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About The Book

A psychiatrist’s patients are dying—are they suicides related to a new antidepressant, or is there something even more sinister going on in the northernmost town in the US? A riveting new thriller from internationally bestselling author Daniel Kalla.

After Brianna O’Brien takes her own life, Dr. David Spears blames himself. Though he understands suicides can be a tragic occurrence in psychiatric practice, this loss hits him particularly hard. With Brianna, he’s convinced he missed crucial warning signs. When David suspects Brianna’s friend, Amka Obed—whom he’s also been treating virtually—is in crisis, he flies to the remote Arctic community of Utqiagvik, Alaska, only to discover that she has disappeared.

While the regional police are confident that Amka will turn up safe, David and the town’s social worker, Taylor Holmes, have serious doubts. Each battling their own demons, David and Taylor launch an investigation, determined to help uncover the truth about what happened to Amka. David wonders if a new antidepressant he recently prescribed both Amka and Brianna played a role in what took place. Taylor, who’s familiar with the locals, suspects a drug lord with connections to Amka’s boyfriend.

Who is right? Where is Amka? Is she still alive?

What begins as a missing persons inquiry and suspicion over a pharmaceutical cover-up quickly evolves into a terrifying journey of treachery and death—one that will horrify this isolated town and endanger many more lives.

About The Author

Michael Bednar Photography

Daniel Kalla is an internationally bestselling author of many novels, including Fit to Die, The Darkness in the Light, Lost Immunity, The Last High, and We All Fall Down. Kalla practices emergency medicine in Vancouver, British Columbia. Visit him at or follow him on Twitter @DanielKalla.

Why We Love It

“When Daniel Kalla and I were first discussing his ideas for The Darkness in the Light, I was so taken by the unusual structure he said he wanted to use to tell this story about a psychiatrist and one of his patients, who has gone missing. And when he delivered the manuscript, I was blown away by what he’d accomplished. This is a masterful tale of damaged characters, the secrets they hide—from themselves, not just others—all presented in an evocative Arctic setting.”

—Laurie G., Senior Editor, on The Darkness in the Light

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 3, 2022)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982191405

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Raves and Reviews

“Kalla’s writing has grown over the years and this book, with its well-written descriptions of the far north, is one of his best. He blends social and cultural images into the thriller and keeps the pace running. A storyline I was convinced was the plot turns out to be a huge herring. Shows I can still be hornswoggled by a good twisty tale.”
The Globe and Mail

A gripping, heartbreaking, and enthralling suspense so vividly immersive that I was hooked from the first page. With crisp, powerful writing and two extremely compelling voices, Kalla draws you in to the remote, intriguing world of the Arctic and the tragic, inexplicable suicide clusters that have ravaged a small, tight-knit town. Kalla is a clever master of surprise, dropping subtle clues and expertly changing course, so you can’t possibly look away until the mystery is solved. It’s an absolute must-read from a remarkable talent.”
SAMANTHA M. BAILEY, USA Today and #1 nationally bestselling author of Woman on the Edge

A gripping thriller about a remote community and a potential miracle cure for depression gone wrong. Kalla excels at atmosphere and introducing us to environments that are unique in the genre. He deftly weaves together intrigue and important questions about how we treat mental health and ourselves, and I couldn’t put this down until I discovered how it all worked out. Fast-paced and complex, this is a must-read.
CATHERINE McKENZIE, bestselling author of Six Weeks to Live and I’ll Never Tell

Explores powerful themes in Kalla’s signature page-turning style. With hairpin turns and shocking twists, readers will be captivated until the final page.”
ROBYN HARDING, bestselling author of The Perfect Family

Kalla is unparalleled in his ability to create compelling characters that embody societal trauma and medical complexities. The Darkness in the Light explores rural northern health care, the unrelenting pressure of depression, and pharmaceutical treatments with great care. Both heartbreaking and brave, this is a boldly written story that fans will love and new readers will devour.”
AMBER COWIE, author of Last One Alive

“Kalla’s Alaskan whodunit delights . . . Just remember that Vancouver E.R. doctor Daniel Kalla not only writes superb medical thrillers with a pronounced social edge—his books are also terrific murder mysteries.
Winnipeg Free Press

“If you enjoy gripping, psychological thrillers, Daniel Kalla’s book The Darkness in The Light will hold your attention to the very end.”
British Columbia Review

“Emergency room physician Danial Kalla is one of Canada’s bestselling and most impressive writers, and his latest novel, The Darkness in the Light, demonstrates why.”

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