Thrilling. Twisty. Game-changer.
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Dark Mode

Ashley Kalagian Blunt



Once you’re online, there’s nowhere to hide 

Is it paranoia – or is someone watching?
For years, Reagan Carsen has kept her life offline. No socials. No internet presence. No photos. Safe. 
Until the day she stumbles on a shocking murder in a Sydney laneway. The victim looks just like her.
As more murders shake the city and she’s increasingly drawn out from hiding, Reagan is forced to confront her greatest fear.
She’s been found. 
A riveting psychological thriller drawn from true events, Dark Mode delves into the terrifying reality of the dark web, and the price we pay for surrendering our privacy one click at a time.

About the Author

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of How to Be Australian and My Name Is Revenge, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Awardsand was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in the Sydney Morning HeraldOverlandGriffith ReviewSydney Review of BooksAustralian Book ReviewKill Your Darlings and more. Ashley teaches creative writing and co-hosts James and Ashley Stay at Home, apodcast about writing, creativity and health. Originally from Canada, she has lived and worked in South Korea, Peru and Mexico.


a readable, frightening novel grounded in disturbing realities.’ - The West Australian


‘Blunt has brilliantly executed a cautionary tale, and a deeply suspenseful thriller brimming with plot twists and a gut-sinking cliffhanger. This page-turner will keep you up long into the night.’ – Readings


‘utterly terrifying’ – The Au Review


‘suspenseful, engaging and terrifying’ – Newtown Review of Books


‘twisty and tantalising... Dark Mode is a thrilling read for when you need to get consumed by a good thriller instead of a social media binge.’ Arts Hub Australia 


‘a darkly sparkling gem’ – The Canberra Times


‘Thrilling and twisty – get ready to be paranoid’  J.P. Pomare, author of The Wrong Woman
‘Absolutely terrifying! I turned every page with my heart in my mouth, utterly hooked by this explosive thriller. Ashley Kalagian Blunt taps into the dangers we face online every day and the monsters in our midst. Dark Mode is a powerful and disturbing story which will keep you thinking long after you’ve finished reading.’  Petronella McGovern, author of The Liars
‘With Dark Mode, Ashley Kalagian Blunt has turned her love of true crime and passion for suspense fiction into a fierce wake-up call of a thriller, one that looks unflinchingly at the horrors of the dark web and sheds light on the unimaginable. Riveting, tense and supremely chilling, this is an eye-opening must-read for crime fiction fans everywhere.’  Anna Downes, author of The Shadow House
‘Wow. Page turning, chilling dread that kept me guessing until the end. Ashley Kalagian Blunt hits it out of the park, creating a dark world where your worst fears aren't the worst thing to fear – not even close.’  R.W.R McDonald, author of Nancy Business
Dark Mode’s greatest achievement is that, as the pieces fall into place, it’s not just Reagan Carsen’s world that’s turned upside down – it’s ours. Its stunning payoff doesn’t just reverberate through the pages, but beyond the book and into the world at large, where its implications are of urgent significance … there are some realities most of us would sooner pretend are impossible than acknowledge are already here. Kalagian Blunt forces our gazes upon them in this compulsive and breathless thriller.’
James McKenzie Watson, author of Denizen
‘Dark and twisty, this thrilling offering from Ashley Kalagian Blunt is absolutely not to be missed. This book will keep you up at night’  Hayley Scrivenor, author of Dirt Town

‘If you think that what happens on the dark web will never affect you, this book begs the question: are you sure about that? Like, sure-sure? A twisty, terrifying thriller, Dark Mode will have you buying a flip phone and moving off the grid the second you turn the final page, just so you can breathe again. I loved it.’  Pip Drysdale, author of The Next Girl
‘A chilling and utterly gripping read that shines a light on misogyny and toxicity thriving in plain sight and its devastating consequences for women. Ashley Kalagian Blunt plunges the reader into the darkest corners of the internet and it could not be more terrifying! A superb thriller that will keep you riveted to the page and dial up your tech anxieties to eleven.’ Dinuka McKenzie, author of The Torrent

Dark Mode's tension is visceral from the first page … terrifying and timely.’  Amy Lovat, Secret Book Stuff

'Masterfully crafted and addictive, Dark Mode will keep you on edge to the last page. It will also make you think deeply about the world we’re living in now. This brilliant exploration of the increasing, and terrifying, merging of our online and physical lives shows Ashley Kalagian Blunt at the height of her artistic powers. I gulped this book down! And I know I’ll be thinking about it, and the perverse reality it reveals, for a long long time. This is an outstanding debut novel. – Lee Kofman, author of The Writer Laid Bare

‘Blunt has brilliantly executed a cautionary tale, and a deeply suspenseful thriller brimming with plot twists and a gut-sinking cliffhanger. This page-turner will keep you up long into the night.’ – Readings 

‘suspenseful, engaging and terrifying’ – Newtown Review of Books




Pub Date
March 2024




Technology. Misogyny. Thriller.