Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Don’t Make a Sound – David Jackson

Crime Fiction
5*s

David Jackson’s series featuring DS Nathan Cody is on my ‘must-read’ list and I was suitably thrilled to hear that he was making his third appearance on 3 May 2018.

This is one creepy book, no need for gruesome scenes for this author, instead he lets you imagine the worst from his well-chosen words.

A young girl, a mere six years of age, has disappeared from her bed and Nathan Cody is investigating. This investigation is high profile, no one wants to think that there is a child snatcher in the neighbourhood and yet it seems like whoever took Poppy was invisible as there is no trace. Yes no clues to follow and that means that Cody has to painstakingly follow a number of different theories simultaneously to see which one holds water.

We meet Poppy’s parents, Craig and Maria in the wake of her disappearance and we have Cody, DC Meghan Webley, FLO, Jason Oxburgh and data expert Grace Meade amongst others who under the tough leadership of DCI Stella Blunt of Liverpool’s police. We also have ten year old Daisy living with her parents Malcolm and Harriet, home-schooled she is a little lonely and has that peculiar manner of children who spend all their time in the company of adults. All these characters are acutely drawn with everyday events underscored by a level of tension that you simply won’t believe until you read this book for yourself. Never in my life have I had to hold my breath while reading about a game of darts!

Although this is one of my favourite genres, a good solid police procedural there is a strong element of the psychological woven through the storyline. As we observe the different relationships I found I was in on the action trying to work out why some were behaving the way they were, for instance, in the all too familiar media interview I felt I was on the other side of the camera, alongside the police watching and waiting for a sentence that would provide a key to unlocking at least something vaguely useful to explaining what had happened. Because the reader knows more than the police, a dicey device in any but the most assured writer’s keyboard, you’d expect the tension levels to be lower. Not so, I could feel my heart racing at far too many parts of this book to mention. I needed it all resolved, and as the levels increase unrelentingly until the truly outstanding ending. This book should come with a free ECG to make sure your heart is up to reading it!

I’m sure this would read very well as a standalone but I don’t recommend it. A Tapping at my Door, the first in the series, is one of my favourite crime books of all time, and the second, Hope to Die gives us more insight into Nathan Cody as well as being another full-on read so you’ll be missing out if you can’t wait and chose to start with this book but I’m almost certain you’ll need to pick up the previous two if you can’t wait.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for allowing me to read a copy of Don’t Make a Sound ahead of publication on 3 May 2018. Thank you also to David Jackson for giving my heart a workout, I can’t wait to see what will happen next. This is an unbiased review written by Cleopatra Loves Books.

First Published UK: 3 May 2018
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
o of Pages: 3528
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Hope to Die – David Jackson

Crime Fiction
4*s

So DS Nathan Cody has his second outing in his native Liverpool and this time he starts without his partner DC Megan Webley who is still recovering from a serious injury but fear not she soon returns. The murder Nathan Cody is investigating is a particularly gruesome one and one that has no obvious motive. Mary Cowper is a church going teacher who was killed while walking her dog by the Anglian Cathedral. No matter where they look they can’t see why anyone would want this woman dead, she’s as inoffensive as they come.

Meanwhile we learn all about the childhood of a young boy, a grim upbringing policed by a strict mother and God. I have to admit I’m always a little suspicious of excerpts from seemingly unrelated voices within crime fiction but David Jackson has his narrative spot on in this instance. It is fairly obvious that this is our killer but I couldn’t fit the childhood voice to any of the characters we were meeting, and nor could I separate the sad stories from the narrator which tell of a deeply anguished childhood, with the revulsion I felt over the killings of the women.

Hope to Die doesn’t just concentrate on the investigation which needless to say is soon expanded as another woman is found dead, we also get to understand a little more about Nathan Cody’s demons which haunted him in A Tapping at My Door and continue in this episode. When Megan Webley returns to work we also have the gaps between the two books filled in, with Megan understandably confused by Cody’s absence during her recovery but she’s the better person and extends the olive branch. The fact that the pair had a romantic liaison some time before Cody joined the team only serves the tension to crackle at times both at home and at work.

We have a new female addition to the team the data analyst, Grace, who is keen to show what she’s made of after a life-time of being ignored by her peers and I was pleased that DCI Blunt the no-nonsense, yet capable of compassion, a woman who is almost motherly in her dealings with Cody, is still in charge. All this gives not only a good ratio of both male and female police staff but a wide range of characters to give a good depth to the investigation.

The pace is fairly fast particularly with the switches between the odd things that are happening to Cody away from the investigation and the information that is leaking out about the suspects, even if none of them appear to have a motive, there are lies and half-truths to be uncovered. You don’t want to start this book just before bed-time that’s for sure because not only will you be unable to relinquish your hold on the book as one more chapter turns into two, three and onwards, but because David Jackson creates a world which feels particularly unsafe for the unassuming and then throws some particularly weird activities into the mix… like clowns!

With tension aplenty, some relationship issues and an ending which will have you longing for the next book, this is not to be missed although I strongly suggest you read the first book in the series to get the most from the story arc. Hope to Die will be published on 6 April 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre who were kind enough to provide me with an advance review copy. This unbiased review is my thanks to them and the talented David Jackson.

First Published UK: 6 April 2017
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
No of Pages:  416
Genre: Crime Fiction – Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US