The Dark Side of the Truth by Gary Caruso
Soon after fifteen-year-old Will Reed and his friend Mason stumble over a corpse in the woods, Will’s ex-con father is arrested for the murder—and it’s Will’s fault. With the police about to close their investigation, Will must discover the identity of the ruthless killer before his father wrongfully goes back to prison.
In the spirit of City of Ember and The Goonies, it’s the discovery of a coded message that starts Will and Mason on an unexpected path of mystery and danger. Will hopes finding an ancient relic will guide him to the truth and prove his father’s innocence. Unfortunately, Will soon learns he isn’t the only one searching for this valuable object. It’s a race to follow hidden clues until Will is confronted with a harsh reality. His determination to help his father has jeopardized the lives of the people he cares for. With a cold-blooded killer on his trail, Will must choose between the safety of his friends and family or freedom for his father.
I am absolutely astounded that I liked The Dark Side of the Truth better than Gary Caruso’s other book, Our Souls to Keep. Astounded. You know why? Because I LOVED that book and fantasy is more my style. I had never really taken to mystery books prior to this book (bad experiences) but this book proved otherwise.
The story was really gripping and which made it perfect for a readathon. I estimated it would take me maybe 2 days to read it but really, I read it in a couple of hours. Even the best of books take me a good 3 days. I just couldn’t stop reading!
The main character, Will, was likeable, brave and determined, which are all very important character qualities. Then there was Mason and Mason’s dad, whose likeliness made me laugh at times, as did the name of chapter 9 (Chem-mystery is my Favourite Subject).
Admittedly I did not predict everything about the end. Although there is no way you can compare The Dark Side of the Truth with Our Souls to Keep, in terms of unpredictability. That ending will never leave me. It was a nice ending in general and a good conclusion to the story. Although I am a little unsure of what happened to one of the characters.
I liked the way that The Dark Side of the Truth was not too gruesome because it means it would be appropriate and enjoyable for any older middle-grade readers as well as any YA readers.
There were some really cool ideas involved in the story, which I won’t reveal in fear of spoiling some parts of the book but it’s clear that Gary Caruso put some thought into that.
If you’re looking for a lighter mystery, I highly recommend The Dark Side of the Truth. It was entertaining and not too gory which contributed to making such a great book.
The Dark Side of the Truth was an entertaining and captivating mystery that made for a challenge to put down.
5/5 comets – Bye, bye Earth. Out of this world!
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Goodreads author bio:
Gary Caruso lives in northern Virginia with his wife Jill, but their favorite place is in Ohio with their three beautiful grandchildren. Although Gary is exhilarated when he sits down to write, teaching middle school science is his first love. He’s passionate about empowering students to make thoughtful decisions and positive choices in life. Gary enjoys reading, especially fiction that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy. He never imagined becoming a writer until an ordinary car ride on a spring day jolted an unlikely thought into his head. Gary’s early experience writing is a reminder that no matter how intimidating the challenge, action and determination are the foundations for fulfilling any dream. Gary has an insatiable love for writing, a blessing he’s excited to share with his readers.
This review is also posted HERE on my primary blog!