The fourth star is given only because I know where she is going with all this.This was an interesting book with a lot of plot elements that don't quite balance. Ilsa J. Bick is a wonderful writer, and in her last two books she has proven herself a master of the sophisticated dispersal of information. She knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, driving you crazy with what she withholds from you and keeping you on the hook with what she gives. This is difficult to do, and in Draw the Dark, she hasn't quite mastered it. There were too many times when the reader is allowed to figure something out far enough ahead of the protagonist that the reader feels frustrated waiting for him to get there. The story of his parents and the Sideways Place needed just a little more integration with the rest of the story, or even just a little more resolution perhaps. I find it difficult to criticize the book much because it was so close to being just right. It has so much going for it, it's just a little more ambitious than Bick can handle. But just a little. The fascination with the brain that continues in the Ashes trilogy is evident here. Lots about Alzheimers, and PTSD and what it does not just in terms of how it feels, but what trauma and disease do to the structure of the brain. She never shies away from things that are uncomfortable, gory, or gross whether in terms of physical trauma or just how awful people can be to each other. The plot of the book just might be great, I just would have liked to read the same story written by the author in her current state of mastery. She's not quite there yet, but you can see that she has it in her. Hence the 4th star. If I hadn't read her later work, I might have given it three, though I'd have gone 3.5 if goodreads allowed it. But, I can't not know where she is headed as a writer and it makes me feel more generous.