The Darkness Around Her by Neil White
|The Darkness Around Her by Neil White|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The second book in the Dan Grant series reads perfectly well as a standalone, there don't seem to be any spoilers for the first book in the series. It's a cracking read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 448/11h13m||Date: September 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
Lizzie Barnsley was escaping from her abusive boyfriend when she was murdered on the canal towpath on New Year's Eve. It obviously wasn't the boyfriend as he was still being held by Lizzie's friends at the pub, but before long Peter Box was arrested and charged. He'd sought treatment at the local hospital for an injury to his head which was the same shape as the heel of Lizzie's shoe - and her blood was on the shoe. Dan Grant was called in to represent Box, but there's a problem. Box won't talk - won't talk to the police or to Grant, so how is he to represent the man? And had Box killed Lizzie? It was obvious that he hadn't known her - so why would he kill her?
Grant called on the services of his investigator, Jayne Brett. Jayne's uncertain about staying in Highford. She's been through the legal system herself and this gives her empathy with those still going through the mill. It also muddies the waters with regard to her relationship with Dan Grant: he represented her and in his mind this prevents there ever being a closer relationship between him and Jayne. Jayne has other views and if the relationship is not going to work out - or even come about - she's thinking of moving on. Grant is adamant (even in the most tempting of circumstances) that he has obligations and responsibilities: he's not the son of a union man for nothing.
Brett receives information that suggests that this hasn't been the only death by a canal from a bereaved parent. Bill's information is a little wide but by looking at cases where women have been killed it soon looks as though there might be something much more sinister going on and that it involves Sean Martin, a man who was imprisoned for the murder of his stepdaughter, Rosie Smith, and whose freedom was won by Grant's firm. The head of the firm now has cause to doubt whether they did the right thing, but Sean Martin is not going back to prison if he can help it.
As well as reading the book I listened to an audio download (which I bought myself) narrated by Jonathan Keeble. It was superb. His range of voices is excellent and I can't think of any other male narrator who is quite so capable of delivering a range of female voices which are totally convincing. I was never for a moment in any doubt about who was 'speaking' and an excellent book kept me gripped and was finished all too quickly. I'd be delighted to listen to more from Keeble.
I'll also be looking to read more from Neil White. I read his first book which was promising rather than good and he's rather fallen off my radar since then. It was only when I read the review of his first Dan Grant book that I appreciated the extent to which his writing has matured. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag. I now regard him as an author to follow.
There don't seem to be any spoilers for the first book in the Dan Grant series, so why not have a look at From The Shadows next?
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