The Dark on the Other Side, by Barbara Michaels

>> Tuesday, June 17, 2003

During the weekend, I read The Dark on the Other Side, by Barbara Michaels

When writer Michael Collins arrives at the home of celebrity Renaissance Man and millionaire Gordon Randolph to start the man's biography, he can't help but notice that his wife Linda seems to be both hateful toward her husband and terrified of something she can't name.

As he starts doing his research into Randolph's background he finds some disturbing but enigmatic results. Then Linda, whom her husband claims is insane, runs away and keeps running, with a bizarre old witch as her only solid ally. But Linda has a counter-claim about Randolph, that implies something far darker and more horrifying than mere insanity.

This was a good read, but not one of Michaels' best. A B for me.

The supernatural plot was a bit too nebulous, basically. It was never too clear exactly what was going on. This is something that Michaels has got better at with time. Also, the final scene was a bit anticlimatic and felt too rushed.

The best thing about TDOTOS was the way Michaels paced it, gradually introducing enough clues so that the reader started realizing something was very wrong, and then what it might be. Michael's awareness of what was going on proceeded at a similar pace, and Linda's personality was revealed gradually too. At the beginning she seemed to be in a very fragile mental state, so it was great to see her show she wasn't crazy and behave like the strong woman she was.

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