Tuesday, February 13, 2024

BLOG TOUR - Village in the Dark

OTitle:   Village in the Dark
Author Iris Yamashita
Series:   Cara Kennedy #2
Publisher:   Berkley
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   288
Date of Publication:   February 13, 2024
My Rating:   4 Stars

Detective Cara Kennedy thought she’d lost her husband and son in an accident, but harrowing evidence has emerged that points to murder--and she will stop at nothing to find the truth in this riveting mystery from the author of City Under One Roof.

On a frigid February day, Anchorage Detective Cara Kennedy stands by the graves of her husband and son, watching as their caskets are raised from the earth. It feels sacrilegious, but she has no choice. Aaron and Dylan disappeared on a hike a year ago, their bones eventually found and buried. But shocking clues have emerged that foul play was involved, potentially connecting them to a string of other deaths and disappearances.

Somehow tied to the mystery is Mia Upash, who grew up in an isolated village called Unity, a community of women and children in hiding from abusive men. Mia never imagined the trouble she would find herself in when she left home to live in Man’s World. Although she remains haunted by the tragedy of what happened to the man and the boy in the woods, she has her own reasons for keeping quiet.

Aided by police officer Joe Barkowski and other residents of Point Mettier, Cara’s investigation will lead them on a dangerous path that puts their lives and the lives of everyone around them in mortal jeopardy.


Cara Kennedy is an Anchorage detective and she still mourns the deaths of her husband and young son. However, she has recently learned that their deaths may not have been accidental and is determined to discover the truth. Having previously solved a difficult murder case, Cara soon finds herself torn between her need for answers as well as a new case involving a victim named Mia Upash.

However, Cara is on disability, as she has not coped well the loss of her family. Yet she remains strongly determined to investigate matters as much as she can. For starters, she has the bodies of her husband and son exhumed and is shocked at what she discovers.

Meanwhile, there is more than one narration in this second book in the Cara Kennedy series by Iris Yamashita. The first book in this engaging series was City Under One Roof. Both books are quite good, and in this case Cara finds herself pitted against Ellie the woman who manages a unique building in Port Mettier, someone she has never quite got along with. Meanwhile, Mia, the newest victim, also has a point of view as the story develops.

Cara finds herself investigating in the small village of Unity, which is a safe haven for women needing protection from their abusers. What Cara soon finds provides a sharp twist in this story. Meanwhile, Cara had entered into a relationship with a cop she met in Port Mettier and it was interesting in this second book in the series the direction their relationship has taken, especially with more on the investigation regarding her family.

This second book in the series was an excellent read and kept my attention from beginning to end. The relationships between the characters as well as the mix of old and new cases kept me riveted to the story. As this story is strongly connected to the first book, City Under One Roof, these books should be read in order. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Born in Missouri, raised in Hawaii and having lived in Guam, California, and Japan, Iris Yamashita was able to experience a diversity of culture while growing up. She studied engineering at U.C. San Diego and U.C. Berkeley and also spent a year at the University of Tokyo studying virtual reality. Her first love, however, has always been fiction writing, which she pursued as a hobby on the side.

Iris submitted her first screenplay to a competition where she was discovered by an agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) who offered to represent her. Her big break came when she was recruited to write the script Letters From Iwo Jima for Clint Eastwood. Letters was named “Best Picture” by both the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. It received a Golden Globe award for “Best Foreign Language Film” of 2006 and was nominated for 4 Oscars including “Best Picture” and “Best Original Screenplay.” 

City Under One Roof is her debut mystery novel set in a tiny Alaskan town where all the residents lives in a single high-rise building. Village in the Dark is the follow-up to the Cara Kennedy series and is set to release in February 2024.

Iris continues to developing for both film and streaming media and has been commissioned to write an audio series for BBC Radio. She has also dabbled in writing a musical for a Japanese theme park with Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori. She has taught screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles and the American Film Institute.

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