Dark Dreams Reviews


5 stars - Thriller. Psychological Suspense. Supernatural Subplot.
Reviewed on Instagram (bookstagrammer), 2 April 2024
Set against the backdrop of the late 1970s and early 1980s, "Dark Dreams" delivers a narrative that is rich in nostalgia, intense from the very first chapter and starring a cast of morally ambiguous characters who are as compelling as they are flawed.
The narrative remains tightly paced, never overstaying its welcome, yet allowing ample room for character development, clever foreshadowing, and plot intricacies.
From the protagonists to the supporting characters, the cast exists in shades of grey, making them not only an interesting case study but also deeply compelling. Perhaps my favourite among them is Liz, Maggie's mother, whose flaws are exposed in the face of her daughter's difficulties, but who ultimately grows to inspire empathy and understanding. Amidst the suspense, "Dark Dreams" also offers a tender portrayal of relationships, particularly the later bond between Maggie and Charley. Their love is portrayed with sensitivity and period authenticity, hinting positively towards Maggie's open-ended redemption.
A recommended read, but not for the faint of heart.

5 stars - An intense thriller with well-built characters
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2022
Having loved Ann Thorsson's 'Downhill', I went into 'Dark Dreams' without any knowledge of the story but knowing it was going to be an intense experience. Once again Thorsson creates believable characters and makes them go through extreme situations without losing the sense of what makes them human. It's remarkable how sympathetic the protagonist remains, even after committing an unspeakable act, for we understand what led her to that awful crime. There are no easy solutions in this book, which makes for a complex and rewarding experience.

4 stars - A dark tale.
Reviewed in the United States on 15 March 2022
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"Dark Dreams is a dark tale involving worst case scenarios. Intolerance, torment, isolation, and psychological trauma culminate in a horrific event which taps into the supernatural. Thorsson weaves a tendril of light through the darkness, however, leaving the reader with the glimmer of a silver lining. Note: There is a scene or two which may be difficult for sensitive readers, but overall it’s a reflection of the best and worst of human behavior."

4 stars - Chilling, compelling and thought provoking!
Reviewed in Germany on 14 November 2021
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This was a very good read despite its distressing topics while remaining thought provoking all the way through!
"Maggie has to fight many inner conflicts: loss of her father, a gang rape, her own sexuality, a pregnancy at 16 along with her mother's attitude to the situation. In the 1970's, being a single mother was definitely a difficult situation! Add to it, rape, a baby and infanticide, Maggie's psychological and emotional state is at its lowest. Keeping those vital secrets from her mother, Maggie is trying to deal with her life, trauma, guilt, freedom, revenge, justice... I read this novel in one go, not only because of its shortness, but also because Maggie woke some emotions in me (compassion, anger, helplessness) and I wanted to know whether she will be saved from herself. A conflicting, intense read which I highly recommend!"

5 stars - Absolutely fantastic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 March 2021
"Having read Ann's brilliant first novel 'Downhill' I was eager to read this, 'Dark Dreams' her second book. It was NOT a disappointment, utterly gripping, twisty and turny, could not put it down. Totally involved with the characters, especially Maggie, love her, hate her, sympathise with her, or all three? Big shock on page 65, did not see that coming at all. I will definitely be recomending 'Dark Dreams' to friends. A fantastic book."

5 stars - Unexpected Thriller!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 December 2020
"Loved the plot! This one will stay in my head for a long time!"

5 stars - Once again I got carried away by the words of Ann Thorsson.
Reviewed in the United States on 30 November 2020
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"Once again I got carried away by the words of Ann Thorsson, what an amazing read. She Got me captured from start to finish with her ability to tell a story, her way to portrait each person, surroundings and the period of time. Am so ready for Ann Thorsson’s next book."

Online (Facebook) Review - 10.11.2020
"Dark Dreams is one of those books you can't put down once you begin - a book that keeps you up all night because it is so damn good! Ann made every character authentic and believable. At the end I was in tears for Maggie and her loved ones. I absolutely loved reading her story and I can´t wait to read more of Ann Thorsson´s books."

5 stars - Couldn’t put it down!
Reviewed in the United States on 4 November 2020
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"Incredibly good book, and very well written. The author creates a vivid and powerful story that leaves an impact on the reader.
I absolutely recommend this book and also Ann’s first book “Downhill”. Both are excellent and I hope there will be more coming."

9/10 (5 stars)
Review by Mark Fearn (Online Book Reviewer) - 14.10.2020

‘Dark Dreams’ by Ann Thorsson published by UK Book Publishing on Sept 8th this year
252 Pages

"I LOVED ‘Downhill’ the authors first book ( out last year and I read it earlier this year ) and so was keen to read ‘Dark Dreams’
An apt title for an uncomfortable in many respects read, uncomfortable doesn’t mean a bad read it means it wasn’t an easy read a lot of the time but then the subjects covered including gang rape and infanticide are not meant to be light hearted
Maggie is struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and the bullying she is receiving when the unthinkable happens, pregnant and pretty much alone her Mum shoos her away to the local nunnery to ‘be out of sight’ until she has the baby, once she does she goes against all advice and keeps it and life goes from bad to
worse, after another unthinkable event Maggie has no choice but to ‘start again’ and eventually finds happiness with Charley, but the past has a habit of resurfacing and as the book continues we see this happen and the sadness, guilt and revelations this brings
Told with the authors flair for past decades descriptive writing ( inc the music, fashion, attitudes and world events ) alongside emotion and passion this thought provoking read will have you questioning many aspects and actions within the story
A special mention for Maggies Mum who played a great character and indicative of many parents of that time
I think this book will stay with anyone who reads it long after finishing it"

5 stars - Dark Dreams - A gripping novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 October 2020
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"Dark Dreams is an engrossing read. Ann Thorsson uses a range of vivid and haunting imagery to steer the reader through harrowing experiences. Her skilful writing style allows the reader to simultaneously feel horror at the actions of the main character while retaining compassion about her circumstances. The storyline lingered in my mind long after I had finished reading the book."

5 stars - Brilliant page Turner.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 October 2020
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"Where do I start. Mix of feeling after reading this book as you feel very connected to the chareters and story's. A good page turner and very hard to put down. Have recommended Dark dreams to bother book lovers to try." [sic]

5 stars - Gave me a front row seat on a roller-coaster of emotions...... Breathtakingly brilliant..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 October 2020
"Started to read Dark Dreams as soon as I bought it. Couldn't put it down. I thought Downhill took some beating but this book is fabulous. The characters are deep and interesting the plot made me angry, sad and in parts very scared.
Love it."


“From the beautifully crafted sentences to the simple but powerful ingredients, Thorsson turns the words into a film playing in your mind. She knows how to make the characters jump off the page!”

“Highly authentic for the time period and characters that conjure every emotion in the reader. The unpredictable, dark and even ghostly events make this twisted tale a must-read.”

“Another good book (by Thorsson) that was easy to get into and kept me dying to see what happens next! I really felt the atmosphere of the book and got to know the characters well.”

"I think that your book is absolutely brilliant. When I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about the characters. It just feels so real."

"Love the Prologue, got me so excited and curious."

"Ann Ann Ann...where have you been all my reading life..."

"Brilliant!!!!! Absolutely love it!!!! The ending/conclusion really gives you something to think about."