All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
January 10, 2023
Review by Jen
Ohhh….this was such a good one!! All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham kept me guessing till the end. The audiobook was amazing- another one that got me up and walking every morning.
What’s it about?
Isabelle’s life has had its share of tragedy. The book goes back and forth between Isabelle as a child and Isabelle now. As a child, her younger sister died. She mysteriously drowned in a swamp overnight. As an adult, her own baby was taken from his crib and hasn’t been found. Isabelle’s father was a congressman, their family was seen as perfect, a bit of a celebrity family in the south.
Isabelle doesn’t have any confidence in the local police to solve her son’s abduction. She goes off on her own and tirelessly researches the case, goes to true crime conferences to get her story out, all with the hope that the abductor might be in the audience. She’s distraught, her marriage has fallen apart, and she’s starting to question how her sister died.
And then there’s her ex husband. He’s an interesting guy. He and Isabelle met when he was married. While they didn’t sleep together, they most definitely had an emotional relationship and longed for a physical one. And…while they didn’t first meet at work, he was her boss. Sooooo messy! And, I’m not done.
His wife died by suicide. Or…. Maybe not?? That opened the door for Isabelle to walk in as his girlfriend, then wife.
On a plane trip back from a conference, a true crime podcaster sits by Isabelle, wants to tell her story on his podcast, and leaves her with his card.
She’s not interested, until she is.
There’s a lot to this book. Isabelle is a sleepwalker. She walks around the house, neighborhood, checked on her son, had conversations…all while asleep. It wasn’t uncommon for her to wake up not in her bed. To leave things in places while sleepwalking and not know how they got there. She believes that she might be responsible for her sister’s death. And maybe her son’s disappearance. Her ex husband is hiding something, too. And the podcaster, what’s his story?
Creepy, full of ambiguity, a complex psychological thriller…All the Dangerous Things was hard to put down. I was sure I knew what happened, then it would twist and turn and I found myself second guessing my theory. Isabelle’s pain is palpable. But, she’s far from innocent. Maybe of some things, but not all. She has caused unspeakable pain for at least one person. Her own growth as she unravels the mysteries in her life is riveting.
I’ve found a new favorite author!