The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Published on October 19, 2021


Reviewed by Jayde Valosin

Logan Ortiz-Woodley isn't thrilled to be leaving LA but if she's honest with herself, she knew it wouldn't last. Her dads Brandon and Alejo are the ParaSpectors, television ghost hunters who have kept the family moving since Logan was young. Their latest adventure takes them to Snakebite, Oregon, the rural town where her dads grew up. 

Ashley Barton lives in Snakebite and up until the disappearance of her boyfriend Tristan, her life was ideal. Now, she's dealing with strange visions and the nagging sense that Tristan isn't really gone. The girls could not be more different, but with the town suspecting Brandon and Alejo of Tristan's strange disappearance, Logan and Ashley each have their own reasons for figuring out who hurt Tristan. As they get closer to the truth, and each other, it's clear that not everyone is who they seem in Snakebite.

The Dead and the Dark is a paranormal mystery set against the backdrop of an eerie "Everyone-Knows-Everyone" town. Throughout the text there are excerpts of the ParaSpectors show dialogue as well as narration from the Dark, a "character" whose significance is revealed as the story progresses. This book does a fantastic job of exploring Logan's family dynamics and using those relationships to help the story develop. Less of this treatment is extended to Ashley's family, an addition which may have helped to explain more about her background and decisions, especially as they relate to her relationship with Logan. Still, the book's fast pace and well-done mystery outshine any faults and make for a great spooky read.

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