Sixteen-year-old Sayers Wayte has everything—until he’s kidnapped by a man who tells him the privileged life he’s been living is based on a lie.
Trapped in a windowless room, without knowing why he’s been taken or how long the man plans to keep him shut away, Sayers faces a terrifying new reality. To survive, he must forget the world he once knew, and play the part his abductor has created for him.
But as time passes, the line between fact and fiction starts to blur, and Sayers begins to wonder if he can escape . . . before he loses himself.
Note: Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an e-arc. This does not affect my opinions and review in any manner.
The moment I saw the blurb for Dark Room Etiquette I was ready to dive in. I have a rocky relationship with so-called psychological thrillers, but this book did not disappoint.
This is a brilliantly written, raw psychological thriller where we explore the journey that Saye goes on from having everything to nothing by being kidnapped and confined in a room. The idea itself is something that drew me in but the execution was amazing as well. We start by getting to know Saye who is a typical rich kid who is bored with his life. I think the only critique I have for this book is that it was initially slow and rather boring. It went the way most typically rich protagonists take their story but also the fact that Saye was bored of his life made me feel bored of it as well.
But things really take a turn once he gets kidnapped by a man who believes Saye is his son. It’s the start of a great mystery because there are truly many times I questioned my own sanity and who Saye really was. The tension of what’s going to happen to him, and how long will he be trapped there is really well built. I was thoroughly invested in it all.
From a psychological perspective, I love that the author was not afraid to write about dark, nitty-gritty things. In fact, you all should probably read the trigger warnings for this book, it does get rather intense as we progress. I don’t know how much I can say without spoiling this book but the author gave us a very realistic portrayal of someone who is trapped with no hope. She navigated the complex relationships he formed and how those around him were affected. The book explores how trauma can be different for many people and I think that’s one of my favourite parts of this book. We also see how progress as a whole is not linear and it isn’t simple to overcome your trauma once you’re out of the situation. On a whole, this was truly well-researched and put together.
Also, the author’s note had me crying, it was truly beautiful and shed some light on how the book came to be which I really appreciated.
I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for something dark or a psychological thriller that chills you to the bone.
What are your thoughts? Is this something you’d be interested in reading?
Do you like psychological thrillers? What’s the last good psychological thriller you read?