The Next To Die by Elliot Sweeney – Review.

About The Book

Dylan Kasper is stuck. Living in self-imposed reclusion from his former life in the police, he’s been in a downward spiral since his daughter’s death five years ago.

All that changes when the son of an esteemed professor jumps under an inner-city train. His former colleagues call it suicide, but Kasper knows different. This has all happened before – to him, and his dead daughter.

Taking on the investigation himself, Kasper soon realises the terrible trouble young Tommy had found himself in. With nowhere to run, he thought suicide was the only way to keep his family safe.

But before long, Kasper’s investigation makes him target number one. Can he keep his demons in check and stay alive long enough to bring those responsible to justice?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read a lot of crime fiction and after a point a lot of it feels formulaic. This book felt like a breath of fresh air, with a brilliant lead character, a fascinating storyline and a lot more empathy than many books I read.

Kasper has lost everything, his family, career and self respect. When he is approached by Tommy in the gym,  he initially doesn’t want to engage but after an altercation he gives in and ends up trying to help him. But when this goes disastrously wrong he wants to help Tommy’s family and try and understand why Tommy did what he did. Unfortunately he is unprepared for the impact on his own personal life, both from danger it brings to himself and his friends and the memories that Tommy’s situation brings to the surface.

It is far too easy to judge, initially I didn’t care for Harriet, Tommy’s sister, but as both of their stories were slowly revealed I had a lot more understanding of them both. She was visibly a lot stronger mentally than Tommy but it became easier to see the cracks and to see that she just handled the situation differently. 

Whilst there are some bad people in this novel there were a lot I liked a lot. Obviously Kasper, but also Diane, his ex partner romantically and professionally, his landlady and definitely Jazz. Hopefully these characters will appear in future novels in this series. 

Many themes are covered, in particular mental health and how it can affect an individual and their loved ones, showing how if people were given the option to talk, even for a few minutes how much help they could get.

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