The Dark Room Review
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I was first introduced to Julia Cameron a few years ago, when a friend recommended that I read her book, The Artist’s Way (see my review). That book inspired me, and I was instantly a Julia Cameron fan. So when—on a bookstore binge with my friend and colleague, Deborah—I found a novel by this woman who’d inspired me to follow my dreams, I had to buy it.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The Dark Room is disturbing, to put it lightly. It’s the story of Chicago Detective Elliot Mayo, who finds himself in the middle of a strange multiple-murder case. His first suspect, the beautiful Doctor Violet Winters, opens his eyes to the one thing that tied the victims together—their strange, and often violent, sexuality. As the case continues (and Mayo discovers more and more bodies), Mayo tries to figure out the connections between the killings, one of his first cases, which involved some kind of cult-like rituals involving children, and his own son’s molestation. And if the description isn’t gruesome enough for you, just wait...

I was shocked to find something this dark and disturbing from the same woman who writes such motivational work. I was afraid to read this book before I went to bed—because I didn’t want it filling my dreams.

In the end, I breathed a sigh of relief. To Cameron’s credit, it could have been relief at the way the story ended. On the other hand, it could have just been relief that it ended.

The Dark Room disappointed me. Besides its giving me the creeps, I found it difficult to read. The writing was choppy, and the dialogue was confusing—and I often had to go back and re-read parts in order to understand them.

So if you’re looking for some Julia Cameron to read, by all means, pick up a copy of The Artist’s Way. But I recommend that you pass on The Dark Room.

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