Dark Memories (DS Nikki Parekh 3) by Liz Mistry
|Dark Memories (DS Nikki Parekh 3) by Liz Mistry|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the third book in this series set in Bradford but it would read as a standalone. A decent read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352/9h35m||Date: January 2021|
|Publisher: HQ Digital|
|External links: Author's website|
Peggy Dyson was in her sixties and hadn't worn well. She was a drug addict and was living under the arches in Forster Square Station in Bradford. Her killer thought that he was probably doing her a favour by putting her out of her misery. DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are on the case. Nikki can't quite understand why she's been sent an anonymous letter with a press report of the death. It had been impossible to make any progress in the case and the note seemed to taunt the police. Then another note arrived with a report of a seemingly unconnected death in Cambridge. The third death - in the street where Nikki lived as a child - brought another communication, with a further clue under the victim - and Nikki was sure that there was something personal in the case.
Nikki's childhood had been far from happy. Her biological father was Freddie Downey but Nikki preferred to think of him as nothing more than a sperm donor. She still bore the scars of his attacks. Her mother, Lalita, had finally plucked up the courage to get her two children, Nikkita and Annika, and herself out of the Downey home and to a place of safety. Downey had gone to prison for what he had done to the three of them but not for long enough in Nikki's view and as an adult, she'd had a private investigator keep an eye on Downey to ensure that he could not threaten the family again. But now everything suggested that Downey was back in Bradford.
In this part of the West Riding, Bradford has always seemed like the poor cousin of the more prosperous city of Leeds, but in Dark Memories Liz Mistry gives us a rich tapestry of what the city is really like - and, boy, does she bring it to life. There's a splendid mixture of ethnicities and wonderfully-supportive communities: I worked there for many years and Mistry has it perfectly. You'll be able to walk the street with DS Parekh. You'll smell the curry houses for which it's so rightly famous. In this series, the city is very much a character in its own right.
The characterization is good: I loved Nikki's family. It felt as though it was drawn from personal experience. Mistry herself was born in Scotland but came to Bradford to study for a teaching degree. Her husband is Indian and she's now part of a bustling, extended family. Nikki Parekh is mixed race and married to Marcus, a landscape gardener. It's a community where race and colour seem not to matter: I was quietly envious.
The plot is excellent. I couldn't see where it was going at first or how the police could establish the identity of the killer. Mistry does confusion well and you have to concentrate to follow how the case is resolved - and it certainly wasn't how I was expecting. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag. You could read it as a standalone but you wold get more out of it if you've read earlier books in the series.
We think that By Death Divided (A Thackeray and Ackroyd Mystery) by Patricia Hall was really set in Bradford.
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