Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks

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Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Noirish thriller about a fragile private investigator - it's a very intense and claustrophobic book and an absorbing read. We loved the nod to Lucas, a young adult story by Brooks, buried away in the pages just for fans.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Arrow
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0099553821

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Private detective John Craine has returned to Hale Island, the scene of many childhood holidays, to get away from a painful past, his guilt, and his loss. And there's another reason - the possibility that he has a half-sister he's never met. But within hours of arriving, John discovers the body of a dead girl concealed in a pill box on the beach. He calls 999 but when the police arrive the body has disappeared and the officers clearly see him as a drunken fool prone to hysterical imaginings.

But John knows what he saw. And he soon discovers that the questions he is asking will entangle him in a new web of crime and violence...

Until the Darkness Comes is, in the hardboiled tradition, much more about the central character than the mystery. John Craine crashes into a drugs syndicate operating on Hale and also into a complex customs investigation into it, and there is quite a bit of tension in its plotting, but what we are really looking at is Craine's own personal struggle. He drinks too much. He takes too many drugs. He spends much of his time in imaginary conversations with his dead wife, who was murdered some years before. He longs to reach out to the half-sister he doesn't know but he fears the risk. And when he does eventually meet her, the instinct to protect is utterly overwhelming.

I enjoyed this book immensely, mostly because I liked this central character despite his faults and his self-destructive urges, and also because its setting is so evocative and vivid, and perfect for the bleak solitude expressed by Craine himself. One of Brooks's young adult novels, Lucas, is also set on Hale - there's a shout-out here to the crisis event in that book, if you know it - and its central character feels as isolated and alone as Craine. So, as a Brooks fangirl, I also enjoyed the parallels.

Recommended for those who enjoy noirish crime fiction and aren't bothered by violence and depravity, and also, of course, for maturing fans of Brooks himself. I hope he hasn't forgotten his teenage audience, though, and writes something for them soon.

You might also enjoy Core of Evil by Nigel McCrery, in whicha detective's synaesthesia provides an interesting subtext and the villain of the piece is truly a monster. And everyone, no matter their age, should read Lucas.

Buy Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Until the Darkness Comes by Kevin Brooks at Amazon.com.


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