Inside Darkness By Hudson Lin
Main characters: Cameron Donnelly and Tyler Ang
He’s come in from the field, but the darkness has followed him home.
After a decade as an aid worker, Cameron Donnelly returns home jaded, tired, and with more than just a minor case of PTSD. Plagued by recurring nightmares but refusing to admit he has a problem, Cam quickly spirals into an alcohol-infused depression, and everyone around him is at a loss for how to help.
Journalist Tyler Ang met Cam on a reporting assignment in Kenya, and their first encounters were rife with hostility and sexual tension. Back in New York, their paths continually cross, and each time, Cam’s brokenness reminds Ty more and more of his own difficult childhood. Letting Cam in goes against Ty’s instinct to live life autonomously, but the damaged aid worker manages to sneak past his guard.
Their relationship is all sharp corners and rough edges, and just as they’re figuring out how to fit together, a life-threatening accident puts it all in jeopardy. If they want a future together, both will have to set aside their egos and learn to carry each other’s burdens.
Hudson Lin, author of Inside Darkness, is a new to me author, but I will certainly keep an eye out for her books in the future.
Cameron Donnelly is an UN aid worker and is burnt out. Returning to NY has not helped him feel like his old self. For him, it is a daily struggle to survive in the “darkness.” He is filled with despair and he believes the darkness helps him get through his everyday life. A darkness that was created by years of feeling helpless while witnessing the horrors others endured. Cam runs into a journalist that he met in Nigeria, Tyler Ang. At first sight, Ty knows Cam is struggling, and he tries to convince Cam to get help. Cam thinks he can handle things on his own, but the spiral down continues.
Tyler Ang has been working hard to try become an international journalist. Now, with work giving him problems and the sudden appearance of Cam back into his life, Ty is confused about why he is drawn to Cam. He also has a heartbreaking past that makes his heart closed for business.
This story is unique, and completely different from anything I have ever read. Yes, it is high on the angst-o-meter, but it truly makes you think about the brave men and women who sacrifice everything to help others in devastated countries and what they deal with on an everyday basis just to survive. You can tell the author definitely did her homework to give such a realistic view. I did, however, have a slight niggle with the main characters. I never really felt their connection until very late in the story. Near the end of the book, the story was focused more on Cam and we lose Ty’s voice completely. I wanted to know how he was dealing with everything. Although Ty’s past was mentioned, I felt it was skipped over and not really discussed in depth.
I highly recommend this book. I wouldn’t consider it a dark read, but more of a realistic story that will make your heart hurt.
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Diana Murphy ~ Turning Pages at Midnight Book Blog ~ Goodreads: