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Extended Audio Sample Kept in the Dark Audiobook, by Penny Hancock Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (613 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Penny Hancock Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781470815202
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When her neighbor’s fifteen-year-old nephew goes missing, Sonia is the last person that anyone would ever suspect. At forty-three, she is a strikingly attractive wife and mother. And like the River House, her lovely home overlooking the Thames, Sonia’s life is a picture of perfection and normalcy—until she meets Jez. From the moment he shows up on Sonia’s doorstep, the gorgeous teenage boy awakens a torrent of memories that she has worked a lifetime to forget. Drawn to Jez by a compulsion that she scarcely understands, Sonia takes him captive—prepared to sacrifice everything to keep him.

Evocative of thrillers by Chevy Stevens and Sophie Hannah, Kept in the Dark is a haunting debut novel about obsession, desire, and the potential darkness in us all.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s such a thrill to read a book as deliciously dark and richly evocative as Kept in the Dark. From the first page to its shocking finale it draws you into its world and won’t let you go. A wonderful debut…I took Kept in the Dark on my travels, thinking it would last me a couple of weeks. Two days later I’d finished it, having stayed up all night, and was telling everyone I met they had got to read it. Brilliantly written and totally gripping. I loved it.”

    S. J. Watson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An impressive debut from a writer we’re certain to hear more about…There are hints of a young Daphne du Maurier in Hancock’s cool, evocative prose as she reveals the terrifying extent of Sonia’s obsession…Beautifully worked and with a sharp eye for the menace in the commonplace, it lingers in the memory like a Schubert melody, and casts a distinctive spell.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “A sparklingly creepy debut thriller with the most brilliant premise.”

    Daily Mirror (London), four-star review

  • “This creepy, well-written debut is reminiscent of John Fowles’ The Collector…With Sonia, Hancock pulls off the considerable feat of ‘writing mad.’”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A clever, creepy thriller about misplaced affection and abduction…in clear, chilling prose.”

    Marie Claire (UK)

  • “In British author Hancock’s stunning debut, a psychological thriller set over less than a week, a respectable married woman kidnaps a fifteen-year-old boy and holds him captive in her historic Thames-side London house…Descriptions of the putrid waters of the Thames add to the gothic atmosphere.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Invites comparison to John Fowles’ The Collector, but Hancock gives her narrator, Sonia, a more complex motive, crafting a narrative that grows darker as its level of tension builds. An accomplished first novel that lingers in memory.” 

    Booklist

  • “A gripping account of a woman on the edge, who commits appalling crimes and offers them up in a tone of quietly rational domesticity.”

    Natasha Cooper, author of the Trish Maguire Mysteries

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, August 2012

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Chalmers | 1/22/2014

    " loved it. whizzed through it, totally compelling. greenwich, suburbia and the thames all beautifully realised. best novel i've read since AD Miller's Snowdrops. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Addie | 1/19/2014

    " What an odd, disturbing, surprising and well written story. Totally caught me off guard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Haydu | 1/14/2014

    " If it weren't for the great endorsements on this book from authors I admire I would not have picked it up. Definitely a page turner, but the characters were flat and the story would have worked much better if I had any sympathy at all for Sonia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Concetta | 1/13/2014

    " The best book of the year so far for me - i finished it in half a day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 1/8/2014

    " Wow, this book was very unsettling and creepy..I did not get the ending. Help please..I do not want to give away the ending..very weird. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daffy | 1/4/2014

    " Wow, this is a terrific read. A psychological thriller, the narrative slowly and gently unfolds. The writing is precise and assured and I felt in good hands, even though the subject matter, a middle aged woman who abducts a teenage boy, is something that would usually make me feel uncomfortable. Sonia, the abductor, though clearly disturbed by events in her past, is sympathetically portrayed, and all the characters are believable. The denouement made me to gasp and I didn't see it coming at all, but when it came I couldn't help feeling "of course"! It's set by the river at Greenwich and the magnificance and menace of the Thames on that stretch is brilliantly evoked, and Ms Hancock effectively captures the spirit of the place in her descriptions of Greenwich itself. More please! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annajane | 12/29/2013

    " A brilliant read. Kept me captive throughout. Despite her obviously deranged actions, one finds herself relating to Sonia. Very well written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Betsy | 12/23/2013

    " Got 100 pages in and stopped, didn't like it at all. A bit disturbing and slow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nova Berry | 12/22/2013

    " Just a stretch too far for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa N | 12/20/2013

    " Different approach than I've read before. Family secrets/psychological fiction. Not hard to put down. Just ok. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Felicity | 12/19/2013

    " An ok holiday read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie Richards | 12/19/2013

    " Really enjoyed this, totally gripping. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenna Krichbaum | 12/5/2013

    " I really liked this book. It was very mysterious and I was shocked to find out the actual relationship between Sonia and Seb at the end. Definitely unexpected and quite a captivating book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlene | 12/3/2013

    " An excellent book- I really enjoyed this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Haddow | 12/3/2013

    " Reminded me of another book but cannot name it. The protagonist though is a woman so a different perspective than would expect. It's a cliche but I could not put it down. I did not expect the twist at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 thisncondition | 11/16/2013

    " Those that liked Gone Girl expecting this to be similar, likely won't care for it. For those of us who found Gone Girl to be contrived, over the top, and easy to figure out - Kept in the Dark is a great find indeed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma Emsal Arslan | 11/14/2013

    " I'm not really sure how I feel about this book.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Miller | 3/23/2013

    " Quite a haunting book with disturbing undertones. Was interested to see where it was going but found the ending in satisfactory. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deborah Jensen | 2/23/2013

    " Didnt like this book. Not sure if it is because it is not my preferred genre but I thought it very far fetched. The story unfolded slowly and was readable however I felt the storyline unbelievable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 1/21/2013

    " Wow. I was not expecting it to end like that. I had a hard time reading it. It felt like it went on forever but it wasn't too bad "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renita D'Silva | 1/19/2013

    " I could not out this book down. It just flowed so nicely and I absolutely did not see the twist at the end coming. Would recommend it to all lovers of crime/psychological thriller. Reads like Liz Jensen and Rosamund Lupton. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aliss | 12/18/2012

    " Tideline is a little too long for me but this book has it's moments. A kind off middle-class 'Misery' - elegant 44 year old Sonia locks up teenage Jez in her river house on the Thames. Psychological motives are revealed as the past and present comes together for the novel's climax. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judith | 11/15/2012

    " Called timeline. Didn't finish. Judith p chose "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara Soemali | 9/21/2012

    " Different although I probably wouldn't refer it..... "

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About the Author

Penny Hancock lives in Cambridge, England, with her husband and three children. She is a part-time primary-school teacher at a speech and language school and has traveled extensively as a language teacher. Kept in the Dark is her first novel.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.