Prefaced by some lines from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven, rarely have I been so spooked by a book as I was on opening this book where Terri Latham is sat at home having a glass of wine when she hears a tapping at her door… I’m don’t have a particularly nervous nature but I was there, alongside Terri while she debated whether or not to investigate! There is no need to add that David Jackson is a master at setting a scene.
ONCE upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
Next we meet DS Nathan Cody at work in the Major Investigation Team who has just found out one of his old girlfriends has joined the team, even better they are to be partners – now that’s not awkward is it? The fact that Megan Webley is now engaged to someone else just ups the potential for problems and while I’m not saying there are none, the author is rightly restrained in keeping the personal life on the fringes of the action allowing the fabulous, and it is outstanding, plot to take centre stage.
I instantly liked Nathan Cody, a former undercover policeman, he clearly had dealt with a major incident in this role, but what it was isn’t revealed for quite some time. This explains his shortish temper, particularly with local reporter, suffers with insomnia and has a hint of recklessness about him but again, David Jackson doesn’t overplay these issues, they are there and clearly a concern, not least to Cody himself, but he does work as part of a team and there are minimal lone wolf moments.
In fact all the characters are beautifully drawn from the victims, suspects and officers and other randomers, every single one was distinct, note authors this always helps the reader keep the story straight, and yet utterly authentic primarily because like real people they aren’t acting a part they are made up of many different facets, so while Cody may bark at a reporter he is capable of helping an elderly man with some shopping moments later, a lovely touch that keeps the reader in tune with, and engaged with the character.
So we have a fabulous plot and great characters so onto the Liverpool setting. This was also very well done with its helpful explanation of the difference between the new touristy bits and those slightly rougher parts of town cleverly slipped into the story to give a sense of place and to me this felt distinct from any generic English city.
But best of all the writing comes with a good dose of wry humour which I love. This meant that despite some gruesome murders, I certainly wouldn’t recommend this book to those with weak dispositions, the book never felt depressing.
I can’t recommend this book enough, it is definitely going to be in my top ten reads of 2016, there isn’t one bit that could have been better!
I’d like to say a big thank you to Bonnier Publishing for my copy of this book, this review is my unbiased thank you to them. A Tapping At My Door was published on 7 April 2016.