Aug 23, 2021

ARC Review--Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain


A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.

La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.

This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World--and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey's best friend, disappeared six months earlier.

Grey can't believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something - her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.

When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou - a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town's bloody history - Grey realizes that La Cachette's past is far more present and dangerous than she'd ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn't know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent--and La Cachette's dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Ginny Myers Sain’s debut, Dark and Shallow Lies is the paranormal mystery thriller we’ve all been waiting for! This was a deeply intriguing read that held me riveted pretty much from the start. I loved that Grey lived in a town where just about everyone had a psychic talent. There must be something special in their water! This was one mystery that had me guessing throughout the story and I honestly didn’t see the killer coming!

Grey is returning to Louisiana home for the summer. She spends her school year with her father out of state and in the summer she always returns to her bayou home. Though this year is different, her best friend, her birthday twin, Elora has been missing since February and she is determined to find out what happened to her.

Grey and her friends are known as the Summer Children as they were all born in the same summer some weeks and days apart. They’re all psychics, except for Grey. She hasn’t developed any powers…yet. Everyone is still mourning the loss of Elora. No one knows what happened to her, but it seems most have written her off for dead after all this time. But Grey holds out on hope. If anything, she at least wants to find the answers to what happened to her best friend.

The story moves along at a somewhat slower pace. Grey isn’t actively investigating 24/7. Part of me did get a little bored when things just seemed too normal. But it was never for very long as something odd would happen or some memory would spark something or even a clue would be found. There was never a very long pause for normalcy and that was appreciated.

Grey meets a mysterious new stranger in town named Zale. He’s a quiet sort of boy who just makes her feel things she never thought possible. But also in town, is her long ago crush Hart. There is some sort of love like triangle going on, but it’s not one of those “who will Grey choose” and readers divide out into teams. It was hard to figure out which guy was the right one for Grey, both had their merits, but Grey was never actually pursuing a relationship with anyone.

What I enjoyed a lot and thought gave a great eerie feel to the story was the short paragraph that came with each chapter of something scary happening. It’s describing a scene that ends up being long series of dreams that Grey is having that give clues to what might have happened to Elora all those months ago.

The atmosphere to this book was spot on! Summers in Louisiana just a few hours away from good ol’ New Orleans! It was a sight to see, even if we never really get into NOLA. But you could really feel the heightened heat of the summer and smell the nearby ocean and the swampy areas where the gators live. Ginny really painted a scene in this book and I positive loved it!

The great mystery reveal was even more shocking! There was an array of suspects, but I felt like I never quite pinpointed it down to whodunit. The aftermath of it all was even more shocking! This was a book that gave me a few good chills. Not bone-chilling, but chilling all the same! My only issue with this one was that at times the pacing dragged into too much normalcy and in a town full of psychics you wouldn’t really expect that. I knew there was no other paranormal elements in this one besides that factor, though on occasion you are led to wonder if some of the other children aren’t really seeing something odd or not.

Needless to say, Dark and Shallow Lies was a book that kept me guessing to the very end! I am definitely keeping this author on my radar for future books and I would recommend you do so as well!


Overall Rating 4/5 stars



Dark and Shallow Lies releases September 7, 2021






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