A dark and stylish novel of psychological suspense about a young theater critic drawn into a dangerous game that blurs the lines between reality and performance
A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2023: Entertainment Weekly, Zibby Mag, CrimeReads and more!
Vivian Parry likes the dark. A former actress, she now works as the junior theater critic at a major Manhattan magazine. Her nights are spent beyond the lights, in a reserved seat, giving herself over to the shows she loves. By day, she savages them, with words sharper than a knife.
Angling for a promotion, she reluctantly agrees to an interview, a conversation that reveals secrets she thought she had long since buried. Then her interviewer disappears and she learns―from his devastated fiancée―that she was the last person to have seen him alive. When the police refuse to investigate, Vivian does what she promised herself she would never do again: she plays a part. Assuming the role of amateur detective, she turns her critical gaze toward an unsanitary private eye, a sketchy internet startup, a threatening financier, fake blood, and one very real corpse. As she nears the final act, she finds that the boundaries between theater and the real world are more tenuous and more dangerous than even she could have believed. . .
Gripping, propulsive, and shot through with menace and dark glamor, Alexis Soloski’s Here in the Dark takes us behind the scenes of New York theater, lifting the curtain on the lies we tell ourselves and each other.
About the Author
Alexis Soloski is a prize-winning New York Times culture reporter and a former lead theater critic at The Village Voice. She has taught at Barnard College and at Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in theater. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. Here in the Dark is her first novel.
"A tightly paced and expertly crafted noir whose heroine is both hilariously wisecracking and deeply troubled. From curtain up to curtain call, Here in the Dark is flawless." —Bookpage (starred review)
"How could I resist a suspense novel in which a critic becomes an amateur detective in order to avoid becoming a murder suspect or even a victim? I inhaled Alexis Soloski's debut thriller, Here in the Dark; but, even readers who don't feel a professional kinship with Soloski's main character should be drawn to this moody and erudite mystery. Soloski... [has] written a genuinely disturbing suspense tale that explores the theater of cruelty life can sometimes be." —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air
"Twisty, foreboding, addictive, Here in the Dark is the perfect noir, a novel that blurs truth and fiction, and at the very end delivers a stinger that turns everything on its head. You’ll think about it the next time you’re sitting in the dark, waiting for the curtain to rise. Don’t be surprised if there’s something unsettling on the other side of it." —
"Frightening, delicious, engrossing, and unforgettable." —Julia Kastner, Shelf Awareness
"Theater critic Alexis Soloski goes behind the curtain in this thriller about the blurry lines between art and reality.... Soloski combines her knowledge of the theater world with the twists and turns of the best psychological suspense." —Entertainment Weekly
"A moody, taut dose of noir, Here in the Dark is a poised, daring debut—the kind of novel I relish and can't get out of my head, evoking the work of icons like Megan Abbott and Margaret Millar in its hypnotic prose and mesmerizing characters. Readers will not forget Vivian Parry—and they won't want to." —Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity
"Soloski does not disappoint—in either her sharp-eyed and unflinching portrait of an unravelling critic, or in her delicious upending of genre. Hitchcock meets a slippery metatheatrics of power, performance, desire, and escape. This is a novel—and a protagonist—who moves with a precarious velocity, constantly choosing the most dangerous move and bringing us careening after." —Jen Silverman, author of We Play Ourselves
"From its very first page to its final revelation, Here in the Dark will possess you with a mix of acerbic wit and Highsmithian invention. I blazed through this book, delighting equally in the cleverness of its plot and the delicious wickedness of Vivian Parry—a woman you can’t look away from even for a second. And why would you, when there’s a life-or-death mystery, dialogue that feels beamed in from a classic noir, and a ballet about rabies on offer? Even if you’ve never seen a play, you’ll be thrilled by the ways author Alexis Soloski takes the novel of suspense and turns it into a meditation on seeing and being seen, knowing and being known, judging and being judged." —Isaac Butler, author of The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to ACT
"Here in the Dark lives up to its title and is indeed a dark tale; it’s also hilarious, addictive, elegantly constructed, and composed. It’s ultimately a book about art and the love of art, but it's cleverly disguised as a thrill ride, a jolt of pulp and a shot of noir. It became a New York classic to me the minute I read the last sentence." —Michael Imperioli, actor, writer, and musician