Cover Image: After Dark

After Dark

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Member Reviews

A really thought provoking and interesting read. I found the premise very clever and felt it was well written with twists and turns building to a network of connection and answers. A real story of our times.
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Women are safe from 7pm to 7am aren't they?
This was thought provoking novel concept, that had a story plot which dealt with gender based violence in a different way.
Whilst he concept was different and intriguing, I found the character development somewhat lacking which took away part of the book enjoyment.
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Several times whilst reading this book I felt a bit uncomfortable that men were being punished by society simply based on their gender. Once a boy reached the age of ten the law stated he must wear an ankle tag and remain under curfew between the hours of  7 at night and 7 in the morning. This was to control violent acts committed by men against women.
The storyline was very thought  provoking given the number of high profile murders of women committed by men that have made headline news in recent years.
A sign of a well written book is the author’s ability to make the reader love or hate the characters. Sarah’s deep rooted distrust of men (as a result of her life experiences) irritated me at times whilst her daughter, Cass, definitely got under my skin with her teenage rebelliousness and belligerence. 
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it’s take on one of the many problems experienced by society today.
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Wow! This book just totally turned my world on its head. The way we live and how we think. I was gripped from the first, chilling, thought provoking and uncomfortable to read, but utterly brilliant and compelling!

It feels near future, a bit dystopian in nature, everyone has a ‘slate’ which your whole life is on, it’s frankly terrifying 
The women’s POV’s in this book are all at different times in their lives and we see their responses to the curfew, moulded by their experiences, the effect on the men in their lives and the changes it brings to their futures. It is twisty, unnerving and tested my opinions, some of which changed as I read this.

A brilliant read which I really enjoyed and tested my comfort levels for sure!
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A deeply unnerving thriller that is very much topical and easily believable. Set some years in the future,  it depicts a society that has become so desperate to curb domestic violence, violent crimes against women and murder,  by enforcing a curfew on men. As perpetrators of the majority of serious crimes, it has really influenced statistics for the better and women feel so muc safer out jogging at night,  going for meals with friends and wearing what they want. Men wear tags that alert authorities if they are tampered with or if they try to break curfew. The problem arises when  a female is found murdered in the local park. We follow the stories of several protagonists- the detective, a school teacher, her best friend and her boyfriend, a fellow tagger and her daughter and ex husband. Is it possible that a man has found a way around the tagging system and broken curfew? What are the implications if this is true? Will it de-stabilise the system? Who is the victim and the perpetrator amongst our protagonists? Such a poignant and gripping read. Very apt for current discussions on gender violence.  #afterdark #jaynecowie #netgalley
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Interesting concept! Similar in a way to the Handmaid's Tale, except filled on it's head - the men the ones without rights etc. A good mystery, I honestly had no idea who was the victim/killer until the very end. Easy to read, and a good page turner!
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In a few years time, where men are tagged and under curfew to stop violence against women and girls........but a women has been found dead.   

Interesting concept given the recent real life news which has highlighted these issues (not the tagging or curfew!). Maybe a glimpse of the future...?

The chapters were told from various people’s perspectives - Sarah, her daughter, Cass and Pamela, a soon to retire Police Officer.  The book kept me interested, relationships developed and new characters were introduced, which kept you guessing who could be the killer.... 

This is first book I have read by this author, but I will read more!

Thanks to #NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a review. #AfterDark #JayneCowie
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From the outset we know a woman has been brutally murdered but we don’t know who.  The book is set sometime in the near future where men are locked down in their own homes from 7pm to 7am every evening for the protection of women.  The story unfolds in the current with Pamela an old school policewoman who is close to retirement and assigned to the case while some chapters go back four weeks prior to the murder where we meet the various women (one of which could be the victim) and the men in their lives (one of which could be the perpetrator - or not, as men are tagged and can go out at night).
The lockdown concept would have been far fetched if we hadn’t all just experienced the pandemic and it’s self imposed isolation.  The characters were very well drawn and the writing was clear and at a very good pace.  I enjoyed this book but it slightly niggled me that there was no descriptions of how the males in the story felt about being basically second class citizens because a small minority of their kind were likely to transgress.
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I really enjoyed this book and found it was a quick read as I was hooked. 
The premise was very interesting with men tagged and on curfew.
It was interesting having the story told from the viewpoints of several different women and how their opinions shifted based on their experiences.
I was initially a bit annoyed by how naive and easily manipulated Cass was and how cynical Sarah was, but then it was interesting to see how they had got to be like that and how things changed for them.
An interesting read that has stayed with me, and scarily didn't seem too far fetched.
My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my eARC in return for my honest review.
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Well-written, clever thriller that focusses on three women living in a future when all men are electronically tagged and not allowed out after 7pm in order to keep women safe in public spaces at night. Loved the gender flipped dystopia and agree that it is about time we starting asking questions of men instead of blaming women for the things that men do.
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A thought provoking story of revenge,

The characters are well written and I really enjoyed the story.

The premise is interesting and turns a big part of current society on it’s head which is very interesting.
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This book has stayed with me since I read it, its really got under my skin. I found myself at first outraged at the way males were being treated even small children but to my surprise I quickly changed to being frustraed by Cass's naivety as men can be dangerous. This was such a good concept where women are in charge and have freedom but men have a curfew policed by ankle tags. The role reversals were very interesting to explore and highlighted how much women have their freedoms constantly checked without us realising. Cowie has written a really interesting book and I'd be very interested to read more about how the system continues or not. A great read with some unexpected twists and turns.
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Here's an unusual premise.  After a high-profile attack on a woman, pressure is brought to bear to stop women being threatened by men, particularly at night.  The solution is to give all males over 10 an electronic tag and curfew them - they can't leave their home between 7pm and 7am.  The result appears to be a country where women feel safe to be out on their own at night.

However, a woman is killed at night and Pamela is the detective called on to deal with this unusual crime.  She remembers life pre-curfew, and is not convinced the perpetrator is a woman, which all her colleagues are obsessed with proving.  Because the curfew must hold strong.

Sarah is divorced from her husband Greg, currently in prison for breaking curfew, and is bringing up her daughter Cass.  Cass is a lovely character - normally I really dislike spoiled, entitled, snotty teenagers, but the author portrays her with a beautiful vulnerability so that even at her worst, I don't dislike her at all.  Other characters are well portrayed, and some really get under your skin as you see their flaws developing.

The book is well written; the identity of the victim remains unknown until almost the end, along with the perpetrator.  It makes the reader think about women and how they are treated, and whether such a draconian measure would ever work.   It also considers relationships between male and female, parent and child, teacher and pupil.

I found it a real page turner and very thought provoking.  Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK and Cornerstone for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this book, this is definitely the time if story that I enjoy reading. 
It was a little slow in parts but was a very easy read.
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An unpredictable and thrilling read. Well written and totally believable, and I was hooked from the beginning to the end of this unique murder mystery.
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This is a book based on future events.  Where the men are tagged and under curfew from 7pm until 7 am.

Sarah & Cass her daughter live in an woman’s house where no men are allowed.  Cass is a typical teenager everything is wrong why are the men made to suffer she feels that it is unfair on them.  There is a woman murdered no one knows who it is.  

The book was ok but didn’t have me wanting to read more.  It did keep you guessing who the victim was and the murderer.  The characters were ok but we’re not engaging.
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After Dark is a thriller set in a future Britain where men are tagged and under curfew. The idea was good but I disliked the characters especially Sarah and her moody daughter. Also, the male characters were one dimensional. The pace was slow and the denouement disappointing. A decent debut but not a challenging read.
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'Typically men commit more violent crimes than Women. They are responsible for eighty per cent of all murders, and seventy five per cent of all other violent crime. Even in children, data shows that boys carry out more assaults than girls'.
The prevention of Femicide act 2023 revolutionised Womens lives. All Women have a government issued escape fund, so that they never have to be trapped in an abusive relationship, couples have to go to 'cohab counselling before they move in together, so that men with abusive patterns of behaviour can be identified, and  prevented from moving in with their partners, and all males over ten years of age are tagged and are under curfew 7pm to 7am...what if you are female and you believe curfew is unfair? What if you believe that your Dad, or Best friend, or boyfriend shouldn't be tagged?, what if you believe 'not all men are abusive?...
Fantastic concept, believable characters, brilliantly executed.
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Intelligent and gripping a wider social drama played out within one family. There’s been a rash of books along this theme this year though and I have the same criticism of all of them.,we really wouldn’t vote this in, would we??
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'Women were told to stay indoors until the killer was caught, the implication being that it would be our fault if it happened to us. But we'd had enough of being blamed for things that men did. We said no.'  

This book is set in the future where women have taken a stand against male violence and men are forced to wear tags on their legs and have a curfew where being outside overnight results in a prison sentence. However, when a woman is murdered, its argued over whether this act could have been committed by a man. 

The plot of the book is what drew me in - the idea of a world where women were safe to be out late? Safe to go for a run? Safe to enjoy themselves? As a woman, I was curious about this world and I devoured its pages. 

We follow the lives of Cass (a member of the next generation who have only known a world with curfew), Sarah (Cass' Mum who became a tagger - someone who checks and fits mens tags - and whose husband broke curfew), Helen (Cass' teacher who teaches about curfew and who is pursuing starting a family), and Pamela (a police officer in the present day who fights to prove that a man killed their victim). Through these women, we get to discover how curfew had changed womens lives for the better, the history of it, the arguments for and against it, and whether it is as faultless a system as it seems. 

I loved how all the personalities of the women were different and they were so incredibly realistic but I did have an issue with the character of Cassie.
Spoilers👇
She does a complete 180 on her ideology in the last few chapters and I'm just not convinced someone could change their beliefs that fast or reconvene with a despised parent so easily.
Spoilers👆 

Curfew isn't the only system in place in this book to protect women against male violence, there's also a screening process which men and women who want to move in together and marry have to go through, in order to reduce the number of domestic abuse incidents. It was another interesting idea but was again, highlighted for its flaws. 

The question constantly asked in this book is; are these measures a positive change? Because our viewpoint is always from a woman and I'm a woman myself, its easy to see the positive impact curfew has brought. Less women are being killed or ending up with partners of domestic abuse, and women don't have to fear for their lives after it gets dark or if they're going out early in the morning. Its not arguable that curfew is a system that works. However, do we really need to go to such drastic action for protection? Is it right to restrict all mens freedom? I swung back and forth between agreeing with the ideas in this book and disagreeing because clearly something needs to change in our society, a society where 2-3 women in the UK are killed by men every week, but I'm still not sure such drastic change is the answer. 

While I was reading this book I was stuck between feeling that men were getting an unfair portrayal and feeling that the bias in this book was intentional and reading the authors note confirms that this book was designed to be that way. Cowie talks about her own experience with domestic abuse and the response to the #MeToo movement with #/NAMALT and Id definitely recommend reading it.
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