I remember the first time I read about Asperger Syndrome, and I've been intrigued by the variation in individuals, in both the variety of symptoms and the severity, ever since. The Autism spectrum is wide, but on the higher end of the scale, those with Asperger Syndrome may be extremely intelligent and capable of handling many of the debilitating symptoms by developing coping mechanisms to help them through daily challenges.
Rory Moore, a forensic reconstructionalist, has difficulty in social situations, struggles to make eye contact, and has intensely focused interests, but Rory has also had a childhood that supported her--both her parents and her great-aunt Greta have given her a sense of stability. Her long-term partner Lane Philips understands her, and his career dovetails with Rory's so that they have a shared interest.
So...on to the plot. Rory works with the police and with her partner's Murder Accountability Project, both of which allow her to work on her own. After her father's death, Rory finds herself in a difficult situation when a judge requires her to become involved with the prison release hearing of a murderer her father defended decades ago. The murderer known as The Thief (because the bodies were never recovered) was convicted of only one murder, even without the evidence of a body, but is suspected of the disappearances of the other women as well.
Rory has a law degree, but has never practiced, partly because of her difficulty dealing with people, but the judge gives her no choice. As she prepares for the hearing, she is puzzled by some of her father's notes and continues digging.
Told in two time-lines, the book shifts from Rory in the present to Angela Mitchell, a young married woman in 1979, when women in Chicago were going missing. Rory becomes fascinated with her father's involvement with the case and with Angela Mitchell, who suffered from some of the same symptoms Rory has. Rory recognizes that Angela was on the Autism spectrum, which was not widely recognized at the time. Angela had developed a hyper-focused interest in the missing women and was doing research on her own when she disappeared shortly before The Thief was arrested.
Some Choose Darkness is compelling and has a few twists that kept me engrossed throughout. I'm hoping Donlea is considering a series with Rory Moore.
Crime/Suspense. May 28, 2019. Print length: 304 pages.