGalley widget! ;)

Review can also be found on our blog:
August 14, 2020
Yipee! Charlie Donlea will be joining us for a Q & A in the Behind the Pages Group on August 19!

You can find the thread here


It’s no secret to just how much The Traveling Sister’s love Charlie Donlea and we have been reading his books in our groups since reading The Girl Who Was Taken. It was one of our first Traveling Sister group reads even before starting our Goodreads Group two years ago. Since then we have been introducing him to our members and everyone has become a fan for sure!

We read Some Choose Darkness with a few of our Traveling Sisters and with a few friends on Instagram and of course, we all loved it.

Deadly secrets hiding in plain sight, a forensic reconstructionist, a cold case and the search to reconstruct the crime.

Some Choose Darkness is a gripping, suspenseful fascinating character study and compelling thriller with interesting strong characters. I loved the fierce, intelligent and determined characters of Rory and Angela. I love the dynamics created here between them that was done so differently with one from the past storyline and the other character in the present.

Charlie Donlea boldly writes another entertaining, well-layered story with those red herrings and carefully laid clues that only he can write and he has become a master at. We were drawn into uncovering the dark truth that connects the past to the present with some of us making those connections before others. Of course, I didn’t make too many and that heart-pounding ending left me once again tongue-tied after reading it and then shouting I can’t believe you did that to us again Charlie Donlea. I should have seen that coming. There are some unanswered questions that left me thinking and needing to discuss them in the group and in the end, we all agree we really didn’t care. I highly recommend!

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley

For more reviews from the Traveling Sisters
Profile Image for Sandy.
873 reviews218 followers
May 17, 2019
I have a huge soft spot for characters who are a little different. In a sea of stereotypes it’s the ones that don’t fit in who are more interesting. In this gripping story we’re introduced to Rory Moore, an MC who stands out from the crowd for several reasons.

Rory is a forensic reconstructionist. Occasionally she works on cold cases for the Chicago PD under the supervision of Det. Ron Davidson. Her specialty is recreating a crime scene in such minute detail that often new information is revealed. It’s a gift & her uncanny abilities are a direct result of her being somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Ron has just dropped another case in her lap when Rory gets the news her father has died. It’s a terrible blow made more difficult when she takes on the job of closing his law practice. She discovers he’s been representing an infamous convicted killer since 1979. That was the year 5 women went missing courtesy of a man nicknamed “The Thief”. Despite a massive search, police were only able to nail him for one. Her name was Angela Mitchell & she was credited with identifying him. After numerous applications made by Rory’s father, it looks like he’s finally been granted parole & the job of guiding him through the process falls to Rory.

There are dual time lines & in alternate chapters we follow Angela in 1979. She, too, is a little different. Intelligent but socially awkward, Angela deals with the daily challenge of appearing “normal”. With the help of a supportive husband, she just about manages to keep a lid on the personal tics that can take over her life. That summer, everyone is talking about “The Thief”. She is soon obsessed with following the investigation & begins to see patterns others miss. Eventually, she’s sure she knows who the killer is. Then Angela becomes missing woman #6.

That’s it from me about the plot. The less you know going in, the better & I don’t want to deprive you of one “Holy Crap!” moment. Just get used to saying it because you will. A lot. Given the subject matter, much of the prose is surprisingly low key. You have a chance to get to know Rory & Angela before events begin to spin out of control in both time lines. In terms of the big picture, it’s like little puzzle pieces are littered throughout the story. Some I picked up, others I completely missed. The overall plot is intricate & as that picture emerges, it becomes a tense & compulsive read. I should mention we also get chapters narrated by the killer, a man who had me praying to the Gods of Karma that he’d get what he so richly deserved.

The author does a good job of portraying how times have changed (somewhat) for people living with degrees of autism. Rory is accepted by those she allows in her life & appreciated for her abilities. Angela has to deal with patronizing smiles & labels such as “slow” or “retarded”. It’s not overplayed, just presented as a fact of life for both women.

I’ve heard other readers say they were disappointed by the finale but I thought it was perfect & very much in keeping with the characters involved. The author knows how to spin a story that keeps you reading & has created a compelling MC. If there’s a Rory 2.0 in the works, sign me up.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,018 reviews2,517 followers
May 6, 2019
Rory is a forensic reconstructionist and a lawyer. She’s on the autism spectrum and uses her skills to work on cold cases that require deep analysis. When her father dies, she is also tasked with finishing up the cases he was working on. One of those cases involves a parole hearing for a man nicknamed The Thief, who was convicted of murdering a woman 40 years ago.

We also are given a glimpse of that woman, Angela who is also on the spectrum, in addition to suffering from paranoia and OCD.

It took me awhile to get into this story. I had some questions about some of the premises of the story. But I was willing to overlook them, as the book definitely drew me in. Yes, I could see some of where it was going but the thrill was in seeing if I was right and what I might have missed. And boy, did I miss one big twist.

We hear from not only Rory and Angela, but Frank and the killer himself. The multi POVs work well here, giving the reader insights the main character lacks. The strength of the book is the characters. Both Rory and Angela are well developed and felt very real to me.

This isn’t a fast paced book. It moves at a steady pace, but it never lags. I thought there were way too many holes in the ending for it to be believable and my rating was taken down a star for that reason.

I recommend this for those that enjoy Estelle Ryan’s Genevieve Lenard series.

My thanks to netgalley and Kensington Books for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,052 followers
May 29, 2019
My first book by this author and judging by everyone's reviews I have been missing out! Never mind, I can make up for it now.

Some Choose Darkness grips the reader from the start with not one but two women with Autism taking the main roles. Both were intriguing characters dealing with very difficult situations and I was so interested in both of them that I did not mind when the author chopped and changed backwards and forwards in time to tell their two separate stories?

Not quite a five star read for me - some parts were a little over the top and other parts lagged but overall it was an interesting and entertaining mystery with a very appropriate ending.

My thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,513 followers
June 11, 2019
I am one of many that count myself as a fan of Charlie Donlea after having read several of his previous novels so it wasn’t a question that I wanted to read Some Choose Darkness. This one is a thriller that again has multiple points of view and also alternates timelines.

The one thing standing out the most to me with Some Choose Darkness was immediately noticing the quirkiness to the characters and finding what we have here is a novel with not one but two high functioning females with autism. I seriously applaud the author for tackling their distinct personalities and bringing them to life realistically in this book.

Rory Moore is our lead in the story in the present timeline who is a forensic reconstructionist by choice but also holds a law degree although she chose not to practice. Rory finds herself brought into her father’s firm to clean up his cases when he suddenly passes away.

Rory found most of the work was easy to delegate and clear up but did find one particular case to be a problem. A decades old file on a criminal known as The Thief who was thought to have murdered multiple women only to end up charged with the murder of one, but was that one still alive?

As usual with Charlie Donlea’s stories readers will find wonderful writing that just sucks readers right into the mystery and suspense and doesn’t let go until the end. As mentioned the characters are brilliantly done and certainly nothing cookie cutter to them or to the story overall. Definitely an engaging thriller leaving me to rate this one at 4 1/2 stars.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
May 27, 2019
3.75 Stars* (rounded up)

Frightening and Wholly Realistic!

Rory is a forensic reconstructionist. She recreates crime scenes finding new details and assists in solving crimes for the Chicago PD. She is also a non-practicing attorney who, after her father’s passing, is assigned to handle the parole of a man who was her father’s client. Known as “The Thief” he murdered a woman in 1979. Her name was Angela and she believed “The Thief” to be a serial murderer. “The Thief” killed her because of it.

Told in two timelines, 1979 and the present day. “Some Choose Darkness” is a fascinating mystery / suspense about two women, both on the autism spectrum. Angela Mitchell and Rory Moore are reclusive and have trouble relating to others. Both women, along with “The Thief” are relentless when it comes to getting what they want.

The chase is dark, terrifying and sinister and once I got a third of the way into “Some Choose Darkness,” I was wholly invested. There are several moments that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and will make you rethink walking alone at night, stepping into your garage, or going down to that basement. Thanks for that, Charlie Donlea!

Thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books and to Charlie Donlea for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 5.26.19.
Will be published on Amazon on 5.28.19.
Profile Image for LolaF.
386 reviews215 followers
March 12, 2022
Thriller. Adictivo.

El libro arranca con tres escenas extraídas de las páginas interiores: La euforia, Las consecuencias y El dulce perfume de las rosas.

«La Euforia era una sensación más formidable que cualquier narcótico. No existía otra circunstancia de la vida que brindará una experiencia semejante. En pocas palabras, vivía solo para experimentarla.»

«Se dio cuenta de que había ido demasiado lejos esta vez .... La gente había empezado a entender la situación. Habían aparecido artículos en los periódicos. Las autoridades habían emitido advertencias y el miedo comenzaba a impregnar el aire de verano. »

Escenas que te ponen en alerta y te adelantan parte de lo que puedes encontrar en el libro, pero sin nombres.

Ambientada en Chicago y narrada en capítulos muy cortos, la acción transcurre en dos horizontes temporales: 1979 y la actualidad (2019).

2019. Rory Moore junto a su pareja, Lane Phillips, han creado el Proyecto de Responsabilidad de Asesinatos, usan un software informático que estudia los casos de asesinatos buscando parámetros que se repitan con el fin de identificar asesinos en serie.

Rory es una investigadora forense, con cierto grado de autismo, que se esconde tras su armadura - gafas, gorro de lana bien calado y abrigo abotonado hasta la barbilla con el cuello levantado- y colabora con la policía en casos abandonados o no resueltos, como el asesinato de Camille Byrd.

Tras la muerte de su padre, Rory tiene que hacerse cargo un hombre que lleva encarcelado cuarenta años y está a punto de salir en libertad condicional. De su identidad, solo sabemos que en la cárcel todos le llaman "dosiete" y que la prensa le puso el apodo de "el ladrón".

1979. Numerosas mujeres han desaparecido sin dejar rastro. Thomas y Bill, tienen una empresa de construcción, sus mujeres son amigas y Ángela, la mujer de Thomas, se obsesiona con el caso y consigue establecer un patrón que le hace pensar que ha descubierto al secuestrador/asesino. Pero Ángela, también desaparece.

Sabes que de alguna forma la trama del pasado está relacionada con el presente, que alguno de los personajes que intervienen es "el ladrón". Intuyes que no es la única relación, aunque en esta fase aún es pronto para adivinar todo lo que hay detrás. En un libro donde, la verdad, es que no intervienen muchos personajes, en cada capítulo anotas mentalmente nuevos datos y vas cambiando las identidades.

Me lo he pasado pipa jugando a adivinar quién sería el ladrón mientras seguía la trama del pasado, intercalada con la investigación de Rory sobre la relación de su padre con "el ladrón".

"Es fácil no reconocer la verdad, incluso cuando la tenemos delante de las narices".

A través de las voces de los distintos personajes conoceremos quién es realmente Rory. Nosotros tendremos la certeza, mientras que ella, solo podrá intuir o deducir parte de las relaciones y los hechos. Y no digo más para no destripar.

Cuando empecé a leer el libro no sabía que era una serie y aún menos me esperaba que quedase de esa forma el caso de Camille Byrd, supongo que lo resolverá en el siguiente libro. Y aunque he disfrutado del libro, ¡Me he quedado con las ganas!. Prefiero las series donde el supuesto caso a investigar, que sería el encargo de Camille se queda resuelto. Aquí, sorprendentemente, lo que queda resuelto es el origen de Rory y ya no digo más.

Interesante comprobar cuanto hemos avanzado en el conocimiento, el tratamiento y el trato a personas que padecen enfermedades relacionadas con el autismo.

Seguiré con la serie. Aunque el autor ha hecho alguna trampa como ocultar los nombres, he disfrutado con el juego de sospechas/relaciones/identidades, un asesino que en su modus operandi se sale un poco de lo habitual y me ha dejado con la curiosidad de ver cómo se resuelve el caso pendiente.

Valoración: 8,5/10
Lectura: marzo 2022
Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
374 reviews117 followers
April 15, 2022
3/5 Estrellas.

Si después de encontrarme 20 o 30 frases en las que se utiliza de forma errónea "habría" en lugar de "hubiera", del estilo de:"dos días después de que habría conseguido" y decenas de otros errores tipográficos y ortograficos, la historia sigue manteniendo las tres estrellas, es que algún mérito tiene.
Acabo de enjugarme la sangre de los ojos y puedo contaros que es la típica historia de asesino en serie, de mujeres claro, con los típicos personajes obsesivos, con TOC, que parece que son los únicos que son capaces de percibir los detalles de los casos y de las investigaciones que las personas "normales" son incapaces de percibir.
Sin embargo la estructura es fluida, los capitulos ágiles, hay un par de aspectos de los casos y de la relación entre los personajes que son bastante originales.
Al final te engancha y es una lectura entretenida, sin más.....

Y por favor, sería mucho pedir cuidar un poco más las traducciones y las revisiones de los textos??? Lo de este libro es bochornoso.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,343 reviews4,864 followers
January 10, 2022

3.5 stars

In this first book in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series, forensic reconstructionist Rory Moore gets involved in a forty-year-old case.

In 1979 a serial killer dubbed 'The Thief' goes on a murder spree in Chicago. The perpetrator, who's addicted to erotic asphyxiation, murders women in an elaborate ritual related to this practice (not a spoiler).

News about The Thief mesmerizes Angela Mitchell, a housewife on the autism spectrum who suffers from anxiety disorders. Angela obsessively clips newspaper articles about The Thief and keeps them in a file along with her own research about the murders.

Eventually, Angela's file - when sent to the police - helps get the perpetrator convicted.

The killer is sent to prison, and in 2019 - after serving forty years as a model prisoner - the murderer is being paroled. And he has plans for revenge!! 😵


As it happens the killer's parole in 2019 will impact the life of Rory Moore, a woman with a law degree who's a forensic reconstructionist (cold case expert) for the Chicago Police Department.

Rory is on the autism spectrum and has OCD, but she controls her anxiety by drinking Dark Lord beer;

restoring antique dolls;

and wearing her favorite accessories - a beanie hat; large spectacles; and Madden Girl Eloisee Combat Boots.

Between solving cases for the Chicago PD, Rory takes long breaks - to work on dolls and recapture her equilibrium. Rory is on one of her breaks when her Chicago PD boss, Detective Ron Davidson, introduces her to a man who needs his daughter's favorite doll repaired. It turns out the man's daughter was murdered a while back, and Rory agrees to look into the case.

At about the same time Rory's father, who has a small law firm, dies. Rory - who's technically a partner in her father's firm - must assign his cases, clear his office, etc.

Rory now discovers that her father has been The Thief's appeals attorney for the last 40 years. Moreover, Rory inherits her father's financial power of attorney for The Thief - and now that the convict is being paroled - the judge orders Rory to help arrange The Thief's housing, telephone, banking, car purchase, and so on.


The story alternates back and forth between 1979 and the present.

In the 'past' sections, we follow Angela Mitchell as she socializes with friends; struggles with her anxieties; worries her husband with her symptoms; and gathers evidence about the identity of The Thief.

We also watch The Thief as he plans and carries out his crimes.

In the 'present' sections, we follow Rory Moore as she repairs the antique doll; closes her father's law firm; visits her great aunt Greta in a nursing home; meets The Thief and arranges for his parole; hobnobs with her boyfriend, forensic psychologist/criminal profiler Lane Phillips; and so on.

In addition, we track The Thief as he plots to 'get even' with his nemesis.


As the tale unfurls the storylines of Angela Mitchell and Rory Moore converge, and Rory makes some unexpected discoveries.

The story is well-plotted, dramatic, and suspenseful; the characters are interesting; and Donlea exhibits a deft hand with twists and surprises. I especially like that Donlea's main characters are smart insightful women that succeed despite (or perhaps because of) their anxiety disorders.

I enjoyed the book and plan to read more about criminalists Rory Moore and Lane Phillips.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,202 reviews918 followers
January 6, 2020
Rory Moore is a forensic reconstructionist (I’d never heard of that, either) working with local Chicago law enforcement on a contract basis, specializing in cold cases. When her father, a defense attorney, suddenly dies, Rory has to settle his affairs, including the disposition of his client cases. She’s able to successfully refer all but one and it’s controversial. As she’s also a licensed attorney, she’s forced to take it over and it opens the door to a 40-year old cold case mystery that reveals secrets that are explosive.

The story also includes the point of view of Angela Mitchell, a woman who had privately assembled clues and evidence that pointed to the perpetrator. After turning over her work, she inexplicably disappeared. Now the man convicted of her murder is being paroled and Rory is in the thick of it.

That’s all I’m going to say regarding the story details other than I really liked that the two women featured as the main characters are on the autism spectrum. The more I learn about that the more it becomes normalized in my own mind. I could identify with their underlying feelings and appreciate the differences in outward reactions and coping mechanisms. The mystery is utterly fascinating and while I figured a lot of it out before the reveals, there were a host of surprises, turns and twist to keep me riveted. Donlea has become one of my auto read authors and I confess I began this book in the blind. The narrator, Nina Alvamar, gave another strong performance, managing all characters with excellent distinction and showing her typically great storytelling skills. This was a winner on many levels.

Posted on Blue Mood Café

(Thanks to Recorded Books for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
Profile Image for Virginie Roy.
Author 1 book598 followers
February 19, 2023
4.75🌟 : A riveting thriller!

My favorite Donlea so far! Believable story, interesting characters, no lenghts, no plotholes, great writing and ingenious ideas. Impressive, right?

I would have given 5 whole stars if I hadn't seen most of the twists coming, but it didn't affect my enjoyment. It was a real page-turner that I highly recommend!

This was my third book by Donlea - ever AND this year. I just can't get enough! I guarantee that I'm going to read every word this author has ever written (and every word he's going to write in the future).
Profile Image for Michelle.
602 reviews453 followers
June 12, 2019
3.0-3.5 stars - Ultimately disappointed, but will try another book by this author for sure.

So I'm glad I waited a few days to write this review because I have been mulling this over and I'm going to give it a higher rating than what I originally was going to. I think I was a little too hard on it initially and I'll do my best to explain why.

This book takes place in three timelines. The 70's, the 80's and present day. Rory Moore is the present day character who is a young lawyer taking over her recently deceased father's practice. She finds a file that links him to a case that she had no idea he was a part of. It is through this case that we go into the past to 1970's Chicago, as the city is gripped with fear over female disappearances and no bodies. The person ultimately suspected of these disappearances is finally put in jail for the murder of his wife. He has been in jail ever since, but now his parole has been granted...

The idea was fabulous and the execution was decent. There were moments when I felt scared, but I feel like it could have been taken up a notch (while still maintaining it's brevity in gore). We have two, very strong female characters who both appear on the spectrum. (Kudos to the author for this.)
However, it got very repetitive on how smart Rory was (I felt like every time her chapter came up we re-hashed her routine and how smart she was), yet in the end, she missed some very big connections and then sort of acted out of character (I think) for what the author pounded into our brains about her.

As mentioned above, I will definitely check out another book (hopefully, this will become a series), but I wasn't as blown away as other fellow reviewers. Maybe if I would have gone in with lower expectations I wouldn't have felt so disappointed, but I definitely urge you to read it and try to keep yourself in the dark about plot points as much as possible.

Review Date: 06/12/19
Publication Date: 05/28/19
Profile Image for Kendall.
638 reviews640 followers
January 31, 2020
There is something so brilliant, addicting, and mesmerizing about Charlie Donlea's writing.

"Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it."

Some Choose Darkness... let me tell you...you MUST choose this darkness. MY GOD was this ridiculously brilliant!!!

Ahh... Charlie Donlea does it ONCE again folks. If you haven't read his books... you must be living under a rock because he is a masterful storyteller that you truly don't want to miss out on. I'm DYING to get my hands on his next book already.

This a dark psychological thriller that leaves you up turning those pages. I'm not going to go into the plot... because for all purposes I don't feel it's necessary because you can read the blurb ;). But, bottom line GET this in your life!

Huge thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

5 stars!

Publication date: 5/28/19
Published to Goodreads: 5/8/19
Profile Image for Mary.
1,473 reviews496 followers
May 28, 2019
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

OK everyone, Some Choose Darkness is legit Charlie Donlea's best book yet!! I absolutely loved it and I am sure you will too.

What it's about: Rory Moore is a forensic reconstructionist that is dang good at her job. She mostly works for herself as she is uncomfortable around people and has social anxiety. But a week after her dad dies, she gets thrust into one of his cases when she is cleaning up his law office. The Thief, as he was nicknamed in 1979, is getting out on parole 40 years after going to prison for killing a woman named Angela Mitchell, which was the only death the DA managed to pin on him even though he was allegedly responsible for many more. But there were no bodies, not even Angela's, so there wasn't much they could do. As Rory gets more involved with The Thief's case, and has to take him on as a client, she realizes that her dad was trying to prove Angela is alive and The Thief was put in prison for something he didn't do. But as she reconstructs Angela's last days, there is no way for her to be prepared for what she is about to discover.

I don't know about you, but I have to describe Some Choose Darkness as a complete and utter thrill ride, I really have no choice. There was so much going on, and as secrets start to come to light and the mysteries unravel, I was just completely blown away. I kept yelling 'SHUT UP' at my book, so it's a good thing I read this at home around only my husband. I didn't see any of the big reveals coming, and Donlea is seriously a master at his craft.

One thing I always seem to notice about Donlea's writing is that he likes to, shall we say, take the road less traveled with his endings. So far almost every book I have read by him has a frustrating ending that may be polarizing for some readers. I'm usually wondering why on earth he chose the ending he did, but with Some Choose Darkness I didn't have any of that. I loved the ending of this book, and couldn't have asked for a better ending.

Rory as a character was fantastic and I loved her. She is super smart and made for a fierce female lead to this book. She was also very relatable, which is another thing I loved about her. I was also a fan of her boyfriend Lane who used to work at the BAU as a profiler, which obviously brought to mind serious Criminal Minds vibes.

The chapters are incredibly short and made this book fly by. Some were even a page or 2, which is a method I really love for fast reading. I read Some Choose Darkness in just over 4 hours so this could easily be something people could read in one sitting.

Final Thought: Some choose darkness, others are chosen by it.
Just read this book, you can thank me later.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Natalia Luna.
268 reviews127 followers
February 18, 2022
Buen thriller con una protagonista bastante especial aunque creo que demasiado trillada. Fobia social, con TOC, muy inteligente, etc. Algo exagerado respecto a sus capacidades pero bueno...
Eso sí, engancha muchísimo y se lee del tirón.
Un asesino en serie de mujeres con una metodología que no había leído nunca y cuya historia de crímenes se remonta 40 años atrás.
El autor hilvana una historia con mucho suspense y un sorprendente final.
Como nota negativa y que no reflejaré en mi puntuación, la corrección del texto es bastante mejorable y te saltan a los ojos unos errores bastante groseros. Pero esto es tema de la editorial y no del autor.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
803 reviews236 followers
April 17, 2021
4.5 very strong glimmering stars! I am so glad I got to read this riveting psychological thriller. I loved every minute of it. Nina Alvamar read the audiobook, Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea, in a very pleasing narrative. The plot was suspenseful, clever and compelling in a very believable way. Some Choose Darkness was fast paced and a real page turner in every sense of the word. I committed a faux pas by reading Charlie Donlea’s The Suicide House, the second book in this series first. At the time, I did not think that it mattered much but now that I have read the first book, Some Choose Darkness, I realized that I was missing some background information that was provided in the first book. Mr. Donlea was brilliant in developing the unique and complex characters in Some Choose Darkness that proved to be very believable. The plot in Some Choose Darkness alternated between 1979 and present time and took place in Chicago and the surrounding area. The author, Charlie Donlea, flawlessly alternated back and forth between the two time periods and allowed several of the characters to tell the story from their perspectives. Rory, a forensic reconstructionist with a photographic mind was technically a lawyer but chose not to practice. She was employed by the Chicago police to solve murder cases that were beyond their capabilities and cold cases. Rory primarily told the story as it unfolded in the present day and Angela Mitchell was the primary character that told the story as it occurred in 1979. The ending was an edge of your seat, unpredictable experience for me. It was perfectly orchestrated and I never saw it coming.

During the years of 1979 and beyond, The city of Chicago was plagued by the hidden presence of “The Thief”, a serial killer. Angela, an undiagnosed woman with autism, became obsessed with obtaining clues about the victims this unrelenting serial killer chose to kill. As she got closer and closer to discovering who “The Thief” was she found herself more alone than ever. When she revealed her findings to her best friend, she discovered that her realizations were rejected and their friendship was in jeopardy. Angela knew she had to seek help and leave her home and all that were close to her if she was to survive. Who could she count on to help her?

In present day, Rory Moore discovered that her recently departed father had been retained as the sole lawyer to represent a serial killer. The Thief, who was suspected of killing 5 women in Chicago in 1979 had commissioned her father’s counsel. None of the bodies of the missing and dead women were ever found. Without substantial evidence, the police were unable to prove that Tommy Mitchell was The Thief. Her father had been commissioned by The Thief, who was serving 40 years behind bars for killing his wife, to do two things. The first thing was to work on getting The Thief paroled and the second thing was to find his wife, Angela. Tommy Mitchell, The Thief, believed his wife Angela was indeed alive and hiding from him. He became obsessed in finding where she was hiding. Rory worked vigilantly to tie up all the loose ends in her father’s law practice once she discovered his death. Her father died unexpectedly and so suddenly. Rory was able to reassign all of his open cases to other lawyers, all except one. The judge in charge of The Thief’s parole hearing insisted that Rory had to represent Tommy Mitchell in this matter. As Rory continued to dig through her father’s notes and folders on The Thief she came to the conclusion that her father had doubts about his innocence. Could Rory draw on her talents and abilities to discover what really happened all those years ago? Would she be able to gather enough evidence in time?

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea was a cleverly written mystery/thriller that I found hard to put down. It had all the twists and turns to keep me guessing and wanting more. I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for Charlie Donlea’s next book.

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418 reviews14.4k followers
June 16, 2019
Some Choose Darkness is the type of book that builds so much suspense, that I felt on the edge of my seat every page! This is a masterful book, weaving the past and present together in a way that enhanced the tension and left me unable to put the book down. Be warned—you will need to cancel all plans after you start this! Dark, twisty, and not to be missed!

About the Book

Its the summer of 1979 and women are disappearing in Chicago. The press nicknames the faceless predator The Thief, because he leaves nothing behind, not even a body.

Angela Mitchell is fixated on the disappearances. A high-functioning autistic woman with obsessive compulsive disorder, Angela often sees patterns that others do not. As Angela starts piecing together clues about The Thief with a shocking conclusion, her biggest challenge is to convince others, before it is too late.

In 2019, Rory Moore is asked to reconstruct a porcelain doll and a murder—both of which are areas she has unique expertise in. Rory works as a forensic reconstructionist, piecing crimes back together to solve cold cases.

When Rory’s father passes away, Rory finds herself captivated by the case of The Thief from all of those years ago. Angela Mitchell’s evidence was enough to identify The Thief, but before he could be convicted, she disappeared herself—the last victim of The Thief that summer and the only one the prosecution was able to pin on him.

Now, The Thief is being paroled 20 years early, and Rory finds herself in the position filling in as his attorney after her father’s sudden death. How is it possible Rory never knew about her father’s connection to this case? And what is tugging at Rory’s mind, prompting her to find the connection between the past and the present?


The way Charlie Donlea used time and different narrators to build suspense made each twist and reveal have a huge impact! The structure of this book and the writing were both executed so carefully—it really made this a stand out thriller for me, and one I won’t soon forget!

I really loved the way Angela and Rory’s unique personalities and shortcomings were often the very things that made them special. For Angela, autism and obsessive compulsive disorder hit at a time when neither were well-understood. Her treatment and diagnoses, as well as the way she is described during the trial, were a sad portrayal of how mental health—and particularly women’s mental health—were treated in the 1970s.

Angela is brilliant, but she is also obsessive, compulsive, and a bit “off” to most. She struggles with some aspects of social interaction, and she seems like she is unable to function. At the same time, Angela is able to piece together data in miraculous ways. The parallels to Rory were fascinating, because although Rory suffers from some of the same challenges, Rory has learned strong coping skills to manage her disease, and therefore she is much more accepted by those around her.

There were also the parallels between the murders in 1979 and the murder in 2019. Rory finds herself working on both, and she has trouble separating the two. Something is tugging at her, begging that she find the connection. Watching Rory unravel the cases was fascinating.

At the same time as all of this, we get these amazing insights into others. We hear from The Thief, and from Rory’s father at different times. We hear from Angela in 1979 before she disappeared, and discover how she put the clues together. And we hear from Rory in the present, struggling to see what her brain is trying to tell her about the cases.

I can’t say much more without spoiling anything, but this book has twists and reveals throughout and each one is a total bombshell. It is written so the reveal impacts multiple storylines at the same time, and that made the build up to each twist suspenseful and heart-pounding. I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to Kensington Books for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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