Two bodies are found: at first glance it's hard to tell, but it soon becomes apparent they are two young boys-brothers. DI Marnie Rome is called in to investigate, along with her team, all of whom have never seen anything so dark as this before.
I am relatively new to the world of Crime/Thriller Fiction. I started my journey with Ian Rankin and Patricia Cornwell, quite possibly the two greats Crime Writers (in my humble opinion, anyway). Keeping those two in mind will always affect how I read other crime authors. It is the way it is.
I cannot express how impressed I was with No Other DarknessM
, however. I have a goal for 2015 and that is to read more female authors, just because I cannot rightly fathom in my mind why I don't read as many of them, and I cannot justify whether or not reading a book because of the gender of the author is a correct thing to do, or not. You may think this has nothing to do with this book, but it does. The only reason I read it is because it was written by a female author. And possibly because I wish to devour more crime fiction.
I have always loved crime and detective programmes on television. I devour them as much as I devour escapism fantasy. They are intriguing, well-acted (usually) and can hold my attention for the full-length. They also teach me a lot: either about acting or television itself, or about the scientific approach to crime investigation. I don't know why my journey in to crime fiction took so long: it is a wonderful genre, though I've found it can be difficult to get right.
Now on to the book itself. A long review-longer than usual-because I received this book via Bookbridgr and I always give a thorough review when given a book out of faith.
I was impressed from the off. No other book has ever made me quite so... disgusted by the crime as this one. It cannot have been the things that were happening, because I have read much, much worse, most of which includes children. I can only think that it was the writing. It is written very well, and I'm so glad it is not in first-person POV because otherwise it would lose all of its tone.
There were some grammatical and spelling errors, but I was reviewing a proof copy, so that can be by-passed. There was the occasional one sentence paragraph, which irks me no end but authors seem to like it these days. In this case, they didn't seem to be used for suspense purposes but just to be there. There are few faults I can find, except the obvious crime-fiction nonsense that all crime-fiction books contain. The protagonist with a bad past, or a bad present, or having the investigations become personal. These are facts of crime-fiction, and who am I to complain about them? But that's why I'm here, I suppose.
A few other things that bugged me, but only a little: the world-building was a little off. There was only the minimal amount of it, but I suppose since it was in London that's bound to happen. It's a big place and most people generally know what it's like, even those who have never visited. A bit more description, some exposition and environmental attributes would have been nice, but I suppose I am being picky. I'd prefer it if it wasn't set in London, but what can I do about that?
To sum up, this is one of the best crime fiction novels I have ever read. Quite remarkable since it is the authors second book. I would compare her to Ian Rankin's earlier work: he himself has said that they were rather pretentious and a little overdone. I compare them minimally, but I can see Sarah Hilary becoming just as good as Rankin is, eventually.