Juanita Kees, the author of "Under Cover of Dark" is one of the loveliest people you'll meet. This is a problem. "Under Cover of Dark" has an intense, harsh conflict at its core. It's about drugs and murder and recovering from long-term domestic abuse. Despite enjoying Juanita's previous book, "Under the Hood", I was worried that this darker book just couldn't work. How could someone so nice make me believe in the underworld?
By making it real.
The story doesn't dwell on the darkness, but nor does it shirk it. The terrifying sense of powerlessness suffered by the heroine is well conveyed, along with her struggle to rebuild her life and save her son. The romantic thread running through the book helps to carry this thread of hope and to emphasise Lily's courage.
Juanita is a fellow Escape Publishing author and a West Australian author who beautifully captures the setting here in my home town of Perth.