The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

You can run… but death will always find you

A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible. 

Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.

A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.

Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.

But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Darkness Within is the third book in the Denning and Fisher series but the first that I’ve read. I had no problem getting to know the characters or follow the storyline. Although I do intend to read the earlier books as soon as possible, I enjoyed this novel a lot.

There appears to be two separate investigations but there is a connection. And it isn’t just the one that has the two main characters getting into trouble simply for trying to do their jobs. But despite both being told to back off they aren’t willing to, and they carry on with their questioning. Thus upsetting  victims, criminals and superior officers.

The investigation is sadly believable, everybody will have heard about investigations that were dropped for reasons unexplained but where you’d suspect that money or power and control were involved. The author shows the damage that caused to the individuals concerned and the way that it destroyed their life. But he also shows how a willingness to listen could make a difference.

An unusual side to this novel was that lead characters personal lives were shown and that their partners also had a voice. All too often they feature but the reader never gets to know much about them. I appreciated this a lot and I hope to see it a lot more.

I’m looking forward to reading the earlier books and from reading the author notes at the end book four definitely sounds like one to look forward to. 

The Innocent Ones by Neil White – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Three lives cut short. Two decades of silence. One evil secret.

By day, the park rings with the sound of children’s excited laughter. But in the early hours of the morning, the isolated playground is cloaked in shadows – the perfect hiding place to conceal a brutal murder. 

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win. 

Until help comes from an unlikely source…when the murder victim’s mother says that Connor is innocent, begging Dan and Jayne to find the real perpetrator. 

Unravelling the complex case means finding the connection between Mark’s death and a series of child murders in Yorkshire over twenty years ago. Father of two, Rodney Walker, has spent years in prison after being convicted of killing of 6-year-old William and 7-year-old Ruby back in 1997. 

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I have read books by Neil White before but The Innocent Ones, book three of a trilogy is the first that I have read in this series. Not knowing the characters didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the book and I will be reading the books I have missed as soon as possible. 

In Dan’s latest case he is defending a local criminal who has been charged with murder. But the victim’s mother isn’t convinced that they have the right man and convinces Dan to find the answers in a cold case that her son was writing about. He gets back in touch with Jayne, a woman he defended in the past and who had done investigative work for him. In doing so he places both of them in danger.

It is a quite a while since I read a book that left me on edge so much. I became totally mesmerised by the cold case. At times, I forgot that there was also a current case that was being investigated. As the truth was revealed I was horrified, appalled and unable to stop reading. When the two cases overlapped and you saw exactly what evil they were facing I was numbed into silence, devastated by the tragic events. 

Sometimes a book like this is unbelievable but the storyline is handled so well I was convinced by every reveal and twist. I was also convinced by the location. I have lived in Lancashire most my life and spent sometime trying to work out which town Highford was based on. In the author’s notes at the end my suspicions were correct. They were the only thing I did get right in this book.