On the same night she discovers she is pregnant, twenty-eight-year-old nurse Meg Richards husband is killed in an auto accident caused by a drunken teen. James Thomas, the teen, comes from one of the most influential families in the community. He s a star athlete and glamour boy at the local high school.
Angered by her senseless loss, Meg blames God for what has happened and considers a decision that could change her life even further until the D.A. intervenes. The results of the brutal trial enrage Meg, leading her down a frightening path of retribution. When the opportunity for revenge comes unexpectedly, will Meg follow through? Or will the remnants of her faith lead her in a different direction?
In his newest installment, Ace Collins touches some intense emotions -revenge and grief- and a topic all too common nowadays -teen drinking and driving. In Darkness Before Dawn, Ace shows what kind of havoc, hate and pain a drunk driver wreaks on so many people and Meg's story really opened my eyes to the firsthand emotions a widow must feel, especially when she is to be a mother as well.
To be completely honest, Meg frightened me. Her constant fantasies about murdering her husband's killer, her plots for revenge and her too-cold attitude made me dislike her from the beginning. I understand that she was desperate and controlled by her pain but her morbid mentality boggled my mind a few times. Such a dramatic shift in her character toward the end of the book was impacting. I got to "meet" a new Meg who had let healing work in her life and who had learned the power of forgiveness. The secondary characters like Heather and Paul and the drama that encompassed the two was another upside to this read. Nancy, a constant source of light and encouragement, even when her life was practically over, also opened my eyes. I thought that she was the much needed "solid rock" so to speak, that Meg needed to open her eyes and find her faith once again. I enjoyed peeks into the lives of all of the character's as well. For example Jim Thomas shared that he filled the void in his heart, created by his parents and friends, with alcohol.
The plot of Darkness Before Dawn really tugged at my heart's strings. I felt for Meg, for her mother, for Jim Thomas and even for Heather. Each character had believable difficulties and flaws like anger, rejection, guilt and the compromising of morals. I enjoyed the personal feel to each character.
One of my two favorite parts of this book would have to the court case that occurred near the middle. I loved Cheryl's (the attorney fighting for Meg) sharp wit and how she pulled out all the stops to prove Jim Thomas' guilt. She considered facets of the case that I completely overlooked and when she reveled each hidden fact, I found myself at the edge of my seat. Internally, I had hoped that Jim Thomas would have been convicted to the full extent of the law and that he would have served time behind bars, but I much more enjoyed the arrangement he and Meg made at the end.
The ending by far was my favorite part. I won't spoil anything else but it's suffice to say that I was touched, moved, pretty much crying when I finished this book.
If you are looking for a read that's a little different, a little mysterious and very much intriguing then you have to give Darkness Before Dawn a chance. The emotions exposed in this book are so raw, so real and so intense that I had to remind myself several times that I was reading a novel and not a real-life story. I unapologetically rate Darkness Before Dawn 5 out of 5 stars for stellar characters, an emotionally involved plot and amazing life lessons. It was a thrilling page turner that immediately grabbed hold of my attention and touched my heart.