{Book Review} Whitesands: Johann Thorsson

Whitesands: Johann Thorsson

Reviewed By Steve Stred

Book Content Warning: Child abduction • Spousal Abuse

Huge thanks to the author for sending this my way.

‘Whitesands’ came onto my radar from Pete Kahle, from Bloodshot Books, who are publishing this release. He was raving about it to me while we were chatting and when Johann contacted me to receive a digital arc, I said absolutely.

I wasn’t completely sure what I was getting into, other than knowing it was a detective story where the main character is trying to find his daughter. Diving in, I wanted to see just how far down the rabbit hole Thorsson took us.

What I liked: Detective John Dark’s daughter has gone missing. Last seen late one night, all leads for her have dried up, but he is still clinging onto hope and following any tip he can. It is this recklessness that has put him into a position where he’s hanging onto his job by a thread and his family by even less. 

Thorsson then throws everything upside down by having Dark and his partner, investigate some grisly murder scenes where husbands have killed their wives with no memory of it and soon enough, things get tied together and the chase is on.

The pacing of this book is fantastic and you desperately want Dark to return to the heights that he previously was at in his career, while also finding his daughter.

I liked his partner, Monique, and how she acted as a grounding mechanism for him, as well as had his back no matter what. 

The use of security footage was great and the descriptions in these aspects were creepy and fantastic.

What I didn’t like: Ultimately, I found a lot of the police procedural stuff to be a bit off. It’s hard to describe without spoiling stuff, but when certain things happen, the reactions and situations afterwards didn’t really seem believable.

As well, Whitesands itself, and Daniel Hope, seemed very minimally used and even expanded upon, judging from the synopsis and ultimately the massive role they played in the finale of the book.

Why you should buy this: This sets up a second book, which I think may work better with Dark being removed from the Detective aspect. I think people looking for a paranormal, police procedural will have a blast with this one and ultimately, Thorsson left me begging for the book to carry on and to see Dark’s ultimate quest completed.

I’ll be waiting to read that once it arrives.


Detective John Dark’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, J Dark overreached and was reprimanded and demoted.

Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty year old missing persons’ case.

Just as Dark is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter’s disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.

Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more people are killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.

In the style of True Detective and Silence of the Lambs, WHITESANDS is a thrilling supernatural crime novel.

You can buy Whitesands from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Steve Stred

Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.

He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.

You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred

You can follow Steve on Instagram @stevestred

You can visit Steve’s Official website here

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